NHTSA — Air Bags Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Pontiac Sunfire seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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1998 Pontiac Sunfire Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 012001


  • miles


Airbag light illuminates on the dashboard. Consumer has contacted dealer. Dealer stated airbag may not deploy when needed.

- Nixa, MO, USA

problem #1

Apr 221998


  • miles
Vehicle was rented from enterprise. Vehicle driven on interstate highway at night when it ran over some debris from prior accident on the road. Debris struck undercarraige and the airbags on both sides deployed. Injury caused to passenger who was looking in the glove box at the time of the incident. All occupants had seat belts on at the time. Car velocity at time of air bag deployment was 70 mph. After bag deployment the vehicle was driven to the side of the road and stopped by driver whose vison was badly obstructed by the airbag. No damage except to undercarraige and interior of the car was done. Believe this isn't the way an air bag is supposed to work. I reported this to you earlier on a non standard form and when I reviewed your complaint list I didn't see it so I am resubmitting it on your own form. I was a section head of system safety at nwc china lake for 5 years and my professional opinion is that a single point failure caused the airbags to deploy and that the cause is very closely associated with the accelerometer system. I have done some research into it and have found accelerometer problems not only on this model but others. Matters of the accelerometer delaminating under environmental stress and the problem of stiction in the accelerometer elements are just two additional problems encountered with accelerometers put into automobiles by industry. Compound that with an incomplete test/inspection and you have a disaster waiting to happen. I took the matter up with the current head of sytem safety at nwc, ken chirkis, and he agrees. In addition he suggested that we inform sato our travel people about the hazzard since the government rents this style of vehicle extensively and the 'fix' implemented for the 96 & 97 models apparent does't work for the 98. The navy has a requirement that for safety features a failure rate of 1X10E-6. this one failure alone would eliminate this vehicle. However it's also combined with another

- Ridgecrest, CA, USA

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