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I was in a rear end accident yesterday, id say impact speed wasn't but 10-15ish mph, hardly any damage on the rear end of the car I hit besides a few scratches and a small dent, My optimal bumper took a big hit but other Than that the car is in tact. But what I don't understand is why my optimal airbags DID deploy, it was s small rear end crash and was wondering your thoughts on if these airbags deployed prematurely or are warranted. As now im looking at 5kish to fix everything compared to probably a 1k fix if it was just the bumper. 2013 Optima Lx thank you very much
picture attached
also if these went off prematurely, is it even worth getting in contact with kia? over warranty obviously but maybe it falls under something defective? would love all opinions
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The impact might have done more damage than you realize. The hood does not appear to line up anymore, which could mean some frame damage beyond just the bumper.

I feel like the airbags are mysterious whether they deploy, but if the frame is crumpling, I think it's a good idea to deploy the airbags...
 

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Second generation airbags dont only use impact sensors. They measure speed(changes in velocity) angle, impact and several othe factors. These changes where made to prevent airbag deployment at low speed to prevent injuries from airbags and to reduce repair costs. The bumper cover is desiged to do what it did. There is a styrofoam absorber behind it and an aluminium impact bar behind the absorber (its layered like a cake) these are all designed to absorb impacts and protect the core suport which is a structure. I've seen hundreds of low speed accidents with airbag deployment, in your case the airbag deployment parameters must have been set, primarily the accelerometer detected a high rate of deceleration and once all parameters are met the airbag deploys. Btw this all happen in less tha 10 milliseconds.
 

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The impact might have done more damage than you realize. The hood does not appear to line up anymore, which could mean some frame damage beyond just the bumper.

I feel like the airbags are mysterious whether they deploy, but if the frame is crumpling, I think it's a good idea to deploy the airbags...
These vehicles do not have frames it is a unibody construction, which have purpose built crumple zones. The amount of external damage does not dictate when airbags deploy. Its a combination of factor/parameters that dictate airbag deployment.
 

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These vehicles do not have frames it is a unibody construction, which have purpose built crumple zones. The amount of external damage does not dictate when airbags deploy. Its a combination of factor/parameters that dictate airbag deployment.
I wouldn't go as fay to say they don't have frames as they do have frame side members on both sides of the car.
They may be part of the overall structure, but they can be damaged and be replaced/straightened along with the apron/shock tower.
 

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OP--you guestimated that your vehicle's speed at the time of impact was around 10-15 mph; was your vehicle experiencing a rapid rate of deceleration just prior to impact (i.e., you braked really hard once you realized you were in danger of possibly rear-ending the vehicle in front of you)? If you were simply creeping along at a steady 10-15 mph prior to impact then it might seem odd for the airbags to go off; however, the amount of force and deceleration at time of impact does have a bearing on whether frontal air bags are deployed. Consider this from the NHTSA:

"Frontal air bags are generally designed to deploy in "moderate to severe" frontal or near-frontal crashes, which are defined as crashes that are equivalent to hitting a solid, fixed barrier at 8 to 14 mph or higher. (This would be equivalent to striking a parked car of similar size at about 16 to 28 mph or higher.)."

Not trying to judge anyone as to any negligence by all parties involved in the incident but without all the facts in regards to the events leading up to and at the time of impact it's hard to say for certain as to what would have caused the frontal air bag to deploy.
 

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I hit a deer at 40ish mph with hard deceleration on the front left and they never deployed. Your collision was pretty low speed.
 

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You only want airbags blowing into your face when absolutely necessary. You seem to be perfectly fine, so yeah, airbags didn't need to deploy and it seems the engineers got it right.
 

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I hit a deer at 40ish mph with hard deceleration on the front left and they never deployed. Your collision was pretty low speed.
Airbags rarely go off when hitting a dear because the car does not experience deceleration besides that of what the cars own brakes are capable of. A deer does not have anywhere near the mass required to stop the car.
 
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