There are more than 42,000 traffic fatalities each year on American roads. So it’s no surprise safety is still a primary concern for many motorists. Yet, how many of us wonder, how long do airbags last in our cars?
Airbags have become the most significant car safety device in every vehicle. But many of us don’t know the average airbag lifespan or if they even need replacing.
So if you are curious about your vehicle’s airbags and whether they last, keep reading this guide. Learn more about the car safety device that protects us from severe injuries.
Timeline for Airbags
Today, airbags are an afterthought for most car owners. But in 1952, John Hetrik began drawing designs after an accident involving his family. Although he got his cushion designs patented, so did a German inventor three months later.
Yet, it wasn’t until a decade later that automakers began testing the car safety device. Finally, seatbelts became mandatory in new cars in 1968. The first factory-installed airbag appeared four years later in the Oldsmobile Toronado.
At first, airbags got installed in the steering wheel. Then, Ford was the first to put airbags in all vehicles in 1990. The passenger side airbag came next, followed by side curtains in later models. Today, cars have airbags installed in various areas around passengers.
How Are Airbags Tested
If there is no visible space between seems on the airbag covers, there is no reason to test their efficiency. Manufacturers have learned that cars from the past twenty years have functioning airbags. Most airbags from this era last at least fifteen years and often longer.
Today, vehicles come equipped with technology that detects faults. For example, each time you start your car, the computer system checks a series of functions in the vehicle. So a computer diagnostic will issue dashboard alerts if a car safety device is defective.
If a warning light comes on, you can still drive your car. But, it’s best to have a mechanic test the airbags before traveling too far. A malfunctioning car safety device may not deploy when an accident occurs.
How Long Do Airbags Last
An airbag lifespan should not get confused with other types of inflatable devices. So if you are asking how long do suspension airbags last, the answer involves a different device. Truckers use airbag suspension systems to adjust the ride on their rigs.
Yet, for the car safety device, it’s not unusual for your airbags to last as long as you have the car. Until 2002, many automakers called for airbags to get tested every fifteen years. Yet, with today’s technology, they discovered modern vehicles have a long airbag lifespan.
If your airbags have never deployed, it’s not necessary to check airbags on modern cars. Instead, airbags that have deployed in a crash should get replaced with certified mechanics. And it’s best to replace used airbags with credible replacements.
Feel Confident With Your Car Safety Device
Most drivers today don’t give a second thought to the airbag lifespan in their vehicle. However, many current vehicles will tell you when to get your airbags checked.
So how long do airbags last? The answer depends on your safe driving habits and your vehicle manufacturer. But if you feel you have a car that wasn’t built to standard, contact us free for help. Click here to learn more about the Florida Lemon Law.