Air-Bag Smarts - BodyShop Business

Air-Bag Smarts

Accidental air-bag deployment can be dangerous and costly, which is why shop owners and technicians need to learn how to prevent it.

In recent years, drivers have become increasingly
aware of the dangers associated with accidental air-bag deployment.
However, collision repair technicians are also highly at risk
when working on a vehicle equipped with air bags. For this reason,
it’s imperative that technicians and shop owners become familiar
with the hazards posed by accidental air-bag deployment and with
the precautions they can take to prevent such an occurrence.

The Dangers

The safety of collision repair technicians
can be seriously jeopardized if an air bag deploys unexpectedly.
During a routine windshield replacement, one shop employee broke
his leg while being catapulted across the shop floor by an exploding
air bag. He missed six weeks of work.

Additionally, air bags may contain a powdery
chemical residue that can cause irritation to the eyes and skin.
Another issue that should be taken into account is that not all
air-bag systems are created equal. For example, air-bag deactivation
procedures can vary significantly between vehicles. While some
models may take up to 30 minutes to deactivate, others might require
as little as one second. To further complicate matters, more and
more vehicles are becoming equipped with side-impact air bags,
which increases the probability of accidental deployment. Consequently,
shop owners and technicians must understand the various complexities
involved with each system to ensure maximum safety.

Aside from potential on-the-job and efficiency
hazards, the costs involved with just one accidental air-bag deployment
can eat up the profits of many collision repair jobs. Replacing
double air bags (driver and passenger sides) once deployed can
cost a shop anywhere from $1,200 to $4,000, depending on the model.

Shop owners also should always be wary of
liability issues, even if the technician is careful to deactivate
the battery or outsource the work. For example, if a sensor is
damaged while replacing a side door panel, the shop can be held
liable if the air bag fails to deploy and someone is injured as
a result.

Costly Mistakes

Savvy shop owners and technicians can avoid
expensive mistakes by arming themselves with up-to-date information
on air-bag systems. Resources on air-bag systems are available
in CD or manual form and are excellent sources of information
for anyone who repairs vehicles outfitted with air bags. A wealth
of information is available to the industry on the different types
of air-bag systems in domestic and imported cars, trucks and vans,
so take advantage of it.

Accidental air-bag deployment can be dangerous,
confusing and costly for collision repair shop owners and their
employees. By educating yourself on the potential problems and
specifications involved with air-bag systems before an accident
occurs, you’re taking an enormous first step in securing a safe
working environment.

Writer Serge Pirino is manager of Procedural
Publications, editorial, at Mitchell International.

You May Also Like

Cruise Postpones Release of Driverless Taxi Service

Cruise, a GM subsidiary, recently announced that it will miss its goal of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in 2019.

Cruise, a GM subsidiary, recently announced that it will miss its goal of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in 2019. Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said the company plans to dramatically increase the number of its autonomous test vehicles on the road in San Francisco, but will not be offering rides to regular people this year, according to an article from The Verge.

Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions Partners with Andretti Rallycross

Andretti Rallycross announced that Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions will serve as technical partner on Cabot Bigham’s No. 02 OINK Clothing Beetle for the remainder of the 2019 Americas Rallycross season, showcasing their SP Tools USA brand.

Ford, Volkswagen Expand Collaboration to Include Autonomous, Electric Vehicles

Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG announced they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles – and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe.

CCAR Updates Website with More OSHA Alliance Resources

CCAR (Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair) has announced the addition of new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Alliance content on its main website,

CARSTAR McLaren Lake Forest and CARSTAR McLaren Irvine Open in California

Owned by husband-and-wife team James and Mary Davis, CARSTAR McLaren Lake Forest and CARSTAR McLaren Irvine are a family business.

Other Posts

CIECA to Offer Webinar on What Businesses Need to Know to Implement CIECA Standards

CIECA will hold its next CIECAst webinar, “Implementing CIECA Standards: Implementation Guide and Appendix C – BMS, Code Lists and Shema Components,” on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 at 11 a.m. CST.

CARSTAR Urges Customers to Stay Winter Ready

Cold weather can create some of the harshest driving conditions of the year. The months between October and February top the list for accidents, vehicle damage and injuries.

CIECA Adds Broadly as Corporate Member

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) announced that Broadly has joined CIECA as a corporate member.

NABR Launches BillableGenie Online Searchable Database of Insurer-Paid Not-Included Procedures

National AutoBody Research (NABR) has announced the launch of its BillableGenie online service, an independent, centralized source of actual data on insurer paid not-included procedures and operations, labor rates, labor rate concessions and other manually entered estimate line items.