The question as to why the airbag didn’t activate when the vehicle was struck has many answers one being the car wasn’t slowed enough during impact for the airbag to implode. But what if the reason the airbag didn’t inflate was because there wasn’t one.
An occurrence of a missing airbag other than the vehicle doesn’t come with one would seem to gain predominance in the market of used second hand cars, leased-rented etc. where a collision set off the airbag.
After an accident if the airbag isn’t replaced it won’t blow up if the car is in another collision. Since airbags cost money for labor to install and replace it might be overlooked if the owner has to shell money out of their own pocket to fix their car.
An owner of a used car may not even know their vehicle is absent an airbag if they purchased the vehicle used but they might assume the airbag is in tact if they decide to re-sale the vehicle.
If an airbag is important to you, you can check with some predictability on whether the used car you are looking at has one by searching the Lemon Report; sites that offer information on cars that are lemons such as “Carfax.”
Finding out if a car is a lemon is an excellent starting point.
Is airbag deployment in your “Carfax” report?
It may not be so forthcoming but you can get an idea by accident reports. If the car was in an accident the identity of where the car was hit and what was repaired and replaced is good insight into whether the airbag blew up when it was slammed. If the car had been hit head on the airbag may have stood an increased chance of deploying with damage that consisted of more than a tap on the bumper.
In some situations a car that took a side hit to the driver’s side hard enough to cave the door in may not cause enough force to set the airbag off while in other cases a hard hit to the curb may be all it takes to ignite the airbag.
If you are unsure or are unable to discover whether the vehicle has an airbag you can hire a professional car mechanic to check “under the hood” so to speak. Or rather in the steering wheel or wherever it is kept but removal if there is an airbag could possibly inflate it and you would have to pay to have another one installed.
Another visual check for an airbag is to look for the airbag symbol or the word airbag, which will clue you in on that the vehicle should have one.
Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to ask the owner or the dealer if the vehicle has an airbag.