Potential Kia Defect

About a week ago, something was brought to my attention which might be the basis for somebody’s lawsuit in the future. My son’s girlfriend was involved in a two vehicle accident, luckily no one was hurt.  My son’s girlfriend was driving a 2015 Kia Soul when the right front corner of her car was hit by another driver trying to run a red light.  The Kia sustained damage to the right front fender, bumper, and headlights.  As accident’s go, this one seemed to have been relatively minor.  However, after her insurance adjuster inspected the car, she decided to total the car.  The adjuster found that a wire that controlled the deployment of the side airbags had been severed during the crash.  As a result, the airbag circuit could be repaired by splicing the wire which wasn’t surprising.  What was surprising was that instead of replacing the wiring harness that controlled the air bags, the entire car had to be rewired!  This meant that the entire body had to be removed and the frame exposed in order to do the work.  This of course, meant that the amount of labor plus the wiring amounted to more than the car was worth, which is why it was totaled.  Now, the potential defect lies in the fact the if the wiring can be severed in a low speed (less than 30 mph) accident causing the side airbags not to deploy, then the protection of the wiring is inadequate.  If the wiring can be severed causing the side airbags to fail, then the defect defeats the purpose of having airbags in the first place.  Has anyone else had this problem?

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About rjhillconsulting
R.J. Hill Consulting is a forensic consulting engineering firm that specializes in performing failure investigations for attorneys and insurance companies. Mr. R.J. Hill is a registered professional (mechanical) engineer with over 37 years of experience, 33 years in private practice. Please visit www.rjhill.com to see the kinds of forensic investigations that Mr. Hill performs.

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