The Kilpatrick Group, PA

Forensic Engineering | Accident Reconstruction | Product Liability Analysis

Event Data Recorder Report Download and Interpretation

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The Kilpatrick Group, PA has the training, knowledge and experience to download and save a crash data report from a vehicle’s Airbag Control Module (ACM). We can then print out this report, review and interpret it for the client.

The equipment we utilize is manufactured and sold by the Bosch Corporation who is the only company in the world at this time that manufactures such a device for engineering firms involved in traffic accident reconstruction. This device incorporates an interface module along with appropriate umbilical cables called Data Link Connectors (DLC) as well as a serial port cable. The interface module, when connected to the ACM, communicates with the Event Data Recorder (EDR) within the ACM. The interface module functions much like a modem does in a common personal computer (PC). The interface module and its program makes it possible for the PC to communicate with, download and store a crash data report saved in the EDR. To view their website and learn more about this technology, click on the Bosch Corporation link above.

The Event Data Recorder (EDR) is part of an electronic device called an Airbag Control Module (ACM) which is factory installed in vehicles incorporating occupant restraint system technology. The restraint system incorporates airbags, satellite impact sensors which are strategically located within the vehicle’s structure, and in addition in some vehicles, seat belt pretensioners. During a collision, the ACM receives information via the satellite impact sensors. The ACM then determines, through its programming, whether or not to deploy the airbags and activate the seat belt pretensioners. It does this by comparing the impact sensor’s information to the airbag deployment threshold. If the deployment threshold is met or exceeded, the ACM will then deploy the airbags and activate the seat belt pretensioners during a collision to aid in reducing or preventing serious personal injury to the occupants during a vehicle collision. This is called a deployment event. If the ACM does not deploy the airbags during a collision, then this is called a non-deployment event.

Auto manufacturers have their own term for the ACM. For example, General Motors calls their ACM a Sensing Diagnostic Module (SDM) while Ford calls their ACM a Restraint Control Module (RCM). Legislation was created by the United States Federal Government as 49CFR563 to regulate this technology. All automobile manufacturers that install into their vehicles occupant restraint system technology must have an Event Data Recorder and they must fully comply with these regulation by September 1, 2010.