Report: #657023

Complaint Review: Kia

  • Submitted: Sun, October 31, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, November 01, 2010
  • Reported By: grystp — Mason Ohio United States of America
  • Kia
    Kia kings automall
    Mason, Ohio
    United States of America

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I purchased a Kia Spectra 2008. For my daughter, the car included 8 air bags. last night my daughters car was hit and knocked over 2 lanes. Not one air bag went off. She is 4 months pregnant and was banged around. i'm really upset that an accident like this dind't cause the main safty feature did not do what it was suppose to.

(((ROR redacted)))


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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

I know you know your stuff Jim, it just seemed like in your first reply you were not aware that side impact airbags in general are designed for side impacts. It was just an oversight that you were not aware this Kia was equipped. Understood.

I don't know if this poster is fortunate they did not deploy for the daughter because we do not have enough info..we do not know the circumstances or if the accident should have deployed the bags..we do not know the extent of her injuries, or if the air bag deployment would have helped prevent injuries due to being "banged around" (or possibly cause more). If she was wearing a seat belt or not which we do not know is a major consideration as well. All this information is actually recorded in a "CDR" (crash data recorder), or "EDR" (event data recorder)...but since an 08 Kia does not have would be hard to go by anything but the physical evidence and the drivers word.

There are cases where the SRS system malfunctions..but in general they are reliable and will deploy if the sensors tell it to and the sequence of events, speed, rate of deceleration, impact and angle, even weight of occupants (seat sensors) etc..I am aware. A faulty sensor however can render the system useless.. a warning indicator light on the dashboard is used to alert the driver if there is a sensor or system malfunction and the system is monitored at all times the vehicle is operating. Not foolproof, but d**n close. If the driver is operating a vehicle when the airbag light is on..the system will of course will not operate properly if at all.

I also agree they can be expensive to replace but it does not always total the vehicle in itself. Perhaps because someone like myself would fix the car myself, find airbags from a junked vehicle and dye to match the covers if I can not locate the original color cover etc... it would be a few hundred dollars vs the thousands a body shop or dealer would charge for this relatively simple replacement. Sometimes the most expensive part actually is a front airbag causes the windshield to break. Granted if the insurance company decides to total the vehicle that is what will happen. I have fought them on this and won but only because I am able to do the repairs and get parts wholesale. I only need the dealer to clear and reset the system which takes a minute and will usually cost 50-100 dollars max. Sometimes the reset tool is cheaper to buy and reset it yourself. Sometimes you can find info on certain vehicles to reset it without a reset tool. But as long as the sensors are good and the airbags are connected, the light will remain out after resetting unless a sensor has a problem or there is a wiring issue.

The adjuster will rarely be more experienced then me, in addition to the fact my father was an insurance adjuster and I worked for his company at one time. I know how it works.

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#2 Consumer Comment

I was not aware that Spectras have side airbags

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

I thought they were NOT on this car, a bit of research proved me wrong.

And yes I'm trying to be helpful, few know exactly how cars really work.

I do, So I share my hard earned Knowledge.

And yes I know exactly how and more importantly WHEN they deploy. Why and how they work and why they didn't, (Not a hard enough impact, Glancing blows often will NOT set them off.

As well I know how huge an expense they are to replace, be glad they didn't blow, as insurance companies often use That fact (That the airbags deployed, or not) to scrap a car, rather than repair it.

The bags blow, goodbye car.

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#3 Consumer Comment

I think Jim means well..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

...but does not understand, or is not aware that side impact airbags are a specialized type of airbag that helps protect the head and chest in the event of a crash that affects the side of the vehicle. 

Granted, the OP does not state if this Kia was actually struck on the side...but it should be noted that side impact airbags (SAB's) do have benefits.

Copied from

Benefits of Side-Impact Air Bags

Think about a head-on collision. Even if both drivers are going very fast, you still have at least several feet of metal and glass between you to absorb a lot of the impact. Driver-side impacts, however, are considered the most dangerous collisions of all because all that exists between your body and a fast-moving chunk of metal and glass is a few measly inches. There's nothing there to absorb the worst of the impact except your flesh. So SABs seem more crucial in light of those facts.

A study conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reports SABs which include head protection can decrease deaths from side-impact crashes up to 45%. The majority of deaths in a side collision are a result of head injuries when the driver's (or passenger's) head smashes into the window.

Another benefit any SAB: it is designed to stay inflated longer than a front air bag. This will help if the car rolls over after the initial impact.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Master Mechanic Jim here

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

Airbags are NOT designed forside impact.

They are intended for front impact, such as a headlong impact with another car, guardrail, or other hits FROM THE FRONT, hits from the side they do NOT work, and are intended to NOT WORK as you would be thrown back in the seat violently.

The air bags worked as intended they did NOT go off and hurt the driver.

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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

You say she was "banged up" and hopefully the injuries are minor.  Airbags do come out at a significant force(although for a fraction of a second).   So they will not deploy in every accident or situation, as they "could" actually cause more injuries especially on accidents that are "low impact".  They use a series of sensors to detect the rate of deceleration and direction of movement. If the rate is not significant enough it will not deploy the airbags. Also, depending on the direction or angle of impact it may only deploy certain airbags. That is your front airbags may not deploy on a true side-impact collision.

Now, I am not saying that the Airbags didn't have an issue and should have deployed as I(or no one else here) knows the EXACT situation of the accident.  Just that it is more probable that they worked as designed by not deploying.  

By the way an airbag is NOT the "main safety feature".  They are actually considered a "Supplemental Restraint System". 

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