■ When a side airbag deploys with little or no visible damage
Because the airbag system senses sudden acceleration, a strong impact to the side
of the vehicle's framework can cause a side airbag to deploy. In such cases, there
may be little or no damage, but the side impact sensors detected a severe enough
impact to deploy the airbag.
■ When a side airbag may not deploy, even though visible damage appears
It is possible for a side airbag to not deploy during an impact that results in
apparently severe damage. This can occur when the point of impact was toward the
far front or rear of the vehicle, or when the vehicle's crushable body parts absorbed
most of the crash energy. In either case, the side airbag would not have been
needed nor provided protection even if it had deployed.
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