The Deadly Truth Is That Disconnected Airbags Often Go Undetected After Repairs
A growing wave of tragic car accident deaths and life crippling injuries involve airbags that were not hooked back up after collision repairs or routine maintenance.
Our analysis of wreckage at the Tracy Law Firm’s Crash Lab uncovered a simple way to prevent these injuries.
Safety professionals at collision repair facilities should conduct an electronic scan called a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) scan of the vehicle before and after the repairs. This ensures that the safety systems are working properly to protect the driver and passengers.
Unfortunately, many car insurance companies refuse to pay for these scans and leave their customers dangerously unprotected in the event of an accident.
Shocking as this may sound, the airbag lights on your dash board really don’t signal if all of your airbags are connected and working.
Please watch this video to learn what you can do to protect your family during your next repair.
For those of you who prefer to read, the following is a transcript of Todd Tracy’s Safety Talk:
How Safe Are Airbags After A Car Repair? Demand A DTC Scan!!!
Hello. I’m Vehicle Safety Attorney Todd Tracy and I’m here at my crash lab in Dallas, Texas with a vehicle that was involved in a fairly serious frontal accident. You will notice that the front airbag did not fire.
We started evaluating this particular case to answer this question. Why didn’t the airbag fire? And we determined that it did not fire because the vehicle had been previously repaired at a repair facility and they failed to reconnect the airbag sensors.
Now why wasn’t this picked up? Well, it wasn’t picked up because the repair facility did not do what’s called a pre-repair and post-repair DTC scan. Reputable repair facilities demand that DTC scans pre and post-repair event take place because they can pick up whether or not there has been a fault, whether or not the system is working completely.
What happened in this particular incident is that the failure to conduct a DTC scan allowed the airbag to go out, out in the real world, and the vehicle was a ticking time bomb that the consumer had no earthly idea that the airbag would never fire.
Now what’s interesting about this particular accident is we know that a DTC scan would have worked because the combination had in torso bag fired in this particular accident. The bag that they needed to fire was the front airbag in this particular accident.
It was never going to fire because there was no electrical current going to it because the repair facility had failed to reconnect the airbag sensors. You can have multiple airbags not even connected and not a single light on the instrument panel will come on.
What does this tell us? If you are a consumer and you take your vehicle to a repair facility, you demand that they do the following. You repair my vehicle back to the way the original equipment manufacturer says to do it and more importantly, you do a pre-repair and post-repair scan of my vehicle, so that I will know that every single airbag sensor is working properly when I get back in that vehicle and take my family to and from work, school and church.
It is incumbent upon insurance companies to pay the repair facilities to do these because at the end of the day, customers’ lives are at stake for just a $200 repair fix.
Auto insurance companies are forcing collision centers to make substandard repairs. This is a nationwide threat to the safety of unsuspecting motorists.
The Tracy Law Firm’s Vehicle Safety Crash Lab has uncovered the car insurance industry’s dirty little secret of pressuring auto body shops into not restoring their customers vehicles to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specifications.
What does this mean to you and your family? If you are in an accident, the defective repair work will likely cause the failure of your vehicle’s safety systems as well as the safety cage that’s designed to protect occupants from severe injury or death.
This heavy handed pressure by auto insurance companies turns a survivable accident into a catastrophic tragedy.
It gets worse. Our accident investigations have uncovered that used car dealers are not disclosing the full history of vehicle repairs to their customers. You cannot trust CARFAX to give you a true report about a vehicle’s repair record because they only report what used car dealers tell them. As the late President Ronald Reagan used to say, “You must trust but verify.”
Ethical collision centers with professional safety technicians want to do the right thing. When selecting a body shop, you should insist that it will fight the insurance company to pay for OEM standard repairs and equipment.
You should also put your insurance agent and the insurance carrier on notice in writing that they are putting your safety in jeopardy by not following OEM standards.
When the insurance claims adjuster calls after you report an accident, start the conversation by insisting that they confirm that your vehicle will be repaired according to all OEM standards.
Demand that the insurance company will pay for pre and post repair scans of your vehicle’s electronic safety systems and airbag sensors.
If you or a loved one believe you are the victim of a defective car repair, please feel free to contact me. My team of automotive engineers will examine your vehicle in The Tracy Law Firm’s Vehicle Safety Crash Lab in Dallas to determine if a defective repair caused severe injuries or death.
Contact Todd Tracy here to “Find Out If You Have A Case” or call 214-324-9000.
John Miller says
Valuable and helpfull information! I will be informing folks in my area and I assume, stand a better chance of getting fully paid for using all genuine/OEM parts and procedures at the same time. Thanks for posting ! John Miller/Miller’s Auto Body-Bonners Ferry Idaho