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2001 Es300 Airbag Deployment Failure


Gerry2
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Hi All,

I had a question regarding my 2001 ES300. I was envolved in an accident where the other vehicle ran a stop light as I was a little over halfway through the intersection. Anyways, I T-boned his drivers door and severely damaged my front end. I was going about 35mph- he must of be going about 55-60. Fortunately, no one had major injuries. My concern was that the air bags failed to deploy dispite the fact that the insurance company has totaled my car. Does anyone know if this has happen to others driving a ES300? Recalls, etc.? Thanks.

Gerry

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Hi All,

I had a question regarding my 2001 ES300. I was envolved in an accident where the other vehicle ran a stop light as I was a little over halfway through the intersection. Anyways, I T-boned his drivers door and severely damaged my front end. I was going about 35mph- he must of be going about 55-60. Fortunately, no one had major injuries. My concern was that the air bags failed to deploy dispite the fact that the insurance company has totaled my car. Does anyone know if this has happen to others driving a ES300? Recalls, etc.? Thanks.

Gerry

You might think it was a strong impact. However, T-boning a door is not as strong impact hitting a bumper because there is an empty space in the passenger compartment to give you time and room to decelerate. The driver and passengers will absorb some of your car's impact force, but not as much as a bumper.

The airbags are deployed based on the amount of force at the moment of impact. If the force is great enough to crush the spring inside the sensors (behind the bumper cover) to send a signal to the airbag computer, the airbags will deploy.

To get a little more involve in physics, there got to be a return force from the impact to crush the springs. For example, your car hit a bumper. That transferred the force from your car to the bumper. Since the bumper is a hard object and not much space to spread the force, a strong force will return back to your car and trigger the airbag deployment. Another word, speed is not the only factor to trigger the airbag deployment. If the impact at a low speed, the airbags will not deploy. In order for the bags to deploy, you got to be going at a certain speed and have enough force to crush the spring.

I am not sure if our vehicle has a sensor to deploy just the driver side airbag when no passengers present.

BTW, if you can salvage the airbags and its computer, it can be worth $1000.

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If no one had any major injuries, it sounds like the airbag made the right decision in not deploying...

I'm glad that everyone involved was OK!

Hi All,

I had a question regarding my 2001 ES300. I was envolved in an accident where the other vehicle ran a stop light as I was a little over halfway through the intersection. Anyways, I T-boned his drivers door and severely damaged my front end. I was going about 35mph- he must of be going about 55-60. Fortunately, no one had major injuries. My concern was that the air bags failed to deploy dispite the fact that the insurance company has totaled my car. Does anyone know if this has happen to others driving a ES300? Recalls, etc.? Thanks.

Gerry

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The vehicle uses atleast 3 triggering sensors (two crush zone sensors, and one decelleration sensor), and it has multiple self-diagnostic algorithims for all.

Your airbag didn't fail to deploy, you simply didn't meet any criteria for needing it. Trust me... It's much preffered that way as opposed to them simply having a decelleration meter and an algrothim saying X g-force in decelleration at >/= 15mph & pop the bag.

Plus airbags are cheap unlike 15-20 years ago. $250-500 each to replace for the main 2 airbags in any ES. No big deal.

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Hi All,

Thanks for your responses regarding the airbags on my ES300. I will tell you this, airbags or not, this car did its job in protecting me and I'm thankful for that. I am sad and a bit angry that it was ruined in the accident by a careless driver, but I hope one day soon I can replace it. After driving my ES300, there are not too many other cars out there that will please me, but I'm searching! Any Ideas?

Gerry

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