When Your Airbag is Late

Watch to see what happens when your airbag deploys only seven-hundredths of a second too late...

  If you've taken your vehicle to an insurance company's "Preferred" shop, you may want to get it inspected by a professional. There is a good chance aftermarket, junkyard, or imitation parts were installed that could even affect the timing and response of an air bag deployment.  

A Quote From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

"There's a lot of engineering that goes into making a crash-protection system," says David Zuby, chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "You can't willy-nilly change those parts because the system may not work the way it was designed."


 Today's vehicles are engineered to respond, in an accident, in a very specific way.  The frame is designed to crumple around the occupants of the vehicle, reacting in  coordination with the airbag system, with split-second timing. If substandard parts  are used in a repair, this “crash management system” can be disrupted. When you  consider the fact that an airbag has to respond and deploy in milliseconds to  prevent a passenger from hitting the steering wheel of their vehicle, even the  slightest disruption in a vehicle’s crash management system can result in serious  injury.

 Direct repair shops receive a steady stream of insurance company referral work  and, in exchange, they’re expected to perform repairs within that insurance  company’s guidelines.  Insurers rarely agree to the repairs quoted in the initial  estimate, often insisting on less expensive methods or parts that were not made by  the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). No shop wants to work with  counterfeit parts, because it’s easier to repair a car with products that were made  by the original manufacturer. However, if they have a DRP relationship with an  insurance company, they may be forced to use cheap parts and shortcut methods  to keep that stream of referrals coming in. If you’ve taken your vehicle to an  insurance company’s “preferred” DRP shop, you’ll probably want to have a  professional take a closer look. The paint may look shiny and new, but beneath the  surface might be remaining damage or improper repairs.