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350 Airbag Issues


Buzz2537
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Hi. I''m new to this forum and found it through a google search on air bag issues. I have a 2009 Lexus ES350. I bought it last year certified from a Lexus dealership and it has about 10,000 miles on it. I was in a bad accident and the airbags never deployed. While traveling on a main highway, a big truck was stopped but the break lights were not working so by the time I realized he was stopped it was too late. I rear ended him at around 30 to 35 miles an hour. My Lexus sustained $9,000 in front end damage and not one air bag deployed. I was left with a head injury, knee, neck, back, wrist and hip injuries. Through a googled I found that there have been on going issues with the airbags in this model, dating back to '07. Does anyone have an info on this or has anyone else had an issues with their airbags not deploying? I can be reached at jrsybchgal42@aol.com. Thank you. Elaine

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Did you have any professionals assess the vehicle and the crash scene and determine that in that particular crash the airbags should have deployed?

Were you wearing a seatbelt? Did you hit the truck head on or off center? Do you have any pictures of your vehicle after the accident? How do you know you were really going 30-35MPH? Is that your recollection or have crash investigators informed you that was the speed you were traveling?

I ask because, all things considered $9,000 is not a tremendous amount of damage for the vehicle to sustain when striking a stopped semi-truck at 30-35 MPH. You would expect the vehicle to be totaled.

The airbags do not ALWAYS go off, there is a sophisticated set of algorithms and accelerometers that determine depending on different crash forces and angles whether the airbags should deploy or not. Airbags themselves are very violent and if they deploy without the right set of parameters they can do more harm than good. I'm not saying that this was or wasn't the case here, I'm just saying its likely...we just need more info to know. If the driver is unbelted I don't know if modern airbags will deploy at all...

Car strikes a stationary object at 35MPH...with enough force to cause significant injury to a presumably belted driver, yet the car isn't totaled and just needed $9,000 worth of repairs and the airbags never deployed? Something doesn't add up.

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To put this into perspective, this is an old crash test video of a DeLorean in a 35MPH crash into a stationary object:

Now, obviously the vehicle is old but the crash forces are obvious...this vehicle has greater than $9,000 in damage. Its totaled.

Here's a modern car, also at 35MPH...you can see the same thing, significant damage, engine drops out of the mounts to the floor, front suspension is pushed back into the firewall. This car is totaled, doesn't have simply $9k in repairs.

My guess is you were really going far less than 35MPH when you hit the truck, below the speed threshold where the airbags are beneficial.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi. I''m new to this forum and found it through a google search on air bag issues. I have a 2009 Lexus ES350. I bought it last year certified from a Lexus dealership and it has about 10,000 miles on it. I was in a bad accident and the airbags never deployed. While traveling on a main highway, a big truck was stopped but the break lights were not working so by the time I realized he was stopped it was too late. I rear ended him at around 30 to 35 miles an hour. My Lexus sustained $9,000 in front end damage and not one air bag deployed. I was left with a head injury, knee, neck, back, wrist and hip injuries. Through a googled I found that there have been on going issues with the airbags in this model, dating back to '07. Does anyone have an info on this or has anyone else had an issues with their airbags not deploying? I can be reached at jrsybchgal42@aol.com. Thank you. Elaine

Elaine,

In March 2012, I was rear ended at some substantial speed (I wasn't driving the other vehicle so I'm not sure what speed exactly). I am guessing that it was at least 35mph, probably more in 40mph zone. I was doing less than 10mph, probably less than 5mph. As I was slowing for stopping/stopped traffic, I glanced into my rearview mirror when I felt a collision. Thinking I had hit the car in front of me, I looked forward. I already had my foot on the brake slowing, and quickly stomped on the brake. I hadn't hit the full sized SUV in front of me, yet. But even with my brake fully on, I hit the SUV hard enough to drive it into the panel truck ahead of it.

The driver behind me was clocking along in the right lane (which was about to merge to the left). She decided to merge without checking the traffic in the left lane and hit me on the right corner of my rear bumper. That was why I didn't see the car in my rearview mirror. The physical damage was a few dollars less than $9,000. I had a severe whiplash and hurt lower back. Seat belt was on, but curiously none of the airbags deployed. I was strapped to back board & rushed to ER.

I was in such shock, that I forgot that I forgot about enform. Yes, I looked at the videos.

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The airbags do not deploy in a rear collision, only a frontal collision.

Airbags are not some magic thing that makes every accident okay. They won't protect you from whiplash or a hurt lower back in a rear end collision. They are to protect you from frontal deceleration forces in a frontal collision.

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The airbags do not deploy in a rear collision, only a frontal collision.

Airbags are not some magic thing that makes every accident okay. They won't protect you from whiplash or a hurt lower back in a rear end collision. They are to protect you from frontal deceleration forces in a frontal collision.

Sorry that I bothered you with some "magic thing". Did you miss, That I was also driven into an SUV infront of me? That is when the whiplash happened. Just checked the revised cost, and it was over $10,000.00, nearly all of which was damage to the front end. In a way, I am happy I didn't have the airbags deploy. I know folks with some serious damge to their bodies from the airbags.

BTW, does enform notice when you have been in a wreck? Or, does that require the airbags to deploy?

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Wasn't meant to be snarky, it's just that people think their airbags should always go off, if the airbags didn't deploy then the accident was of such an angle or force that the computer determined that deploying the airbags would do more harm than good. Also bear in mind that deploying the airbag generally, but not always, totals the vehicle because of the incredible cost of replacing them. $10,000 in damage isn't as much as you'd think nowadays.

Your description of the accident doesn't sound to me like something where you would expect the airbags to deploy.

Enform isn't notified unless the airbags deploy.

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