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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all piloteers,
Hoping for a feed back or good advice regarding my 2013 Honda pilot delema.
My wife was driving home from work when the left side airbag and seat airbag popped out, able to pulled over to the side then she looked around no ones around. Meaning no accident, to make the story short i called my insurance they took it to the dealer to diagnose why it happened. My insurance denied the claim, the dealer never touch my car and i called American Honda pointing the finger to the insurance. Its been more than 2 months now my car is sitting in the dealers lot, all parties tried to contact each other and up until now no solution. Any thoughts or advice what to do next? thanks in advance.
 

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I'd tell my insurance company to pay the claim or I'm leaving them. Regardless who's responsible, you should be covered with full coverage insurance.
 
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Well, I can't really see how this would be an insurance issue. For example, if your alternator dies or A/C stops working, you don't file an insurance claim, right? It is a mechanical component failure not caused by an accident. The car is out of warranty as well. There have been some recalls for frontal airbags on Pilots (my 2013 EX had its driver side airbag replaced) but nothing about side or curtain bags.
Have you had any work done on the car recently? You could try pegging it on whoever did this work, but generally once you take a car from the shop, it is hard to prove anything.
You could of course try suing Honda on the premise that a failed collision sensor put your wife in a highly dangerous situation. But again, on a car that's 8 years old, proving that this is manufacturing defect and not a result of some earlier tampering would be tough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'd tell my insurance company to pay the claim or I'm leaving them. Regardless who's responsible, you should be covered with full coverage insurance.
Insurance did their diagnostic and found no coalition or accident thats why they’re strongly suggested manufacturer’s fault.
 

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If there was no accident, or hard hit, air bags shouldn't just go off. Sounds like a Honda (air bag manufacturer) problem. They are lucky she didn't get hurt. Time to turn up the heat on Honda.

Sent from my SM-N960U1 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I can't really see how this would be an insurance issue. For example, if your alternator dies or A/C stops working, you don't file an insurance claim, right? It is a mechanical component failure not caused by an accident. The car is out of warranty as well. There have been some recalls for frontal airbags on Pilots (my 2013 EX had its driver side airbag replaced) but nothing about side or curtain bags.
Have you had any work done on the car recently? You could try pegging it on whoever did this work, but generally once you take a car from the shop, it is hard to prove anything.
You could of course try suing Honda on the premise that a failed collision sensor put your wife in a highly dangerous situation. But again, on a car that's 8 years old, proving that this is manufacturing defect and not a result of some earlier tampering would be tough.
Agreed, insurance is not liable for what happened because it wasn’t an accident.
 

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Insurance did their diagnostic and found no coalition or accident thats why they’re strongly suggested manufacturer’s fault.
Ok, if that settled..., 8 year old vehicle thats out of warranty, and you didn't hit a pot hole and the airbag accidentally deployed, looks like your on the hook for the repair. The dealership will let you hang hoping you will trade for another vehicle.
To save some money, I'd find a good seat and a curtain airbag from a salvage yard and DIY myself. A good source is www.car-part.com The SRS module can be reset by removing it and mailing to a professional. I'd likely replace the sensor that malfunctioned. The seat swap is quite easy. The curtain airbag is a bit more challenging. YouTube can save you a bundle on this repair if your into DIY.
 

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It could be argued a manufacturing defect if this was on a year-old car. But on a 2013 - there is no telling how the car was handled.
By the attached diagrams, left side impact sensor likely responsible for airbags that deployed is near the floor.

Take a look at this page, in particular a piece about a GM sedan where airbags spontaneously deployed because moisture eventually got to the sensor. One could say that sensor placement made it prone to such issues. But manufacturer could easily blame owner negligence especially if this is a rare failure in this model.

You could try consulting a lawyer, but your best bet is likely to just get it fixed.
 

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It says it can reset SRS. Fortunately, I haven't had to put that claim to the test.

The module must be hacked by a professional after an accident or spend $700 at the dealership. The hack was was like $50.
146230
 

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Hopefully, I'll never have to find out for myself. Intriguing, though...
 

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Hello all piloteers,
Hoping for a feed back or good advice regarding my 2013 Honda pilot delema.
My wife was driving home from work when the left side airbag and seat airbag popped out, able to pulled over to the side then she looked around no ones around. Meaning no accident, to make the story short i called my insurance they took it to the dealer to diagnose why it happened. My insurance denied the claim, the dealer never touch my car and i called American Honda pointing the finger to the insurance. Its been more than 2 months now my car is sitting in the dealers lot, all parties tried to contact each other and up until now no solution. Any thoughts or advice what to do next? thanks in advance.
My advice to you on what to do next would be to quickly find a good product liability lawyer that specializes in air bags and knows both federal and your state's laws concerning same. Your state's consumer protection agency or the state's attorney general's office may be able to help you or direct you to competent legal assistance.

I can't offer you legal advice, but be aware that since your insurance company is aware that your car is no longer equipped with the safety devices it had when they insured you, they may cancel your policy, either now or when the resolution with the dealer is determined. I believe it is also illegal to drive a car in some states with deployed airbags that haven't been properly fixed. Often insurance companies will total a car rather than pay to repair deployed airbags. You will have a difficult time selling or registering a car with a salvage title.

Also, be aware that when airbags deploy, the pretensioners in the seatbelts will also fire making them non functional in an accident even though they will latch and appear to be in working order. It is extremely dangerous in addition to being possibly illegal to drive a car with deployed airbags and seat belt pretensioners unless they are properly restored to factory spec.

Before you attempt to repair this yourself, or have a non authorized agent do it, check with a lawyer on your own liability should the airbags malfunction in the future and cause the driver of your car to crash into another car or someone's property and cause damage or injury. Insurance may not cover you if they are aware the airbags were repaired by you or hacked by other than an authorized dealer.

You may or may not have recourse against the air bag manufacturer, Honda, and the dealer. The fact that your wife was not injured is a blessing, but because you did not suffer any significant medical or financial damages, it may be difficult to get a lawyer to recommend pursuing this through litigation or threat of same.

If you do not wish to incur the cost of legal counsel, my suggestion would be to have the dealer repair and restore the airbags and seat belts (all federally mandated safety devices for your car) to their original condition. While the cost of doing that may be very high, if you chose to save money going the DIY route, it could cost you considerably more in the future, if not make the car uninsurable.

One question I would ask a lawyer is if he or she would be willing to write a letter to the dealer and Honda based on your state's laws, reminding them of their responsibility to provide you with a car with properly working federally mandated safety devices. I do not believe that responsibility expires when the car's warranty does. It is not like a failed air conditioner compressor or other item on your car not mandated to be installed by the law and that does not put your life or financial life in danger if it becomes inoperable, as long as that car is operated on public roads, even beyond the terms of the warranty.. And to also remind them that while you may not have sizeable damages now, you could in the future if this matter is not handled properly and quickly. It is also possible the owner of the dealership may not be protected by corporation liability limits under certain circumstances such as making decisions that affect your personal safety or that may violate federal and state laws.

I wish you the best on resolving this unfortunate matter, but you are unfortunately dealing with matters where the only advice you should take would be from someone that is fully aware of the laws involved and how best to proceed with you and your family's safety and financial safety as top priorities. You should get the best lawyer you can afford.

Something that might help ... talk with the dealer about your wife's fear of this car now that it may do the same thing in the future. Suggest that maybe a new or different car might be the solution. Get a price and trade in value on your car. Have the dealer give you in writing, why your trade in is worth less because of the deployed airbags. The devalued amount and the cost of the replacement car are now quantifiable "damages." Also price these with another dealer. Take this to your lawyer.
 

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If the insurance co. does not accept responsibility, and deem the vehicle as a total loss, it does not own the vehicle in order to issue a salvage titled for it.
Side impact or in this case, an accidental deployment of the side airbags, does not make a seatbelt pretensioner fire. Only a front end collision does. If the seatbelt tensioners are blown, the seatbelt will not retract.
A properly fixed SRS component/system is certainly important. I dont know of any rules that this work can not be performed DIY. When the vehicle has it's yearly inspection, the SRS light on the dash will indicate whether the components/system is functioning properly and will/should either pass or fail. If you install a reset SRS module and the work has not been performed perfectly, the module will store a permanent code again and you loose the fee for the reset. So yes, you will have to know what your doing and attempt the repair again or get help (no fear, just fact).
The vehicle is out of warranty. If Honda will not agree to pay for the repairs, a decision needs to be made by the owner as to whether or not they want to pay for the repairs, sell or trade. Lawyering up is a waste of money and time. No lawyer will want the case if there were no injuries. If I wanted to keep the vehicle, the last thing I'd do is let this dealership do the work after sitting on it so long. I'd get the vehicle to a trusted body shop for an estimate and decide if I want to repair sell or trade.
I see a lot of fear mongering lawyer mumbo jumbo here. 🤦‍♂️
 

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If the insurance co. does not accept responsibility, and deem the vehicle as a total loss, it does not own the vehicle in order to issue a salvage titled for it.
Side impact or in this case, an accidental deployment of the side airbags, does not make a seatbelt pretensioner fire. Only a front end collision does. If the seatbelt tensioners are blown, the seatbelt will not retract.
A properly fixed SRS component/system is certainly important. I dont know of any rules that this work can not be performed DIY. When the vehicle has it's yearly inspection, the SRS light on the dash will indicate whether the components/system is functioning properly and will/should either pass or fail. If you install a reset SRS module and the work has not been performed perfectly, the module will store a permanent code again and you loose the fee for the reset. So yes, you will have to know what your doing and attempt the repair again or get help (no fear, just fact).
The vehicle is out of warranty. If Honda will not agree to pay for the repairs, a decision needs to be made by the owner as to whether or not they want to pay for the repairs, sell or trade. Lawyering up is a waste of money and time. No lawyer will want the case if there were no injuries. If I wanted to keep the vehicle, the last thing I'd do is let this dealership do the work after sitting on it so long. I'd get the vehicle to a trusted body shop for an estimate and decide if I want to repair sell or trade.
I see a lot of fear mongering lawyer mumbo jumbo here. 🤦‍♂️
Couple points.
If the airbag squib fires for no reason or known impact from any direction, it's not necessarily safe to assume other squibs did not fire based on what direction the non exsitant impact did not occur from.
As far as the SRS light is concerned, since it gave no warning the system was about to accidentally deploy the side airbag, It might not be prudent to trust it to judge whether the hacked reset was functioning properly or not or if other squibs could accidentally fire. The cheaper plastic to metal seals used on squibs by some manufacturers are susceptible to moisture intrusion as opposed to the more expensive glass to metal seals. I don't know which Honda uses, but the same type would most likely be used universally on a given brand's model line.
I think all I'll say on this any further is that when it comes to legal liability, a lot of how much risk one is willing to take, depends on how much that person and his family have to lose. But a well informed decision is not likely from advice garnered from the internet on something of this potential magnitude, in my opinion. Ambulance chasers have a way of thinking of ways to make your life miserable that you never imagined possible.
 

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This occurence sure puts the OP in a tough spot. Lots of good info and conversation here, but in my mind the real question will be "Will you trust the safety systems in this car again?"

If it were I in this situation, I would be looking at the easiest way to end this ordeal. First, contact an attorney to see what legal avenues you may have to pursue reimbursement for repairs; and the associated time and cost to you of that avenue. Since this appears to be a "one-off" (unlikely to result in class action) not sure many competent attorneys will take this on contigency. Second, contact the dealer to get a repair estimate and understanding of the process. Then choose to repair, knowing it will show on Carfax, or sell as is realizing severly diminished proceeds.

Me, I'd talk to the attorney to make sure I am not leaving an avenue for reimbursement "on the table" and sell as is, since I would never put my family in a car I could not trust from a safety standpoint. Yes, I admit I can afford this approach while others may not so please understand this is just one persons opinion

BTW, issues on this forum, including this, make my 2015 Pilot the last Honda I will purchase. I cannot believe American Honda would not want to get to the bottom of this.
 

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That vehicle has a set SRS code. I'd get the code and replace the sensor responsible. It's a valid point that the module could prove to be faulty. These can be purchased new or used.
I'm not one to fear a repair, once I know what caused it and know how to address the problem. I could buy my way out of the situation, but I'd prefer to fix it myself and get the full use out of my vehicle. I trust myself more than I trust others.
We all drive vehicles with explosives devices aimed at our faces. Some have been reset to explode at the right moment...., again. We try our best to avoid triggering them.
 
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