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  #1  
Old 05-10-2010, 12:35 PM
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Default Airbag didn't deploy WTF?

Last Thursday I was in an accident with my 2002 A4. 90 y/o lady turned left in front of me and wham. Left frontal damage to the car at ~30 MPH, significant enough impact to deploy the unoccupied passenger airbag, but mine did not go off. Can anyone explain why this would happen. I would figure if impact was sever enough to warrent any deployment it would've been mine. Is this something I need to take up with Audi for faulty airbag?
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:17 PM
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Did you buy the car used or new?
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan1969 View Post
Did you buy the car used or new?
It was used at 62k, looked up service records from local dealer and it was taken care of by a guy in his 50's
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  #4  
Old 05-11-2010, 12:04 PM
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sometimes if the impact doesn't lead to the airbag sensor, it won't deploy. i've seen accidents like that, that's best of my knowledge.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:45 PM
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Yeah if the passenger front did, i think the driver should have as well.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:03 PM
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depend if it hit the sensors. ive been hit in a frontend accident fairly hard and none of my airbags went off.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:13 PM
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Some american models, especially early ones, had crash sensors in the front of the car, near the bumper. These cars have self contained sensors in the airbag computer (and underneath the seats for side impacts), there are not external ones outside of the car in the bumper. Also, deployment does not depend on "hitting" or making physical contact with these sensors, not even for bumper mounted sensors at the front of some cars. They detect rapid deceleration, not physical impact. The sensors are accelerometers that measure the negative acceleration when your car runs into something. Airbags are designed to prevent a person from hitting the steering wheel or the dash. An airbag should not deploy just because the car was hit, it should deploy if the car slows down fast enough as to put a person at risk for hitting the steering wheel. For example, if a car is stationary and is hit by a car head on, the airbags should not deploy.

Based on what I have read on my service manual, there arent conditions that would make only one of the frontal airbags deploy and not the other... My manual seems to state that first the seatbelt pre-tensioners fire, and if the accident is more severe the front airbags deploy (it doesnt specify one is trigger seperate from the other). Not to mention, if you think about it, it would make more sense for the driver airbag to deploy first, as a person is closer, and more likely to make contact with the steering wheel than a passenger to hit the dash.

Is your airbag light on currently (it should be)?, had it been on in the past? If you have a VAG COM you should scan for codes. If you are the first owner of the car, I would talk to Audi directly, and see what they say. EDIT: I see your not the first owner. I would see if the airbag light is on, and you could call audi anyway and see what they say about it.
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Last edited by Dallas09; 05-11-2010 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:01 AM
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Hey Dallas, thanks for that reply. I did talk to one of the Audi service managers here in this area and he said that the 2002 had the sensors in the area of the ECU and they do sense deceleration on both sides and determine if deployment is necessary. When I took the seatbelt off, I could not get the seatbelt to retract so I would say that the tensioners did go off . I am sitll concerned that mine did not go off, and naturally I would think that Audi should also be concerned. I did hear from the other insurance yesterday that they are going to total the car, so I do need to move on something if I am going to do it. If Audi is so concerned about the safety of their cars, they really should look into this issue. There were no airbag lights on prior to the accident and I could not tell you now if they are on since the battery is toast from sitting in the tow yard. I do know that the car was meticulously maintained by the previous owner at the dealership so it is not an issue of someone messing up the car. There is a part of me inside that still has faith in the Audi, but I also would like to know if there was a failure tht could cause others to get hurt. Does anyone know who or how I go about dealing with corporate on this?
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:08 AM
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Did you get hurt due to the airbag not going off? If not you have no complaint. If you truly just want to alert them of a problem just call AOA and tell them.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:16 AM
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I called the general manager of the dealership and he is going to talk to the service manager about this. I told him about the situation and that if there is a problem, that Audi would not be able to make it right if they do not know about it. It is not my intent to go after Audi since I was not injured from the airbag not deploying. I just want to make sure if there is a problem that noone else gets hurt. They can only know about things like this if people give them feedback. Of course if they feel compelled to help me out on the purchase of another Audi, then I would be appreciative, but I am not after them to sue or anything. How can I say I loved my Audi and then turn around and file a frivilous lawsuit against them?
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:54 AM
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I just wanted to share this with the community. I just heard back from the General Manager and everything seems to be in order. The 02 model had part of the new technology airbag system. The computer senses the shockwavethroughout the car and the impact to the occupant of both driver and passenger. The system did not have the actual occupancy sensor to adjust and sense if there is an occupant. In my case the computer sensed the crash and determined that the seatbelt was on, and that the tensioner was working adequately to keep me sufficiently away from the steering wheel so I was safe from that impact. Since the passenger side was not occupied and therefore the seatbelt was not connected, it felt that the passenger would be in danger of contacting the dash so it deployed. The newer cars do have the occupancy sensor so they can add that piece, but did not get the info on what year that started. All systems appear to have functioned properly, so I feel better about the situation. Takeaway from this......dam them Audis are nice
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:36 PM
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Hm very interesting, I knew the newer models were quite a bit more sophisticated, but I didnt know they made those changes as early as they did. I was aware of them adding the occupancy sensor at a certain point around the year of your car, but not aware that they so independently dealt with the front passengers.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:03 PM
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I wasn't aware of the B6's having that technology either, i knew the B7 and B8 had them.
You want to see some advanced saftey air bag systems, check out a D3 A8, its even got an air bag for your knees!
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:35 PM
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So a little more on the whole situation. They are going to total the car and I am going to get a check for the value of the car minus the "salvage value", and I have to take care of sending the car out for salvage to recoup the other $1900. I am going to have the car towed here until I have the bank paid off and get the title. I have been looking at te pictures closely and I really don't see any structural damage to the car. It looks to me like I could replace the fender, hood and bumper parts and I may be most of the way there. I was just looking up the cost of a replacement bumper cover and it is like a grand alone. for about $225 I can get the fender and hood, so that is not a big deal. I also found used (not deployed) airbags for $220 and would need to find the dash cover. I am also going to have to replace the headlight assy and hl washer. The big question is will I be able to reset the airbag so as not to have the lights on all the time? The other thing that popped into my head is the possibility of getting a body kit for less money than a stock bumper cover. I know the intercooler is toast, so I think that would get replaced with a performance one since it would be cheaper. I am going to talk to the bank to ask them if I can repair this instead of going the salvage route. If so I think I can do this and maybe even have enough money left over to buy my daughter a car along with improvements to my car. If the bank will let me I will keep the loan, and if I do not go for the salvage title, I should be able to keep it on the insurance with collision. I think I am starting to get a little excited here with the prospect of keeping my B6.

I added a pic of the damage in my garage since I did not know how to add it in this post. Any other opinions on this would be good. The wheel was not damaged in this and the tow truck driver did drive the car over to the flatbed to load it, so I know the car is still somewhat drivable

Last edited by Balzyone; 05-14-2010 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 05-15-2010, 05:42 PM
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Youll have to ask the dealer about the airbag computer. Im pretty sure with mine if only the pretensioners and side airbags are triggered, you can reuse the computer a couple times (not indefinitly however), but if the fronts are triggered i think you need a new airbag computer. Yours could be completely different though.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:16 AM
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I was considering that in my decision, but the biggest determinig factor for me is going to be the radiator. all the coolant dumped slowly after the accident. I am going to look at that and if it is just hoses to replace, then I will be in good shape. Since I was under the inpression before tht the intercooler had fluid I thought that was where it was coming from. After reading a little bit, I do not think these are water to air IC, so I do have to make sure the radiator did not get punched. If it is hoses I should be able to get it back on the road fairly soon. I can run it a week or two with no airbag on the passenger side since it is rare for me to have a passenger. I was also thinking about having the fender painted to match the color of the car and covering the primered hood with carbon fiber vinyl. I am planning on coming out of this in better shape than before the accident and I won't owe on the car.
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