Honda airbags that impale you with shards of metal

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/31/honda.recall/index.html

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blythe b wrote:

Maybe you should Shut your eyes upon impact? ;-)
Also, remember to put your hands at 9:00 and 3:00. If you put your hands at the old 10-2 and the airbag fires off it has happened that the driver's thumbs were broken!
Hands now go at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock if you drive with airbags.
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Urban myth. The energy isn't enough to do more than remove your hands from the wheel.

9 and 3 because you have much greater control. And shuffle steer. Although I have always driven my race cars "hands on" because you can "lose" them. Now I drive my Fit that way at speeds greater than about 6 mph to keep the fingers on the paddles.
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The USA remains the only country in the world that has a wacky legal requirement that bombs be installed in car's interior, aimed directly at the occupants. Then they require that big yellow labels be stuck everywhere, warning you that the bombs will kill your kids so make sure you put the little dears where the bombs can't reach them. Sheesh.
For those of you in Canada, bomb disablement is quite legal, and is available at any garage for about $40 (don't know if that's per bomb or an all-in price).
Do you know what detonates the bombs? Sodium azide, the same stuff they use to light off high-explosives. Auto dealership technicians have fun detonating surplus airbags in the parking lot. Sometimes they try to see how high the bags will go when ignited, which can be up to forty feet. Fun, wow!
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Tegger wrote:

And yet only Honda seems to have decided to make them *shrapnel* bombs...
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wrote:

what he said

must be all those conscientious objectors we sent them! :)
J.
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I was told that insurance companies up here have mixed feelings about airbags. Bags are very expensive to replace after a collision, and there's often collateral damage when the bags break windshields and damage interiors, plus they cause a lot of minor (and sometimes not so minor) injuries when they deploy. All that's very expensive for the insurance companies.
Up here there are neither rewards for having airbags nor penalties for disabling them.
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My wife's low speed accident resulted in some surprising structural damage, but a goodly chunk went to replacing the bags, seatbelts, pretnesioners and front windshield, which was totalled on the pax side but not the driver's side, which the body shop said is quite typical of airbag deployment.
Technically, you're supposed to replace the bags every ten years. Yeah, sure. If you've done so, please leave a twenty under your front door mat. I'll be by tomorrow to replace it with two tens.

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(this is also a reply to J.L.Hemmer's post)
There are a couple of wrecking yards not far from my house. I regularly see trailers loaded with late-model wrecked cars going there.
What I've noticed the last ten years or so is that most of those late-model cars being taken to the wreckers appear to have very little body damage, at least much less body damage than what I used to see in years past.
I wonder if the cost of fixing SRS systems is resulting in far more vehicles being "totalled" with damage that would have been considered relatively cheap to repair before airbags came along?
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wrote:

One of my son's friends ran into a parked car...not much body damage, but the bags on both sides deployed. The insurance co. totalled the car based on the cost of replacing the airbags, the windshield, as well as the body damage.
I saw the car...would have been an easy fix as far as the actual crash damage...oh, well...
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Can I buy a new Honda in Canada, have the bombs removed, even get a few bucks for them, and drive the car legally for registration in California?
Or are prices higher in Canada for whatever reason, or other complication?
J.

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A new vehicle cannot be imported into the US without a present and functioning SRS system.
California's rules don't come into play until Federal NHTSA regs are satisfied. <http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/
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Tegger wrote:

It isnt technically a new vehicle if it was bought in Canada.

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OK, then let me be more precise: A vehicle manufactured after about 1988 (not certain of exact year) for the non-US market may not be imported into the US for the purpose of US registration without a complete and functioning SRS system.
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Correct. More specificaly, it must meet all safety and emmissions requirements present at the time of its manufactor. If a car is being brought into the US "for off-road use only", a bond has to be posted. Mssrs Gates, Leno and Ellison have multiple cars that fall under this law, as do/did every Formula One team.
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A bit dramatic, don't you think?
They also require a highly flammable liquid to be put in a tank in the back... gallons of it!! Oh the humanity!
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The gasoline requies a source of ignition. The air bag HAS the source of ignition.
And, contrary to the movies, gasoline is actually a little hard to set off. Yes, match. No, cigarette. No, bullet.
Air bags have been confirmed to have killed stupid mechanics, car theives and junk yard scroungers. Note the word "stupid".
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Crunchy frog, anyone? Have to keep those Monty Python episodes away from Honda designers.
Dave
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You could take the bones out... ;^)
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