Vehicles, more particularly cars, have been refined over the years to ensure its occupants stay protected even if the vehicle crumbles around them during an accident. Airbags have always been considered as one of the foremost improvements in vehicle safety. But what does one do when these airbags fail to deploy? Isn’t the automaker to blame?
But apparently in India, it is the driver’s responsibility, confirmed the automaker’s representatives, when the grieved owner approached them.
Mr. Anil Nair, had the misfortune of being in an accident when he was driving his sedan made by automaker Toyota. Driving down a highway in Southern India, Mr. Nair’s car met with a head-on collision. Needless to say, looking at the crumpled car’s images it is clear; the accident wasn’t just a bumper scrapper.
The Toyota Etios, a popular sedan sub-brands, was totaled from the front. Though the police haven’t revealed the intensity of the impact, one can easily guess, the sedan suffered severe damage.
Unsurprisingly in India, airbags are treated as an optional add-on and not a mandatory safety feature. Nonetheless, Mr. Nair, obviously fearing for his safety on highways, opted for the variant wherein the airbags were included. But unfortunately for him as well as the co-passenger, the dual airbags on either side of the seat, failed to deploy even after a head-on collision. While Mr. Nair suffered injuries, his co-passenger ended up spending two weeks in a hospital.
A distraught Mr. Nair approached Toyota for clarification. What is surprising and rather downright unbelievable was the response he got from the Toyota dealer from whom he procured his sedan. This is the reply he’d receive.
“The airbags didn’t deploy because the car did not collide properly.”
Shocked, Mr. Nair has written to the company asking, “Then how must I collide for the airbags to function properly? How can I trust this vehicle again?”
Knowing fully well about the apathy Indian consumers receive once they have bought the product and the near-non-existent courteous customer service that is doled out, Mr. Nair took to the social media to vent his frustration and is hoping his story enlightens other owners.
It is common perception in India that legal recourse is quite a lengthy and rather futile exercise. However, buoyed by the support, it appears Mr. Nair has decided to press-on and try and get not just the full benefits entitled to him via the insurance contract, but even penalize the company for such dismissive and laughable replies.
Trying to see the humor though, Mr. Nair is hoping car companies may soon offer training to bang the cars in the right manner so as to ensure the airbags do deploy.
[Image Credit | Facebook, 5th Avenue]