Takata air bags

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Brian P
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Re: Takata air bags

Postby Brian P » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:12 pm

Even if your vehicle has Takata air bags, these probably save hundreds of lives in circumstances that otherwise would have been a fatality, for every fatality that otherwise would not have happened. The balance is STRONGLY in favour of leaving them in place and working.

Modern vehicles are vastly safer in a collision than anything from 20 or more years ago. Airbags are part of the reason why. Better crash structures are another part of the reason why. New vehicles have a very strong "cage" around the passenger compartment and designed-in crumple zones around them. This approach is FAR safer than the old built-like-a-tank approach - which often turns out to be not so strong in a real world collision.

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Re: Takata air bags

Postby Brian P » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:31 pm

The previous Impala-vs-Impala collision had a 50-model-year separation - it compared what is essentially a new car (but now 7 years old) to something that pre-dated almost ALL considerations for collision protection aside from "being big and heavy".

Here's a modern economy car (a plain ordinary Nissan Versa) against what is essentially a 20-year-old economy car (a Nissan Sentra of a few generations ago but without airbags - still built in Mexico for their local market but it's being discontinued due to changes in Mexican safety regulations).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85OysZ_4lp0

The airbags are part of the puzzle ... but compare the enormous deformation of the passenger compartment of the Nissan Tsuru (Sentra) to that of the Versa, which remains largely intact. The driver of the Tsuru/Sentra wouldn't have survived even if the car had airbags - because the passenger compartment was demolished with the driver inside.

"Being big" is not sufficient. I bring you the 2001 Ford F150 extended cab offset-frontal collision ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wb66PzljP8

For comparison, a 2005 VW Jetta ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYmSmZpPxQw

Note that the Jetta's windshield didn't even break. I betcha you could have yanked the driver's door open - it might not close nicely afterward, but who cares.

I'll take the Jetta, thank you very much.

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Re: Takata air bags

Postby Rizzle » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:55 pm

Brian P wrote:The previous Impala-vs-Impala collision had a 50-model-year separation - it compared what is essentially a new car (but now 7 years old) to something that pre-dated almost ALL considerations for collision protection aside from "being big and heavy".

Here's a modern economy car (a plain ordinary Nissan Versa) against what is essentially a 20-year-old economy car (a Nissan Sentra of a few generations ago but without airbags - still built in Mexico for their local market but it's being discontinued due to changes in Mexican safety regulations).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85OysZ_4lp0


A Chinese market chinese truck has a 'great' crumple zone :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7-fUxvQ8rA

Brian P wrote:"Being big" is not sufficient. I bring you the 2001 Ford F150 extended cab offset-frontal collision ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wb66PzljP8

For comparison, a 2005 VW Jetta ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYmSmZpPxQw

Note that the Jetta's windshield didn't even break. I betcha you could have yanked the driver's door open - it might not close nicely afterward, but who cares.

I'll take the Jetta, thank you very much.


The difference there is the they are both against the same immoveable object. Pit the truck against the car, and the truck fairs much better in comparison. Its occupants also see far lower neg accelerations.

The low offset test is fairly new afaik, and many manufacturers are still updating the lineups to perform well in that test. Upper door separation and occupant missing the airbag seem to be common issues in older vehicles placed in that test.

I haven't seen the van trailer underride tests till just now. [about 1/2way] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8b9tFZS5v4

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Re: Takata air bags

Postby exhaustgases » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:57 am

All airbags do is protect from initial deceleration, and keeping heads or faces from hitting something. They do not stop a crushing injury, they have blinded people, they have disfigured people, they have killed people. They are not fool proof, and I would agree that they could be nice if the stupid inflator was properly designed. They need to be made much stronger, and have an over pressure safety that is not directed at the driver or passengers. There is a lot of good info on the net about how dangerous they are even when the inflator doesn't shrapnel into your face.

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Re: Takata air bags

Postby Brian P » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:04 pm

exhaustgases wrote:All airbags do is protect from initial deceleration, and keeping heads or faces from hitting something.


But that goes a long way to making a collision survivable instead of not. A concentrated blunt-force impact to the head (e.g. from an unprotected steering wheel rim) could be a fatal injury, but the same overall deceleration loading spread out over a much greater area (the contact area with the airbag) and over a greater distance (the distance that the airbag compresses - as opposed to a sudden whack to the head) has a much greater chance of survival.

exhaustgases wrote: They do not stop a crushing injury, they have blinded people, they have disfigured people, they have killed people. They are not fool proof, and I would agree that they could be nice if the stupid inflator was properly designed. They need to be made much stronger, and have an over pressure safety that is not directed at the driver or passengers. There is a lot of good info on the net about how dangerous they are even when the inflator doesn't shrapnel into your face.


Yes, and with respect to the crushing injuries, this is why newer vehicle bodyshells are getting much stronger, essentially forming a cage around the passenger compartment but without the exposed tubes seen in race-car cages.

Airbags also won't stop people from being ejected from the vehicle through a window opening after the window breaks, nor will they stop people from bouncing around the inside of a vehicle in a multiple-impact situation or in a roll-over (with the risk of being ejected in the process) ... which is why one should still wear one's seat belts! Being ejected from a vehicle in the midst of a collision is seldom a good thing ... often it's followed by the person being run over or crushed.

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Re: Takata air bags

Postby Dodge Freak » Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:56 am

IMO the number one reason we got air bags, is to prevent the vehicle to be used as a weapon over and over again. With air bag cars, the first hard impact blows the drivers hands off the steering wheel and the vehicle stops--every single time.

No more ramming closed gates at speed and keep on going. No more knocking cars out of the way, nope the good old air bag put an end to that nonsense.

If air bags really worked so great, how come big name racing bodies won't use them. Nascar, etc ? Only place there is air bags is were the law requires it, nobody else wants it.

As for those old cars from the 60's and 70's, they WERE SAFER in many types of crashes. Sure these newer cars, steer and stop way better but in a crash, you had more of a chance in the old "tanks" or "battleships" as the cops called their cruisers.

Why back in the 70's we knew this cop who always wore a helmet while driving his cop car. He did not believe in using his seat belt, just his helmet. If anybody laughed at him, he would start bragging about having wrecking- totaling 9 cops cars--so far and being back on the road again in no more then a few weeks time. He would joke that the next crash would kill him cause he used up all of his 9 lives.

Then came the 80's and plastic covers that hid the little steel bumpers the cars now had but hey the air bags were going to save us..now its self driving cars, those are now going to save us

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Re: Takata air bags

Postby Brian P » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:13 pm

Racing cars have a totally different safety system in place with different objectives. Racing cars have a 5-point harness to keep the driver locked into the seat, and a Hans device to keep the neck from deforming too far (this is a recent development), and a very strong cage around the driver to keep the driver compartment from being deformed, and the driver wears a helmet as protection from head injuries. While this is a very good and effective strategy and it is why NASCAR and other racing organizations use it ... It is not practical for road cars. Most people can't be bothered to strap on a helmet every time they drive, and there is enough trouble getting people to just do up a normal lap and shoulder belt with one buckle. And that cage is pretty intrusive against getting in and out of the car - nevermind what passengers are supposed to do.

That cop was not wrong about wearing a helmet, particularly in the cars of that era ... but most people aren't going to do that ...

The 5-point-harness + helmet + Hans + cage approach does provide protection against repeated impacts, which the seat belt + pretensioner + airbag + crumple zone strategy does not. But in real world collisions, it is far more likely for a NASCAR travelling 180 mph to have a multiple-impact scenario than it is for a normal car in normal traffic to have a multiple-impact scenario. The modern "smart" airbags that only fire off when they have to, are intended to protect against real world scenarios where you have a minor impact (car glances off something ...) followed by a big one (... into a tree).

If you are actually concerned about whether your car is capable of ramming through a gate or pushing something out of the way (I'm not!), I would actually suggest that in a modern vehicle with smart airbags IF you are wearing your seat belts, an impact with a closed gate is unlikely to cause the airbags to fire, and if the impact with the gate was severe enough to fire the airbags, you weren't gonna get through that gate anyhow.

I can think of no realistic collision scenario where I'd rather be in a 1972 Impala than in a 2016 Impala.

Here is a chart to ponder: http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/201 ... aveled.jpg

Seat belts started showing up in the 1960s and air bags started showing up in the 1980s in meaningful numbers and became mandatory somewhere near 1990. Bear in mind that the average vehicle on the roads is something like 11 years old, so it takes a while for improvements to show up in a chart like this.

Has traffic gotten better? No, it has gotten worse.
Have drivers gotten better? Not around here, they haven't.
Cell phones were invented. Bad.
Smart phones were invented with texting and emailing possible. Bad, bad, bad.
Have roads gotten better? In many cases, yes. But with more people using them, more transport trucks, more people yapping on the phone.
We have ABS, we have stability control. No question this has helped. But this didn't really become mainstream until towards the end of that graph.
But a lot of this ... is purely down to vehicles being more crashworthy now than they were in the past.

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Re: Takata air bags

Postby midnightbluS10 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:32 am

New cars are much safer than old "built like a tank" cars.

Take the following video as an example. They wreck a Smart car at SEVENTY MILES PER HOUR. The door still opens and closes normally....after hitting an object at 70mph. I'd take my chances in the smart car before I hit a wall at 70 in anything made before the late 90's-2000's


https://youtu.be/9iKGfo1wmOM

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Re: Takata air bags

Postby Walter R. Malik » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:26 pm

After years of lies and hiding facts, TAKATA finally admitted that they knew about their production problem and were covering it up so, they could move forward and get past it. As if it was just a minor imposition.

TAKATA and most Japanese companies are more arrogant than any American could ever imagine. I am not sure that a BILLION dollar fine was enough to thwart any further bad happenings from being hidden.
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Re: Takata air bags

Postby pcnsd » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:10 am

I have been to the Takata factory in NC. Even stayed in the Takata house while I was there. I am amazed at the ignorance surrounding this issue. Takata and most every other company involved in safety device manufacturing are ALWAYS between a rock and a hard spot. Be thankful you do not operate in that industry. Trapped between compliance mandate and unrealistic expectation. They are or were proud of their design and production capabilities which are or were top tier. Likely this is the end of Takata. Their fault is not in designing a faulty product, but rather producing millions and millions of products in which a statically small (very small) (Very very small) number failed in a manner that caused a death. No credit is given for the countless lives saved and injuries averted. Only fault found in a complex product that deteriorated over time and failed to last...forever. How long do you expect an engine to last? Really?


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