Your Toyota’s Airbags May Not Be Working & You Won’t Realize Until You Need Them

Thread Starter #1
Feb 22, 2020
Your Toyota’s airbags may not be working and you won’t even know it till you actually need them

I recently realised that a serious design flaw in the safety systems of my Toyota Fortuner may have rendered its airbags useless and Toyota doesn’t even have a mechanism in their service schedule to detect it. The worst part is that it is so frequent that the service technicians don’t even consider this a big failure but just a routine one.

So why this happens, I just learnt that the airbags depend on a highly fragile piece of spiral cable that can fail in normal usage conditions. Well you would say that any component can fail as it’s just a component which doesn’t have an infinite life. You are right and that’s why companies design service checks to proactively detect a failing or failed component eg break pad, suspension bushes etc but ironically Toyota doesn’t have a service check to detect a failed Spiral cable. If it had I wouldn’t have come to know of it after pointing out its effect to the service technician.

So your horn and some other steering controls including the AIR BAG run on this cable. If you are lucky, it would be some other system (like horn in my case) which would stop working and you would ask the service technician and he would tell you that this (highly important) cable has failed. But if you aren’t lucky enough, the part of cable that runs the Air Bag may fail first and you won’t even know it till an actual need for Air Bag arises (God Forbid) and it won’t work. An Air Bag which could have saved the driver from serious injury would just not open.

Toyota Fortuner crashes, Air bags did not deploy *EDIT* Another similar case Pg.7

In very rare cases (though hardly in India) you would sue Toyota and they would blame it on your carelessness eg you had a bull guard installed, or you tampered with the electrical wiring by installing a sub woofer etc and the case would be buried under the carpet. I am pretty sure this would have happened in the past without anyone or even Toyota doing something about this serious design flaw.

So you judge how safe you and your loved ones are in a Toyota vehicle. And I guess an awareness in general must be raised about the quality of cable (Spiral or any other) used specifically for occupant safety systems in all vehicles. Love to hear your comments or similar experiences and let’s kick start a safer vehicle drive in India

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