After General Motors’ ignition switch fiasco the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency is looking into other automakers and suppliers to see how their safety equipment would have held up in the same situation . During a hearing before Congress federal safety regulators stated that vehicles’ air bags could work up to sixty seconds after the ignition switch was turned off. General Motors recently came out with a statement, stating that that number is completely wrong, in fact airbags will only remain active up to 150 milliseconds after a vehicle’s power is shut off. The OEM stated that the safety regulators probably misinterpreted their warning for crash responders to wait 60-120 seconds after turning off a car’s power after a crash to mean that was how long airbags were able to work. The OEM tried to clarify that the 60-120 second wait time was only to protect responders from malfunctioning airbags, not working ones.
From 60 seconds to 150 milliseconds seems like a big difference that just slipped through the safety regulators thought process when trying to set up the regulation of airbags. Currently NHTSA is looking at other OEMs to see what their airbags’ working time limit is after the car’s power is turned off, but I’m not 100% that this is something they could regulate more even if they tried. What would be the correct amount of time for the airbags to work? Having them able to detonate for too long is dangerous too. I’m glad that there is research being done in this area but I’m not really hearing a solution to the problem.