International automobile makers are in talks with airbag suppliers to have an expiry date on airbags soon. With time, airbags might stop working due to multiple reasons.
Nobody ever wonders about the small little SRS airbag system hidden inside our steering wheel. It is very easy to outlook them because they do not play a keen role unless in a mishap where it is very critical to have them. Well, these airbags too may have an expiry date. A press conference in Japan was called by their home automobile manufacturers debating on the theory of putting an expiry date on airbags. Major auto manufacturers are worried and are considering replacing airbags after a period of time.
This Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) works on the basic principle of electronics and chemistry. The sensors send signals to the igniters which kicks off the chemical reaction generating nitrogen gas to stuff the airbag which deploys in front of the driver and co-driver seats (for dual airbag equipped cars). Many car manufacturers use plastic sealing technology in the igniters. These may deteriorate over time and chances are the airbag may not pop-out when needed.
Lately five driver deaths have been reported in US and Malaysia because of a fault in the airbags. These incidents have brought major companies like Honda, Toyota and General Motors in light of the topic and they are in talks with Takata (supplier of advanced automotive safety systems and products) to put an expiry on airbags.
Airbags have not been a topic of significant concern to Indian customers but its importance is slowly growing and hopefully it will soon be a compulsion in all cars in our country.
Some handy tips to keep your car airbag safety enabled –
- Get your airbag inspected if the SRS light in your car has come on or gone dark
- If you have an old car equipped with airbag from 1980’s or 1990’s, it’s better to get it replaced
- Confirm the SRS system is fully functional before buying a used vehicle
Moreover if your vehicle is new, you can trust your airbag to keep you safe for limited miles to go.