One of the most important safety features in modern vehicles is the airbag. Airbags are designed to protect occupants in the event of a collision by absorbing the force and cushioning them from impact.
With over 6 million car crashes occurring in the United States each year, it’s clear that airbags play a vital role in keeping people safe on the roads. Given their importance, you might be wondering, “do airbags expire?”
Here’s everything you need to know about airbag expiration dates and what you can do if yours are faulty.
Do Airbags Expire?
These days, airbags are designed to last the lifetime of a vehicle. However, that wasn’t always the case. Earlier generations of airbags were known to degrade over time and needed to be replaced every ten years or so.
Nowadays, though, airbags are made with more durable materials that are less susceptible to degradation. As a result, there’s now no airbag expiration date, and the need to replace them occurs far less frequently. However, that’s not to say that airbags are indestructible or immune to faults.
Like any other mass-produced product, there’s always a chance that an airbag could be defective. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tens of millions of vehicles have been recalled due to airbag issues in recent years.
The most common issue with faulty airbags is that they may not deploy correctly in an accident. In some cases, the airbag may even deploy spontaneously when there’s no accident at all. Whatever the case, it’s important to be aware of the signs that your airbag may be defective.
How to Tell if Your Airbag is Defective?
Most modern vehicles are equipped with self-diagnostic systems that will alert you if there’s something wrong with your airbags. If the system detects a problem, it will trigger a warning light on your dash.
If you see this light, taking your car to a mechanic as soon as possible for inspection is critical. In some cases, the problem may be something as simple as a loose wire that can be easily fixed. However, it could also be a sign of a more serious issue that will require the airbag to be replaced.
If your car doesn’t have a self-diagnostic system, there are still some signs you can look out for that may indicate your airbag expiration date has arrived – or you have a faulty system. These include:
- Strange noises coming from the dash area.
- Burning smells.
- Other faulty systems which could impact the airbag’s performance.
What to Do If You Have a Defective Airbag?
If you suspect you have a defective airbag, you should take your car to the dealership or a manufacturer-certified mechanic and have it looked at. They’ll be able to tell if your airbag is, in fact, defective and work towards fixing the issue.
However, if they cannot fix the airbag issue within a reasonable number of attempts, you might have a lemon vehicle on your hands. If that’s the case, you may be entitled to a refund or replacement car under your state’s lemon law. As a California lemon law lawyer, I’ll explain the guidelines of the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, or California lemon law.
The California lemon law protects consumers who have purchased vehicles with ongoing issues and defects. To qualify as a lemon, a vehicle must:
- Be covered under the manufacturer or dealer warranty when the defect or nonconformity was first reported; and
- Have one or more defects/nonconformities that substantially impair the vehicle’s use, value, or safety; and
- Have been subjected to a reasonable number of repair attempts by a manufacturer-certified facility to fix the defect/nonconformity; or
- Have been out of service for repairs on one or more defects/nonconformities for at least 30 days; and
- The defect or nonconformity must not have been caused by driver abuse or neglect.
The best way to determine if you have a lemon is to consult with an experienced California lemon law lawyer. They’ll be able to review your case and let you know if you have a valid claim. If your vehicle does meet the requirements, they can help you take the necessary steps to get the compensation you deserve.
In Need of a California Lemon Law Lawyer?
We hope this post clears up the question, “do airbags expire?” and gives you a better understanding of when it’s time to get them examined. Remember, if you think you have a defective airbag, don’t hesitate to take your car to the dealership or certified mechanic for repairs.
If you believe you were sold a defective vehicle, Cline APC is here to help. Our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys will evaluate your case and help you understand your legal options under California lemon law.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have.