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Yes, we have debated this extensively on numerous forums including: Infiniti, BMW, VW, Acura, Hyundai, Car Blogger, & of course Genesis. Not to be rude, but I'm tired of discussing it because I feel as if I must defend Hyundai since a lot of factors did &/or may have played a part in this accident & most people do not realize that.

Sabbasaun, if you feel up to the task, please go into depth on airbag issue. If not I'll cover it in detail later...



 

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nope, just some impacts at some angels the airbags will help sometimes they wont, and the airbag ECU is "smart" enough to tell which is which.
+1.......to keep it simlple........

& the airbag system of a car is very responsive compared to the rest of the systems.



 

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Not to mention that several different articles state that the driver and passenger were NOT wearing seat belts as you can see by the shape of the steering wheel... if the airbags HAD deployed, it probably would have killed them both. It's all built into the programming of the SRS control module.
 

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Yeah this has been discuseed before and it's disturbing how owners of other vehicles will use this picture to give Hyundai such a bad name just to make their cars look better. They won't even listen to the facts of what happened, they'll just blindly say "Hyundai builds unsafe cars", despite the many awards they have won in recent years to show otherwise. That being said, the safety systems in vehciles today are very comlex.

Anyways I'll try to shed some light on what happend here. You can deduce certain things from the many photo's of this crash. Firstly something hit the steering wheel. That's a given. Either the drivers head or chest or arms. Secondly, the cabin is mostly in tact. This is a good thing as it means the steering column did not get pushed into the driver but that something hit the steering wheel. I'm actually very impressed with this result. Now these two factors alone points to the driver NOT wearing a seatbelt. Thirdly, most SRS systems have a sensor to indicate when someone is sitting in the seats. It will arm the airbags if someone is sitting in the seat or deactivate when it senese that no one or not enough weight is on the seat (example, when a small child or animal is on the seat). In this scenario, it is very possible that as the accident was happening the driver may have been thrust forward taking any weight off of the occupant sensor thus de-arming the airbag. These things together is what makes many modern SRS systems. An airbag deploying if the occupant is not wearing a seat belt could cause more harm than good in such a scenario. Keep in mind, Airbags are categorized as supplemental restraint systems (SRS) and most effective when used in conjuction with a safety belt. Lastly, I was sent an email from someone in Korea who knows the occupant and they confirmed that the driver was not wearing a belt... this last bit of info reinforces points 1, 2, and 3 above.
hth
:)



 

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Actually, and I'm not sure about non-US models, but the passenger seat is the only seat cushion that has an occupant detection sensor. Driver's seats do not.
 

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Actually, and I'm not sure about non-US models, but the passenger seat is the only seat cushion that has an occupant detection sensor. Driver's seats do not.
I wasn't going to address this, but I fear I have to...lol

Correct, there is a PPD (passenger's presence detection) sensor in the passenger's side seat bottom. It is usually in the form of a bladder that registers if there is an adult, someone of 85lbs or more, sitting in the passenger's seat upright & feet forward. This sensor will register the occupant & cut the indicator lamp in the center of the dash off that states passengers airbag not active. In doing so it activates the passengers side airbag that works in conjuction with the seat belt restraint system to save lives.

The driver's side airbag always deploys if the computer feels after taking into account numerous variables that the airbag deployment will assist in safety. What you have to realize is these variables include a host of information that account for angle of impact, speed, change in direction, momentum, satellite sensor locations, seat belt activation, etc. We do not know what the air bag control module was tabulating upon impact. The fact that it looks like the driver was not wearing a seat belt based of the information that sabbasaun provided, which I agree with, should be enough in itself for the airbag not to deploy, especially at low speeds.

I know that the car looked mangled, but keep in mind that cars designed today with crumple zones are done so with the safety of the passengers in mind. The outside of a modern day car may look like hell after an accident, even one at low speeds (i.e 30mph), but what counts is what the passengers compartment looks like. The car can be replaced, but human life can not.



 

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By the way, DayDreamer if you haven't introduced yourself, if you would take the time in the intro thread & tell us a little about yourself...



 

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Tufast thanks for the information, it's appreciated. I always thought there were sensors in all the seats even the drivers to help the airbag computer gauge how much force was going to be needed to deply based on a person's weight but I stand correct. I guess this also depends on the make and model and there are probably various levels of sophistication in safety technology.



 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tufast, all good points. I like to use the example of the Dale Earnhardt crash. His car looked fine, yet the impact fatal. Other guys go end over end down the track and walk away. The more energy the car absorbs, the less impact to the occupants...to a degree. Low impact, low vehicle damage can do more harm to the occupants in terms of muscle and ligament damage, than high speed, car in pieces. In those high speed crashes, it is usually organ trauma that causes expiration. Sudden stop, organs keep moving in the body cavity and can essentially just rupture/explode. Same for brain trauma bouncing off the inside of the skull. Low impact, little car damage, but severe violence to occupant. A 10 MPH rear end collision has the same force produced as a 50lb. bag being dropped off a 1 story building onto your neck in terms of force per square inch.

You also make a good point about the non use of a seatbelt. It has been shown that if an airbag delpoys and the occupant is not belted, the force to the head and neck of the person moving forward, compounded by the high speed airbag coming towards you, in essence multiplies the forces placed on the person. So it makes sense to disable the system if the belt is not in use. IE 60-0 hitting the pole, plus the 160-210 MPH or greater speed of airbag deployment essentially is like 200 MPH stop for the occupant. Short stature peole are at a greater risk due to their proximity to the airbag. In fact airbag deployment can cause amputation of digits. It is a violent event. The main purpose of the bag is to prevent additional damage from the steering wheel and windshield, both of which often have fatal effects due to blunt force head trauma.

An airbag is a SUPPLEMENT, not an alternative. It is a device to help control the amplitude and magnitude of the forces produced in a collision. ALWAYS buckle up.
 
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