The dispute is between Abhay Kumar Jain, a resident of Sabarmati, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and Hyundai India. Abhay had bought a hatchback car from a Hyundai in 2010 which crashed in 2011. They were driving towards Jundal when their car hit a stone and overturned on the road. All the passengers including the driver narrowly escaped in the accident. Abhay got Rs 2.75 lakh from the insurance company after this accident.
The most important thing in this whole incident was that the airbag of the car did not open. The insurance surveyor said the car’s airbag was defective and it was a manufacturing defect. When Abhay sued the dealer in Ahmedabad Consumer Court, Hyundai’s representative remained absent. The dealer argued that a surveyor could not determine that the airbag was at fault. The dealer’s argument was that the seatbelt may not have been worn while driving, due to which the airbag did not open.
Hyundai paid compensation of Rs 1.25 lakh
Abhay demanded Rs 2 lakh as compensation from the company and Rs 50,000 as legal expenses due to the defect in the airbag. The court considered it a defect in the service provided by Hyundai and asked the company to pay the fine. However, the consumer court halved the compensation amount. After which Hyundai gave Rs 1.25 lakh as compensation to the car owner.
In another similar case earlier this year, Hyundai had paid a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the owner of the Creta SUV. The Creta owner had alleged that the airbag did not open during the collision of the car, due to which he suffered serious injuries at various places on his body including head and face.
The owner filed a case against the carmaker with the Delhi State Consumer Redressal Commission. The state commission ruled in favor of the owner and asked Hyundai to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakh. The compensation included Rs 2 lakh for medical expenses and loss of income, Rs 50,000 for litigation and Rs 50,000 for mental agony caused to the car owner.
This is how airbags work
The airbag opens automatically when the car collides at the time of the accident. The airbag opens in less than a second at a speed of 320 km/h. In the event of an accident, the sensor is activated and sends a signal to open the airbag. As soon as the signal is received, the inflator present under the steering gets activated.
The inflator produces nitrogen gas by chemical reaction with sodium azide. In the event of an accident the nitrogen-filled airbag opens in front of the driver and prevents injury to the passenger. However, if the seat belt is not fitted, it also harms the passenger.