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Thread: Bad air bags

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    Default Bad air bags

    Might be worthwhile to disable your air bags. The bigger the company, the smaller the soul, it seems.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/bu...o-recalls.html

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues
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    I think there are companies that are too profit oriented. Quality of airbags are very important as it protects us. If this is in fact, defective, disabling it will not solve the problem in my opinion.

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    So why is there a powerful explosive in the dashboards and steering wheels of new cars? The government, in its infinite wisdom, deemed that airbags should be able to stop an unbelted 200 pound man. That meant that airbags had to inflate with enough force to save an idiot.

    The government should have let Darwin cull the idiots from the gene pool and dictated kinder, gentler airbags to help protect the people.

    Place the blame where it belongs.

    By the way, I assume both of you work for free.
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    Many modern air bags have a 2-stage deployment, based on seat position.
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    Never mind. Internet forums are a poor place to vent...
    Last edited by Zed Head; 10-17-2014 at 11:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed Head View Post
    I'm not really sure what you mean by the above.

    The point of the story, which needs to be read to be understood, is that the auto companies commercialized a defective, dangerous product design (this should hit home for any good true engineers) and then delayed fixing it, to keep making money.

    I posted when the discussion about GM's ignition switch problem was making the rounds.

    As far as Darwin goes, if you think that life is a contest where we're all trying to profit at other people's expense, then that's probably true. Let the weak die, and if you can get a big company to do the culling faster, more power to them. But the logic fails since there's no way to know if you're doing something stupid. The defective air bags are unknown and randomly dispersed. So there's no Darwinian factor at play.
    Actually, I believe that if someone wants to drive around at 70+ MPH unbelted in his/her car, the government should not mandate that car companies build safety cocoons to protect that idiot. The average, know-nothing journalist (I apologize for the redundancy.) isn't going to mention why there has to be such an explosive reaction for the airbags to work.

    Did you read what I wrote? No, you read what you wanted to read.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
    So why is there a powerful explosive in the dashboards and steering wheels of new cars? The government, in its infinite wisdom, deemed that airbags should be able to stop an unbelted 200 pound man. That meant that airbags had to inflate with enough force to save an idiot.

    The government should have let Darwin cull the idiots from the gene pool and dictated kinder, gentler airbags to help protect the people.
    There is a distinct possibility that the excessive standards put forth by the government create a greater risk in these kinds of components. Attributing it to corporate greed is very narrow minded. The point you are missing is that bad regulation leads to bad solutions. If the regulations only required protection of a belted passenger, the car companies could have dialed down the force and reduced the risks. This should hit home for good true engineers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
    By the way, I assume both of you work for free.
    Your snide comment set me off. Then I edited my post to avoid the pissing match. But obviously too late. You're taking a superior tone with not much to back it up. Doesn't make for productive conversations.
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    You tried to assign the problem to a lack of soul. Another poster tried to assign the problem to greed. I pointed out another pathway. If you want proof, start with this: http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/rulings/OccCProt.html.

    I posit that it's not greed or lack of soul, but risk driving these problems. If the companies feel they cannot comply with excessive requirements without increasing risk, should they stop building cars? I ask that as a sincere question.

    Everybody on this board aspires to have more than the minimum required for survival. I do not view people as greedy or without souls just because they want more.

    Sure, I have a superior tone when I see people railing about a problem without considering the root causes. I assert that there is a bigger problem of displacement of risk. The NHTSA was trying to insulate the people they were trying to "protect" from risk. However, the risk was moved elsewhere. I don't like where the risk moved to, either. Why should a short woman who is belted securely into her car be at bigger risk of injury because the NHTSA bureaucrats refused to modify their requirements when the risks were stated to them?

    Now I ask that you admit your superior tone with the comment about "good true engineers".

    Frankly, I see large corporations as a big pain the in @$$, and I see the large federal bureaucracy as an even larger pain in the @$$.
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    Sorry, but I don't see this going anywhere good or interesting. I'm still wondering what the "work for free" comment meant though. We all do bad things for money? You gotta do what you gotta do to survive? The ends justify the means? ???
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    I'm still trying to figure out why you think the corporation is soulless. What you do mean? Are they evil? They are trying to manage risk, comply with regulations, and earn money. I doubt it was a lack of caring or an overabundance of greed. The regulations put in place increased the risk for the corporation and unfortunately the consumer when the government bureaucrats went overboard with the regulations.

    I have seen many cases where negative attributes are assigned to corporations, much as you have done. Those corporations are made up of people, and while some may be evil, most of the people are interested in making money from the mailroom clerk to the shareholders. All of them expect their company to make money, the same as you expect money to do work.

    From my standpoint, you seem willing to make a judgement about people's motivations without accounting for the risks they had to manage to fulfill their livelihoods.

    I have yet to see you try to explain how there would have been a problem like this if Honda and Takata were not compelled to design supplemental restraint systems that protected people who were not using the primary restraint systems. Keep in mind that the NHTSA was warned 30 years ago about the problem. So it can easily be turned around. Does the end justify the means for the NHTSA?

    Is everything you produce at work perfect and free of risk? If not, how are you not guilty, albeit in a lesser extent, than the people working for Honda and Takata? I do not think they are lacking souls or greedy any more than I believe you are lacking a soul or are greedy. At least I've never seen you write anything here that would indicate as much. Individuals at Honda and Takata may be guilty of mismanaging risk more than guilty of malice. Now I would be more inclined to think malice was at play if people at Honda and Takata would not buy Hondas because they believed they weren't safe. Is there any proof that was the case?
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    I attributed "soul" to concern for the well-being of the people using the product. Honda did not appear to have that concern. My lumping of all big corporations in to one big soulless entity is probably too large of a generalization. But the tendency is still there, I believe. It's been noticed for centuries that "power corrupts", it's just one of those things that everyone needs to be aware of. I've copied a paragraph supporting my view of Honda as having no "soul" below.

    Sorry if I touched a nerve. It looks like you work for a big corporation that probably has its own issues. I've worked for several big companies and seen things that weren't right but had no means to do anything about it, besides getting fired if I made too much noise about it. All you can do is try to chip away at it while keeping your job. But justifying it as okay doesn't help.


    Here's the passage from the NYT article. Honda could have saved lives -

    "In each of the incidents, Honda settled confidential financial claims with people injured by the air bags, but the automaker did not issue a safety recall until late 2008, and then for only a small fraction — about 4,200 — of its vehicles eventually found to be equipped with the potentially explosive air bags.

    The delays by both Honda and Takata in alerting the public about the defect — and later in Takata’s acknowledging it extended beyond a small group of Honda vehicles — meant other automakers like BMW, Toyota and Nissan were not aware of possible defects in their own vehicles for years, putting off their recalls"
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    All of this on a forum dedicated to cars that have virtually no safety devices at all...

    I mostly agree with Zed Head. The basic problem here is that Honda and Takata tried to keep this quiet in the hopes that this was an isolated quality control problem, not a basic design issue. They didn't want to have to shell out the money to replace all of the air bags of that design. Who knows? Maybe they have been successful with that approach in the past.

    As for the "power level" of the air bags being unnecessary due to governmental regulations, if this truly is a design flaw that is likely irrelevant. They tell me that the hand grenades used by the U.S. military today are much less powerful than the ones used from WWII to Vietnam because now that they train women for combat they had to make them light enough for a woman to throw. The lighter grenades still kill people. The analogy is that a design flaw in a "less powerful" air bag would be just as deadly as one in a more powerful air bag. From what I see in the articles linked in this thread, The air bags in question seem to operate more like an IED than a safety device.

    But then I am not fond of air bags in any event.
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    There are no explosives used to inflate airbags. It is a chemical burn that produces a gas that inflates the airbags rapidly. They must inflate rapidly enough to meet the requirements set forth by NHTSA. They have developed smarter airbag systems in recent years that include sensing systems that measure the weight and seating position of the occupant, and adjust inflation accordly using multi-stage airbag inflators. I don't know if the NHTSA has changed the requirement for the unbelted occupant scenario, but it does make a difference in the speed necessary to inflate and coverage necessary to protect the occupant.

    Also guys, let's keep it friendly....okay?
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