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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter and a friend were hit hard last evening in the 2015 Cruze LS I bought in June of this year with 31K miles. I tried to post pictures here but can't find a simple way to do this. Severe front sheetmetal damage, windshield cracked, and right rear suspension broken off; tire just resting on the ground. The car appears totalled and doesn't run and I can't get the trunklid open either. The hazard flashers are stuck on and the switch is broken.

My daughter has a mild concussion from hitting the side glass, and both she and her friend, the driver, have bruises.

Everyone who has seen pics of the car are stunned that not a single airbag deployed.

I've contacted Chevrolet Customer Service already.

I've had 14 new Chevrolets since 1981 and bought two 2015 Cruze LS's from Chevy dealers this summer, but this is giving me SERIOUS pause.
 

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Does an LS have side impact bags - or is that a feature of higher trims?
 

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Does an LS have side impact bags - or is that a feature of higher trims?
Since it would be related to the car's safety rating, I don't think there's any difference.

The engineers will have to review it. It's possible the accident was just under the threshold for deployment.

Don't be fooled by the slow-mo pictures of airbags deploying. They are pretty violent in their own right. They're just better than smashing your head open on a solid surface. Airbags will not protect against bruises - they create them. In some cases they've actually killed, that's how violent they are.

I'm not sure about the concussion - that does make me wonder. But when high school kids get concussions playing football with helmets, that suggests a pretty low impact threshold to get one.

The girls are alive with non-life threatening injuries. The car did it's job.

Edit: while this study was from 10 years ago, it does suggest what side-impact airbags do:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217449/

"out of the 61 raw cases with side airbag deployments, 23 cases had head injuries"

A quick Google gives a quite a bit of reading material that documents the severity of airbag injuries. So, at this point I'm inclined to think the computer decided that the damage from deploying was greater than the damage from not deploying. It's not a question of walking away unharmed - it's a question of which decision is safer.
 

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Does an LS have side impact bags - or is that a feature of higher trims?

All Cruzens have 10 airbags - one of the selling points of the car.

SOMETHING should have blown, but this is actually not the first one I've heard of in an impact without the bags going off.

And yes, I can attest to the fact that airbags do indeed hurt.
 

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Found this on the NHTSA website: "Any air bag that fails to deploy in an injury-producing crash should be reported to NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation for investigation of possible system defects and potential recall."

That sounds like excellent advice.

This looks like the place to report it: https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/
 
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Depends on the location of the airbag sensors, and where the car was hit. Sounds like there were multiple points of impact by the sounds of damage so there's really no tellin unless we can see pics of why the airbags didn't deploy. That's normally not an issue in Cruzes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, all. I have submitted photos and description to NHTSA; it is complaint no. 11023584. I believe the insurance adjuster will be interested too but I have not heard from him/her yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Windshield cracked too.

What is frustrating to us, the car this car was bought to replace, was totalled in May (our other daughter was driving that car). It was a 2009 Cobalt which was a low-speed hit in the right front from a guy who pulled out of a parking lot without looking. Both front airbags came out in that car.
 

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Unfortunately, I can see from just these 2 pictures, why the airbags didn’t go off. But just based on these 2 pictures, alone. To the car, the passenger compartment wasn’t in any danger. The front airbags didn’t go off, because the front end wasn’t hit. The side airbags didn’t go off, because the doors are untouched. Airbags deploy based on front, side, and rollover impact. It doesn’t look like any of that happened in this accident. I would say it’s still likely totaled because of the suspension being ripped out. But, I really don’t think other vehicles from different manufacturers, would behave any differently. The side doors are almost untouched. And you don’t have “at least” a front overlap collision.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Other pics show the front end damage and into the left side as well. For whatever reason, this site says those pics are too big to post here.

I can tell you, our 2009 Cobalt had far less damage with both front airbags deploying.
 

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As above, I see no impact angles that would call for deployment of side or frontal bags. The cabin right side shows no impact intrusion.

The bags are deployed based on deceleration angle and deceleration speed.

Was the car in motion when struck?.......If so, can the speed be estimated?

Good to hear the injuries are relatively minor. (as minor as a 'mid concussion' can be anyways)

Rob
 

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Unfortunately, I can see from just these 2 pictures, why the airbags didn’t go off. But just based on these 2 pictures, alone. To the car, the passenger compartment wasn’t in any danger. The front airbags didn’t go off, because the front end wasn’t hit. The side airbags didn’t go off, because the doors are untouched. Airbags deploy based on front, side, and rollover impact. It doesn’t look like any of that happened in this accident. I would say it’s still likely totaled because of the suspension being ripped out. But, I really don’t think other vehicles from different manufacturers, would behave any differently. The side doors are almost untouched. And you don’t have “at least” a front overlap collision.


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I concur. From what I see in the pictures I don't think that the airbags would have been activated.

The idea of an airbag is to meet force with force. The force of your body multiplied by its speed to be counteracted with an equivalent force to prevent contact with something of greater mass - like a windshield. Should an airbag be activated when it is meeting a body part at less than the intended design force - then it is the body part that will be damaged.

So in conclusion, this particular collision may have resulted in worse bodily injury had the airbags been activated than had they not.
 

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Surprisingly, the damage looks just like I had guessed - I'm thinking a side impact to the front that imparted more of a "spin" than a T-bone force. I'm guessing the back damage was due to a secondary impact on the wheel itself. I don't think the sensors deploy based on "intrusion", but on the g-force sensed. In this case, I wouldn't expect the forward bags to deploy since there was no strong force that would have thrown the occupants forward. The side may not have deployed because the "sideways" vector wasn't large enough, however the combination sideways & back is what caused the concussion. But that's the kind of thing that I'd think would interest the NHSTA to work with the manufacturer to come up with a better deployment strategy.

If the impact on the Cobalt was to the front (not to the side) then that would explain why the airbags deployed in that situation.


The bags are deployed based on deceleration angle and deceleration speed.
Good question! I don't think airbags deploy if the car is off.

IIRC, the sensor (or at least one of them) is in the center console.
 

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Glad the kids are okay. Looks like the Cruze did her job in protecting them.
 

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Neither of those two photos would have triggered a side curtain air bag to deploy.
 

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I'm not sure about the concussion - that does make me wonder. But when high school kids get concussions playing football with helmets, that suggests a pretty low impact threshold to get one.
dont need impact for concussion, shaking your head does, brain hitting the interior of skull does, whiplash, skiing, etc
 

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My daughter and a friend were hit hard last evening in the 2015 Cruze LS I bought in June of this year with 31K miles. I tried to post pictures here but can't find a simple way to do this. Severe front sheetmetal damage, windshield cracked, and right rear suspension broken off; tire just resting on the ground. The car appears totalled and doesn't run and I can't get the trunklid open either. The hazard flashers are stuck on and the switch is broken.

My daughter has a mild concussion from hitting the side glass, and both she and her friend, the driver, have bruises.

Everyone who has seen pics of the car are stunned that not a single airbag deployed.

I've contacted Chevrolet Customer Service already.

I've had 14 new Chevrolets since 1981 and bought two 2015 Cruze LS's from Chevy dealers this summer, but this is giving me SERIOUS pause.
Perhaps it isn't the worst thing....I had a friend who was in an accident and the airbags did as much harm as good in all likelihood.
 

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Perhaps it isn't the worst thing....I had a friend who was in an accident and the airbags did as much harm as good in all likelihood.
Mine saved me from hitting my head against the glass (hit in a side impact across an intersection), but it is more like simultaneously being punched in the face from both sides than getting hit with a pillow. Had bruises for weeks.
 

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Mine saved me from hitting my head against the glass (hit in a side impact across an intersection), but it is more like simultaneously being punched in the face from both sides than getting hit with a pillow. Had bruises for weeks.
I've been very lucky to have never been in an accident yet...I'm 49....and now I hope it stays that way. I've avoided a number of accidents by being alert. But there are times when you can do nothing to avoid it.
 
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