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Old 31st July 2015, 22:54   #61
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

Sorry to know this. I suggest you check with VW independent of this crash scenario for you to get an unbiased knowledge on VW cars' airbag threshold and crash scenarios that would deploy the airbags. Take these information and match them with yours. You will know the gap. From here take it up with VW group. The idea is not to be confrontational; instead your experience should be a training platform for them to study and come up with remedial measures as need be.
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Old 31st July 2015, 22:55   #62
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Good to know occupants are safe. You mentioned 50-60 Kmph at the time of impact! I'm sure you must have felt the impact to be huge enough to say so but think about it, even the most solid built car's frontal collision crash test videos at 40 kmph shows much much more damage. From the pics of your car, it seems like the speed must have been well below 40 kmph. I don't think a Vento would remain in this shape if it had a head on collision at 50-60 kmph, or even 40 kmph.

Coming to airbags, either it was faulty or the impact wasn't enough, it will be very tough to draw the line between these 2 possibilities unless necessary thorough investigation is done. Here on the forum, people can only assume things and argue based on individual opinion. Real cause could be far from the conclusion drawn on assumptions based on limited info.
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Old 31st July 2015, 23:12   #63
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

Well, I am not an expert of this but when you said:

"His tempo had a wrought iron beam that took the impact, not a scratch on him (I envy him to be honest!)"
  • Can it be such that the 'iron beam' hit the upper part close to the VW logo at the bonnet?
  • Are the sensors located near/at the bumper and hence they could not detect the 'impact' that happened above it?
  • That brings me to another question that what if a car crashes behind a truck with the safety bar but the bar crashes near the bonnet area and the air-bag sensors near the bumper don't detect it? Is that possible?
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Old 31st July 2015, 23:17   #64
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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Looking at the pictures, the impact is not severe to cause airbags to deploy. The front beam is intact and has not crumpled. Basically crumple zone is intact. This will equate to no airbag deployment.

I second this. The crash is not severe enough for the airbags to deploy. I would be furious if it did.

I guess you had estimated the speed of impact incorrectly. You have slowed down enough for the impact speed to be 20-30 kmph at the maximum. As someone before me suggested a crash at 64 kmph ( standard speed for crash test in the USA) would rip out at least half of the bonnet meaning the bonnet would have caved in significantly. This looks like a minor impact where only the bumper and grill have broken. If the radiator is placed very close to the bumper , then obviously it would be broken.

A friend of mine crashed into a divider in a Swift at 40 kmph and ended up with a broken radiator.

What's up with people unhappy with the manufacturer for airbags not deploying in minor accidents. Another friend of mine who got rear ended in slow moving traffic was asking me why his car's airbags didn't deploy.
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Old 31st July 2015, 23:21   #65
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

What is important is that you are safe and so is your family. In addition to what Vidyut has said, think about this. Even if you wanted to pursue legally, it will drain you out of time and maybe money (which may be recoverable but time?).

Rather be happy nothing major has happened, take consolation in the fact that insurance covers for everything, follow up with VW to ensure u get in writing that airbag sensors are properly fit again (for future safety) and spend time with your new born kid. It will give you more happiness and peace of mind.

Last edited by k_ajay : 31st July 2015 at 23:31.
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Old 31st July 2015, 23:50   #66
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

I must have been doing at least 80kmph when I saw him. Too little too late as the vehicle screeched to a head on collision with the rear of the tempo (speed of impact? I don't know.. 50-60kmph?)
I think you are overestimating your collision speed. A head on collision at 60Kmph can cause severe damage to the vehicle and occupants. Braking must have reduced the impact speed to a great extent.
See the video for reference.
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Old 1st August 2015, 00:08   #67
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

I'am glad there were no serious injuries apart from minor neck sprain.

Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post

Secondly, VW has a very poor design with respect to radiator. The entire radiator assembly which sits on a frame in the front is made or plastic not metal. Any small impact will cause the entire thing to break.
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Old 1st August 2015, 00:15   #68
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

Dear Joey, thank God the accident resulted in very minor injuries to you and not so major injuries to your car. I also think you should be grateful to the almighty that this happened when you were alone. Another lesson to all drivers on how important seat-belts are - it is very clear that the injuries might not have been restricted to bruises and sprains had the seat-belt not been fastened.

On the impact speed, I totally agree with Vidyut and Poloman. I am very sure the speed of impact was not high enough to deploy the airbags. At least the damage from the pictures are a proof that the impact speed was not even close to the 50-60 kmph estimate of yours. Euro NCAP tests are conducted at an impact speed of 64 kmph and the extent of damage can be seen in any test videos. From the 80 kmph, I am sure, your braking brought down the speed to a much lower speed.

In fact you did not sustain any major injury and the fact that airbags did not deploy justifies each other. Had the airbags been deployed, you might have sustained more injuries and obviously paid for a bigger repair bill.
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Old 1st August 2015, 00:15   #69
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

Sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident, but good to hear that you are safe. Even i feel that the impact was less for the air-bag to deploy.

If the air-bag had deployed, most of them would have questioned, why the air-bag deployed for a minor impact. And it will add another 1L+ to the estimate as well. Take this as a bad dream and proceed ahead, no point in filing a case or fighting against VW.
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Old 1st August 2015, 00:37   #70
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

Airbag units work with not one, but a combination of parameters. To name a few: Crush (in inches), change in velocity (delta V), jerk (change in acceleration), and acceleration, etc. If you look at most manufacturers and their patents, its a combination of these parameters that are used to make the "fire; no fire" decision.

The crash sensors are positioned well forward in the crush zones so they will react almost instantly to the sudden deceleration that results from a frontal impact. The sensors are usually of the electro-mechanical crush-dependent type, only working when physically broken / affected.

To prevent false deployments that might result from bumping into objects or a slow speed fender bender, most air bag systems also have one or two "safety" or "arming" sensors which are usually located inside the passenger compartment (under the dash or seat, in the airbag control module, or in the steering wheel air bag module). The safety sensor will not allow the bag to deploy unless it also experiences almost the same rate of deceleration. The deceleration faced inside is very, very lesser compared to the deceleration experienced by an apron that's getting crushed into a crumple of metal in not-soo-major accidents.

Judging from the photos posted by you, the front beam is intact and has not been crushed severely. Thus, the crash sensor may have been triggered, but the safety sensor inside the passenger compartment definitely did not get triggered preventing the deployment of the airbags.

Hope the information is useful.
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Old 1st August 2015, 01:48   #71
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

I am sorry to hear about your loss but it's really good to know no one was hurt.
Looking at the pictures I feel, as pointed out by others, the impact was not severe. Rather it was not exact frontal but vertically skewed frontal impact. You must have hit the under run protection bar. Your car was hit above front bumper, at bonnet area and hence airbags didn't deploy as sensors are not hit.
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Old 1st August 2015, 06:44   #72
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

Looking at the images, the imact happened at the Bumper - VW Logo - Bonnet/Body joint.

While the radiator is busted, the bumper has just dislodged itself. The bumper as a whole is not crushed for the sensors to get activated. The whole piece has just come off (of course broken clips , etc and needs to be replaced).

I would probably say you are lucky to avoid an unneccesary 1 lakh more expense !!
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Old 1st August 2015, 09:06   #73
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

Glad to hear that you were not injured. Your thought process of investing in a structurally safe car as well as ensuring you were wearing seatbelts definitely saved you from bigger injuries.

You did mention in an earlier post that the tempo had an iron bar. Was this an under run bar? There was this nice thread on under run bars on why they are important for others especially in the event of a rear collision

If the truck did not have a proper under run bar, the points of impact may have missed the core sensor areas which may have resulted in some of the airbag deployment parameters not being met.

In case overall, I think the airbags not deploying was the right thing to happen.

OT: hope you had planned to get a child seat for your baby and if not hope this incident will prompt you to get one. This could have been catastrophic if your baby was in the car and not in a child seat.
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Old 1st August 2015, 16:53   #74
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

Seems like the bumper hasn't even moved much. The sensors are usually behind the bumper. However, they do have accelerometers that should detect rapid deceleration and trigger the airbags if they sense heavy deceleration that is abnormal.

The best way to check would be to crash your car into a thick wall at a high speed and confirm if the airbags are working or faulty.
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Old 1st August 2015, 17:41   #75
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Default Re: VW Vento Airbags didn't deploy in an accident. Thoughts?

IMO the the impact doesn't look like a 60kmph car hitting a stationary truck. It would have been worse. Anyway, also looks like the rear of the truck hit around the headlight height of the Vento. The airbag sensors are usually quite a lot below that in the bumper, and the bumper doesn't look to be damaged.

As far as I know, airbags work on impact and deceleration sensors. Its possible they didn't feel the need to deploy the airbags. And maybe they were right considering the OP seems to have walked out scratchless.

Airbags can sometimes cause more damage if deployed when not needed, in terms of burns, etc.

While I completely understand the OPs concerns, I think the fact that he walked out without a scratch and him saying his head didn't hit the steering wheel should be proof enough the airbags weren't needed in this impact.
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