Yes, the side air bags only deploy in particular circumstances, dependent on the nature/angle of the crash. My concern is that I believe people have been in crashes of a severity and at an angle where you would expect the side-airbags to activate and they haven't. I am beginning to worry there is some sort of sensor/software glitch, which could prove to be lethal. I would feel a lot better if someone who has been in a severe crash could reassure me that their side air-bags have deployed.
have a look around the threads
there are a few piccis of crashes and interior pics show that the side bags did not deploy but I believe that was the angle of the impact more than a sensor and the impact
Had a huge front end smash when i was taken out in the elise a few years ago and the airbag didnt deploy then
No, it isn't something I have heard. I have been looking at some concern at the various photos that have been posted after a crash. I then re-read all threads concerned with MINI crashes. I have also trawled through threads which describe intermittent warning lights for air-bags.
At least some of the crashes described should have seen the side air-bags inflate. side-swipes, summersaults, hitting the central reservation of a motorway etc. I think people have survived these crashes because of the inherent strength and rigidity of the MINIs design and construction, despite the side air-bags not deploying.
It might be paranoia, I hope it is. However, try and get a straight answer from BMW to the question of potentially faulty side-air bags and you can't.