Hyundai car turned turtle in an accident and airbags did not deploy – Owner filed case in consumer court
Hyundai has been on a run to perform better in India. Hyundai registered 50,500 units in domestic sales last month. Including exports, Hyundai India sold 63,851 units with 5.98% growth YoY. Now, they are getting ready to launch the new gen Tucson this week.
But before that, Hyundai is in the spotlight for a different reason altogether – not settling a dispute with one of their customers from Gujarat. In effect, Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission ordered Hyundai India to pay Rs. 1.25 lakh to the car owner.
Hyundai India Customer Awarded Rs 1.25 lakh
Order by a court comes in the form of Rs. 1 lakh as compensation and Rs. 25,000 for harassment caused. Court treated it as a deficiency in service on Hyundai’s part and hence, the second highest-selling PV manufacturer in India, has to pay a penalty. The district commission had ordered Rs. 2 lakh compensation and Rs. 50,000 for legal expenditure while the State commission halved it.
First of all, I would like to take some time to appreciate our judicial system, as the whole dispute amounting to Rs. 1.25 lakh, took only 11 years to settle. This is a remarkable achievement as we have seen some cases take decades.
Dispute revolves around a Sabarmati resident named Abhay Kumar Jain and Hyundai India. Subject had purchased a Hyundai hatchback in 2010 and crashed it in 2011. 11 years ago, he was driving towards Zundal and hit a rock. All four passengers including a driver survived but the car had rolled over and turned turtle. Jain kept the wreck to himself and claimed IDV from insurance company amounting to Rs. 2.75 lakh.
The main highlight of this issue is that airbags failed to deploy. Insurance surveyor assessed that airbags were faulty and is a manufacturing defect. When Jain sued the dealer in Ahmedabad District Consumer Redressal Commission, Hyundai representatives were absent. In contrast, the dealer argued that a surveyor was not fit to declare that airbags were faulty. Also, the dealer argued that seatbelts might not be fastened, so airbags were not deployed.
Should Airbags Deploy If Seatbelts Aren’t Fastened?
No. Most airbags have an igniting compound called Guanidine Nitrate. These are activated in 2 milliseconds of the impact, which results in expanding Nitrogen gases that inflate the bag in 20 to 30 milliseconds. Nitrogen gases expand with a speed of over 230 kmph.
In most cars, airbags don’t deploy if seatbelts aren’t fastened. This is because seatbelts create a tiny delay preventing occupants from proximity with airbags while it is still inflating. Or else the occupant may get more injury from hitting the airbag, than from the actual crash. Airbags should not deploy when seatbelts aren’t fastened for occupant protection. We don’t know what exactly happened with the Hyundai hatchback in question.