Typically, airbag burns and scars are identified through examination and consideration of when and how the airbag was deployed. Though automotive airbags are intended as a safety measure, the bags have a method of deployment that can cause both heat and chemical burns on areas that frequently come into contact with them, including the face and chest.
According to an article published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, airbags can cause significant injuries to the chest wall, including burns, skin lacerations and even bone fractures. Other researchers have found that airbags cause burns in three primary ways: by expelling hot gas to inflate the bag itself, by heating up due to the expulsion of this hot gas and by melting the clothing of those who come into contact with the hot bags. Many journal articles and studies have been dedicated to the analysis of this specific type of injury.