Airbags deploy while car parked, babies inside

Posted at 9:05 PM, Jun 07, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-08 07:56:02-04

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - The owner of a four-door 2008 Honda Accord said her car's airbags deployed unexpectedly, with the car parked and two children in car.

After putting her two and a half-year-old daughter and 10 month old son in her car, Sunnie Krenicky closed the passenger door.

She never expected to hear what she described as an explosion. She said she looked in and saw a cloud of white smoke covering the inside of the car.

"They [her children] both started freaking out, both started screaming and hollering," she said.

It took a moment for her to realize what happened but figuring out why it happened took a lot longer.

Krenicky did some online research and found out that she's not the first person to close a car door and have the airbags deploy. She discovered that it's happened to other makes and models.

Krenicky's children were checked out by paramedics who determined they were not hurt by the airbags.

In Colonial Heights, at Battlefield Park Body Shop, owner Wilson Abernathy said he knows airbags can deploy when a car hasn't been in an accident.

About three months ago, while repairing a car that had been wrecked, an employee was welding on a car--with the car battery disconnected for safety--when the cars airbags deployed.

Abernathy said it sent a shock wave through the body shop and filled the car with powder.

It was determined that a wire had been crimped and a spark during the welding process set off the airbags.

Abernathy said  he did some research online and also found where airbags had deployed in parked cars.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration encouraged anyone who has experienced an airbag deploying when not in an accident to send them a detailed email so they can keep it in a data base.

Industry leaders said if this happens to you, take your car back to the nearest dealer.