Woman Nearly Killed When Airbag Deploys

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.


MORROW, Ga. (MyFOX ATLANTA) – A college student said a safety device in her Honda exploded in her face and almost killed her. Kristy Williams said she was just sitting at a traffic light when her airbag spontaneously deployed and metal from it cut an artery in her neck.

Williams said doctors told her that she might have saved her own life when a piece of metal from a deploying airbag severed her carotid artery.

Williams was left with a huge scar on her neck and a broken left arm when the driver’s side airbag in her 2001 Honda Civic deployed.

According to a report from the Morrow Police Department, witnesses told police that Williams wasn’t involved in an accident when the car’s airbag suddenly deployed.

Williams said she was an intersection in Morrow on Good Friday, on her way home from classes at Clayton State University when her airbag exploded in her face.

Williams said doctors pulled razor sharp pieces of metal from her neck and one had ripped into her carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain.

A Honda spokesman said the spontaneous deployment of an airbag is very rare.

Honda issued a recall last February on some models of its car because of a defect with the driver’s side airbag. In that recall, metal pieces from a part in the airbag could cause injury or death to the driver.

According to the spokesperson, the recall had nothing to do with spontaneous airbag deployment and it was unknown if Williams’ situation was consistent with issues involved in the recall.

Williams’ lawyer said that regardless, a safety device in the car should not have injured Williams.