UAE | General

Woman suffers burns after airbag deployment

Car manufacturer admits minor burns are possible

  • by Anjana sankarstaff reporter
  • Published: 22:05 January 9, 2013
  • XPRESS

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Safe or scary? Timsy’s car after the minor accident in Jumeirah

Dubai An airbag is considered to be the most important safety feature in a car. But when Dubai resident Timsy Wadani met with a minor accident, it proved to be more harmful than the accident itself when she ended up with second degree burns on her hands when the airbags deployed.

“The airbag started deploying at a slow rate. I was alarmed because the deployment caused the release of some sort of chemicals and my car was filled with fumes. My thumbs and index finger got burned,” Wadani told XPRESS.

The Dubai resident said the accident on Jumeirah Beach Road on October 24 did not cause significant damage to her car. “It was a minor collision when I hit the vehicle in front. What scared me was the slow deployment of the airbag. I could have died if it were a major collision,” said Wadani. When she sought an explanation from the car dealer, she said they admitted that burns can occur.

Later in a response to Wadani’s complaint, the car dealer said in a statement, “During the deployment, the gas blowing up the airbag is nitrogen and steam. Therefore the deployment of airbags may cause minor burns and abrasions.

“The inflation of the airbag is triggered within 200 milli-seconds of the impact and the complete airbag inflation takes place in about 30-40 milliseconds. The subject vehicle model is equipped with dual stage front airbags. They have two inflation stages that can be ignited sequentially or simultaneously depending on the crash severity. In a more severe crash, both stages will be ignited simultaneously to provide quickest and greatest protection. In a less severe crash, the first stage will ignite first. Then the second stage will ignite split seconds later. This provides longer airbag inflation time with less force,” it read.

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