Hyundai ordered to pay Rs 2.5 lakh compensation for airbag malfunction

Share this News:

Pune, January 23, 2020: The district consumer forum has ordered Hyundai Motor Company to pay compensation of Rs 2 lakh for malfunction of airbag, as it did not open during an accident. The company has been also directed to pay Rs 50,000 compensation for litigation cost and mental and physical agony.

The defence taken by the company was that the impact of jerk could not reach up to the sensor, as a result of which the airbags did not deploy. The collision did not take place in front of the sensor and, therefore, airbags did not deploy.

Tarachand Bhapkar of Chinchwad had moved the forum in July 2016. He had purchased a Hyundai i20 Sportz car from Kundan Cars Private Limited with extended warranty till the month of June 2018.
“During the accident on April 3, 2016, at Waki, Baramati, Pune, the car airbags did not open, posing grave danger to him. The front portion of car was fully damaged and smashed. When the complainant asked the company about the reason for airbags not opening, they failed to reply and started directing the complainant to different officers for reasoning. Later, the complainant was given an estimate of Rs 3.54 lakh for repairs,” the judgement stated citing Bhapkar’s complaint.

After his pleas did not yield anything, Bhapkar filed a complaint with the consumer forum.

Company version
“The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbag deployment depends upon a number of set conditions built into the logic of the control unit. The front airbags are designed to inflate in a frontal collision depending on the intensity, speed or angles of impact from a front collision. In case, these conditions are not met, then airbags would not inflate. The impact on the car should be direct and should meet predetermined set values of sudden deceleration in the car movement. However, in this case, the nature of the impact did not meet those said conditions. The SRS is designed to deploy the airbags only when an impact is sufficiently severe and when the impact angle is less than 30 degree from the forward longitudinal axis of the vehicle and front airbag may not deploy in rear, side, underside or rollover impacts. In the accident of the complainant, there was side angle collision and impact is of low intensity side impact on upper part of the RH side corner. So, the sufficient impact/criteria to deploy airbags is not recorded in the airbag control module, which justifies the airbag non-deployment. Our technical team observations confirm that vehicle airbag system was functioning properly and there is no manufacturing defect on this vehicle airbag system,” the company submitted before the forum.
However, consumer forum President Umesh Jawalikar and members Kshitija Kulkarni and Sangita Deshmukh, in their common judgement, rejected the claims of the company.

“The company has tried to make an attempt to louse up the real issue. A person spent huge amount to save his life but this case clearly goes to show that complainant was taken for a ride. The company has given a lame explanation by stating that impact of jerk could not reach the sensor, and as a result, airbags could not deploy”, the fourm observed in its judgement.