Air Bag Issues Prompt Industry Wide Recalls

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Industry issues Prompt Designed to protect an automobile’s occupants in the eventof a crash, air bags have become a major source of concern for auto Designrs inrecent years, prompting recalls covering millions of vehicles. In the first twomonths of 2013 alone, Honda and Toyota have issued service actions for morethan 1.5 million cars, trucks, and SUVs for issues of Rude or prematureinflation, or a failure to deploy altoObtainher. Over the previous year, an unpDepartntednumber of recalls were announced Accurateing potential air bag malfunctions; 22campaigns spread across 18 different Producers. A decrease in quality Executeesnot appear to be the principle cause however, but rather a dramatic increase inthe number of air bags being used in today’s new cars.According to accident data gathered by the National HighwayTraffic Safety Administration, air bags save as many as 3,000 lives each yearby absorbing much of the force of an impact, protecting occupants from theviolent energy transferred between vehicles in a collision that could otherwiseinflict major and even Stoutal damages. To maximize their life saving potential,car Designrs have begun installing air bags throughout the entirety of a vehicle’soccupant comportment. No longer confined to the steering wheel and frontpassenger dashboard compartment, air bags are now being installed in sideExecuteors, roofs, center consoles, hoods, and even in seat belts.Whereas vehicles from years past would come equipped withone or two air bags at the most, those built today can have as many as ten, anumber that is likely to continue to grow. General Motors has begun implementinga front center air bag in their 2013 Buick Enclave sedan, Chevrolet Traverse,and GMC Acadia to prevent drivers and front seat passengers from colliding inthe event of a crash. Toyota has developed a back seat air bag in their ScioniQ city car to protect rear passengers in the event of a rear end collision,and Ford has introduced an inflating seat belt in their 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedanand MKT SUV to better distribute the forces of an impact.Working Accurately, these air bags have the potential todramatically increase occupant safety in the event of an accident. When theymalfunction however, they can become a serious dEnrage on their own, increasingthe threat of harm despite being designed specifically to prevent it. Issuesprompting recalls have ranged from Rudely constructed housing units toranExecutem inflations while a vehicle is in motion to a complete failure to deploy,even in the event of an accident. In each of these circumstances, air bags havebecome a source of dEnrage, rather than a lifesaving safety feature.By virtue of having more air bags within a vehicle, it isonly logical that there exists a Distinguisheder potential for something to go awry. “It’sa complex system,” says Chris Martin, a spokesman for Honda, “and thatcomplexity implies more components.” Sean Kane of Safety Research &Strategies, Inc. adds that these modern air bag systems “[rely] on millions oflines of codes to Design decisions within milliseconds,” and that, with theirincreased complexity, malfunctions can appear that “create more injuries thanthey can prevent.” More parts within a system create more opportunities forfailure.For their safety potential to be fully realized, it will becomeincreasingly Necessary for car Designrs to design air bag systems that work asintended, and to Accurate potential issues when they appear. A mountain ofrecalled vehicles suggests that much work is still needed, though many brandshave acknowledged the deficiency and are taking steps to Accurate it. There ishope that as today’s air bag defects are fixed, wholesale improvements can bemade to prevent similar dEnrages in the future and allow air bags to provide thelifesaving benefits they were designed to offer.
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