Land Rovers are known for being sporty, fun, and outdoorsy. Their functional but classy designs lend themselves well to driving on trails, beaches, and hills, and they have cornered the market on high-end sports utility vehicles. Owned by Jaguar, Land Rovers have a classic British charm and practicality that appeals to many. Despite this, however, they have been known to have problems, particularly with their airbags.

The Importance of Airbags:

Airbags are a crucial safety element regardless of the type of car. When the car is struck forcibly by anything, the airbag deploys and helps prevent the passengers from slamming into the hard plastic in front of them. Specific only to the front end of the car, they’re important in reducing injury levels, as passengers hit the deployed bag rather than the dashboard or windshield. They are intended to spread the impact of the crash over a larger area: rather than just a forehead or chin taking the brunt of the crash, the size of the airbag lowers the force per square inch and spreads the impact over a larger portion of the body. Similarly, they expand quickly to catch people and prevent them from striking the dashboard, but then deflate in order to move the individual along with the force of the crash, helping ease the body into the impact.

Of course, airbags themselves can be dangerous. When going at an accident-causing speed, an individual crashing into anything can cause injuries, but the softer airbag is intended to do less damage than the plastic dashboard. Most grown individuals can handle the force of an airbag, but generally if a small child is sitting in the front, the airbags may be turned off for their safety. With their off-road expectations, Land Rovers are generally touted as the height of safety, but a recent string of air bag issues has plagued the company.

Airbag Failure: What causes it?

There are a variety of causes of airbag failure. One of the most common is failure to deploy at all, which is obviously extremely dangerous as passengers will slam into the dashboard, wheel, or windshield with no protection. This is caused by several things, including defective airbag sensors, which is generally the fault of the manufacturing agency or a software issue.

The type of collision can also play a role; depending on where the car was struck, the airbag sensors may not be triggered. Where the car was hit is often a more important fact then the speed of the crash or the extent of damage to the vehicle. If the wiring to the airbag is severed—which can happen during a crash, if the manufacturer runs the wiring through areas that are susceptible—the airbag also will not deploy. When the electrical components at any level of the airbag deployment process are defective, impaired, or not working, the airbag will also not deploy. And occasionally, even if the airbag receives the correct signals across the board, the electrical is intact, the sensors are working perfectly, and the wiring remains safe, a general defect in the module of the airbag which prevents it from deploying can occur, often caused by a manufacturing or quality control issue.

Airbags in Land Rovers:

In recent years, Land Rover has faced criticism of their airbags, due to an electrical defect. Often, airbags are instructed not to deploy if there is a child in the front seat (since they will sustain more damage from the airbag than without it), but an electrical fault by Land Rover made it impossible for the system to tell if there was anyone in the seat at all.

A software bug was blamed, and Land Rover issued a recall on over 40,000 LR2 and Range Rover Evoque models in order to do the necessary system update. This problem is relatively rare, and was not linked to any injuries, deaths, or accidents. Instead, the best way to make sure that your car and your passengers are safe is ensuring that all other aspects of your vehicle are up-to-date and running smoothly.

To meet this goal, Foreign Automotive of the Tri-City area in Ontario is here to help. With our expert knowledge of Land Rovers (and other European cars), we provide top-notch service for any needs that you may have. From the salesroom to routine service, we make sure that your high-end car is healthy, happy, and moving confidently. Servicing cars in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge, Ontario, Foreign Automotive is the trusted alternative to dealership service. Our friendly team helps maintain your Land Rover at the level that you’ve come to expect.

* Land Rover Discovery 4 image credit goes to: teddyleung.