Passenger airbag in rollover

2529 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  FordTech

I am a police officer and a Fusion owner (since November, one of the first in Ottawa!). Yesterday 01July06, I investigated a rollover collision where a Fusion SEL (red, auto, leather, I-4) rolled 3 times in the ditch after hitting a large road sign. This was a rental out of Jersey (with Virginia plates) with just over 8000 miles on the odo. It made me a bit sad as it looked almost just like mine. But once we yanked it out of the ditch, I discovered something quite shocking. The airbags had both deployed, HOWEVER, the passenger airbag was loose in the passenger compartment. The whole mechanism (heavy metal housing which contained the pyro, etc) had separated from the mounting within the dash!!! It did not even look as though there were welds that broke, but rather ineffective compression mounts. Luckily it did not nail the passenger, but it would have been bouncing around inside there and could have easily caused some serious trauma. I have seen many rollovers, and airbag deployments, but this is a first. Anybody else seen this? I have photos of the mess if they can be posted (this is my first) GBF
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The story is that the occupants were British, living in the US. They were coming North to Ottawa for Canada Day, then off to Montreal. Being British, the driver was used to driving on the left side of the road, so he was in the fast lane of a two lane highway, only doing about 115 km/h (I patrol this stretch, and the average is 120, and as high as 180!). At 115, you're below average, and should be in the right lane (note the limit is 100). The driver got "spooked" when he was passed on his right, and swerved to the left. When he hit the rumble strip, he overcorrected back to the right (gee, never seen that before) and slid sideways across both lanes (on completely dry roads, nice sunny day). He then left the roadway, with the front driver's side corner impacting a huge steel post holding up a 40'x20' road sign. The impact on the corner of the car made it spin down into the swampy ditch. It rolled 3 times, before coming to rest upside down in about a foot and a half of swamp water. Both the male driver and female passenger climbed out and walked to the ambulance with very minor injuries. Other than the airbag thing, I think the car held up pretty well, and kept the passengers safe. This car did not have the fabled side airbags. As an owner, I was concerned that those front slats would be flimsy and snap at the slightest impact. Not even a scratch on them, and every body panel is dinged. One of the lowere ones under the bumper came off and bent in two. Not bad for plastic.

Note that the pic of my car was taken AFTER a famous Canadian winter with all the road salt and crap they put down. Still looks brand spnaking new to this date.
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