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In a front end car accident, why would the passenger air bag deploy and not the drivers air bag?

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The possible reason why the passenger air bag deployed and not the driver's one is an indication that there was more impact on that side than on the driver's side. It is also possible that the air bag on the driver's side had a fault if the impact was equal on both sides.

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or non-existent. Good answer.
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Or the connection was lost from the wheel to the electronics.
Maybe the horn didn't work either, and the Airbag light was lit.
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the steering wheel is not strongly attached and will actually provide more cushioning than you would expect.

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There's impact sensors for right and left side of the car, if only one sensor is triggered then only one bag deploys.

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Malfunction!

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