If you’re a veteran of the internet and had a passing interest in automobiles eight years ago, then you probably remember this video of a 2011 Chevy Camaro SS hooning in an empty parking lot when the airbags spontaneously deploy for no apparent reason at all. A quick search of some GM and Chevy Camaro internet forums uncovers several posts about pushing the Camaro hard – say, during an autocross event – and having the side airbags deploy without warning or cause. Videos are scarcer.
However, one unlucky chap recently had a run in with the Camaro’s sensitive airbag sensors when the side airbags deployed while racing on the track. It appears the sensors, used to detect an imminent rollover crash, thought the Camaro – a 2018 ZL1 – was going to roll when the driver hit the curbing through a turn. Thankfully, the deployment happened during a time-attack event, and there were no other cars in the vicinity. It looks like the driver only received a minor cut on his left arm.
Watching the video, you can see the driver sweep through several turns without incident. And when the airbags deploy the front-facing camera over the hood shows the Camaro in the middle of the track. He didn’t hit anything.
Forums users who’ve experienced unexpected airbag deployment say they’ve been left to deal with the repair costs – often totaling several thousand dollars. Back in 2011, when the original Camaro SS video made waves online, GM spokesman Alan Adler said the Camaro and its sensors are designed to predict a rollover crash and deploy the curtain airbags proactively.
“On rollover side curtain bags, the vehicle's rollover sensing system is looking for a certain set of factors that "predict" a vehicle is going to roll over,” Adler said in a statement, according to Jalopnik. “The airbag system cannot wait until it is too late to deploy the airbags. Drifting or creating a situation that has a certain combination of speed and vehicle angle can lead to an unwanted airbag deployment.”
It appears hitting the curbing was enough to make the car think it was about to roll over. Yes, it’s understandable airbags need to work when necessary; however, it seems the Camaro’s airbags are a tad oversensitive.
Source: R Stands For Race