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Toyota Service
Toyota Service, Toyota Expert
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4819
Experience:  30+ Yrs of auto experience, Award Winning Svc. Manager; Just Answer Customer's Choice Award Winner
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My husband had t a 80-100 pound calf elk with entire front

Customer Question

My husband had hit a 80-100 pound calf elk with entire front end of my 1998 toyota 4-runner and the air bags did not deploy. The hit was hard enough the raditor was pused back to the fan a belt is broke but nothing puncture. I am wondering about airbag.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you. The Supplemental restraint System ("SRS", commonly referred to as the air bag system) needs some in-depth explanation here.

First, the SRS is designed to activate when the vehicle has a substantial impact that occurs over 38 MPH. Additionally, the vehicle has to go form whatever speed is is travelling (over 38 mph) and come to a sudden and dramatic stop. Think of this like hitting a bridge abutment. Like 50 mph to zero mph instantly. This sudden deceleration is measured by a sensor located under the console. This unit gets signals from two 'crash' sensors, located behind the front bumper. One of the two sensors must see the impact. This impact triggers a signal to the center sensor under the console. The impact, coupled with the sudden deceleration, deploys the air bags. If the vehicle hits something like a 100 pound elk calf, the vehicle will not deploy the air bags, because the resultant collision of the animal is not substantial enough to reduce the vehicle speed to zero, and trigger the center console sensor. There are a lot of possibilities that will not deploy the bags....anytime the vehicle hits something and continues thru the incident without stopping, (like knocking down a traffic light or a stop sign); the bags will not deploy. In short, the vehicle has to stop suddenly AND have an impact signal from one of the two front crash sensors. In my area, we have a lot of deer. We see this all of the time. The cars get towed in with substantial damage, but no air-bag deployment. As long as what the vehicle hits moves in opposite reaction to the impact, the car will not experience the necessary deceleration to deploy the bags. In other words, this impact should NOT have deployed the bags.

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Expert:  Toyota Service replied 1 year ago.

Id you get my input regarding your request on this issue? Please advise if you did and if you have any questions. Thanks