Our CDR - EDR Services

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CDR Tool and what is it used for?

The CDR tool is the most advanced forensic tool used exclusively by Houston Auto Appraisers CDR EDR technicians and analysis that images crash data information retrieved from the vehicles air bag control module. The information allows users to determine various parameters including Pre-Crash Data, Vehicle Speed, Maximum Longitudinal and Lateral Delta V’s leading up to the IMPACT in milliseconds ranging from – 5,-4,-3,-2,-1, CRASH.

Does the CDR tool have a margin of error? And if so, what is it?

Yes, 1,000 milliseconds (1 second) of pre-crash data. A vehicle could be traveling at 40 miles per hour but the recorded speed could be 38 miles per hour. This is due to the rounding that occurs by the CDR tool. Research shows that these differences are minute and doesn’t play a significant role in determining the overall average approximate speed.

What software versions MUST you use when imaging the airbag control module?

The most current and latest version as of this current date.

What is the minimum amount of speed necessary for an airbag to deploy?

Each automaker sets their minimum algorithm enable. The average speed of 5 MPH is common industry wide for an AE Non-Deployment Event or a Deployment Event.

What are the 4-stages that occur when an air bag is deployed in a crash sequence?

1. The crash itself
2. The crash sensor detecting deceleration
3. The air bag deployment and inflating
4. The occupant moving forward and striking the air bag as deflation occurs.

In the event of a head on collision or frontal collision, what inflation range in milliseconds does the front driver and passenger air bags inflate?

30-40 milliseconds

According to industry standards, how many milliseconds does it take for a side impact air bag to deploy during a side impact collision, known as a T-bone collision?

10-14 milliseconds.

Can the air bag fail to deploy when it “should” have deployed; if so, explain answer.

The words “Should have deployed” is dependent upon certain parameters. But for the most part, if the vehicle lost power to the energy capacitator or when the vehicles 12-volt DC battery has been disconnected, the air bag may not deploy.

How can I determine if the vehicle lost power causing the airbag not to deploy?

By using the latest version of the CDR Tool.

What are the three-occupant classification system in a vehicle.

The seat position sensor which detects the proximity of the occupant to the airbag, the seat belt sensor which detects if the occupant seat belt is engaged and locked in the housing unit, and the occupant weight sensor which measures the weight of the occupant, determining whether the occupant as me a present weight threshold limit.

Can you manipulate or alter the downloaded information from the CDR Tool?


Can this manipulated information be used fraudulently by law enforcement, insurance adjusters or private auto accident investigators to get a verdict or award in their favor?


How can you determine if the manipulated information has been used fraudulently?

By hiring 2 separate EDR Technicians who independently utilizes their own CDR Tool to image the ACM using the latest software. If the original information submitted is different from what the other two EDR Technicians submitted, then it may be seen as tampered evidence submitted fraudulently for one sides benefit.

Who relies on the CDR Tool?

In addition to the Houston CDR EDR’s crash data team, other professionals including include Law Enforcement Officers, Criminal Courts, Criminal Defense Attorneys, Auto Accident Investigators, Insurance Adjusters, Private Investigators, and possibly you. Give us a call at 1-877-845-2368 today.


There are several components that make your vehicles air bag, including:

1. AIR BAG – A strong and neatly folded nylon or blended material lightly covered in talcum powder and is designed to provide immediate protection to an occupant’s face, head and torso in the event of an airbag deployable event. The talcum powder is what you see floating around after the deployment.

2. INITIATOR – The average front air bags utilize an initiator device such as a squib which is a miniature explosive device, to ignite the propellant that produces the nitrogen or other inert gas that fills the nylon air bag.

3. ELECTRONIC CONTROL UNIT – The ECU or Crash Event Data Recovery terms (Airbag Control Module) is the brains of the airbag system.

4. INFLATOR – also known as a squib which is a miniature explosive that can explode and cause shrapnel to be sent flying inside the vehicle and striking the drivers eyes, nose, lips, teeth, tongue, checks, chin, neck, ears, upper and lower torso – resulting in an immediate.

5. SENSORS – Air bag system sensors are designed to measure variances in preset factors. Late model vehicles are designed to detect rapid deceleration of the vehicle through the use of a micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometer. If the threshold is met, the air bag will deploy based on the algorithm enable.

The seatbelt pretentioner is an active restraint designed to automatically tighten or take up slack in a seat belt when a crash has been detected or when acceleration or deceleration may cause unsafe movement of the seated occupant.

The roll over protection system in most modern cars are deployable instead of being stationary and fixed, like a permanent roll cage in a racecar. Once the inclinometer sensor detects how fast the vehicle’s tilt is changing it signals this information to the gravitational acceleration sensor (G-sensor) which in turn detects the vehicles weightlessness, such as that experience in a free fall. If certain thresholds are met, the roll over protection located in or near the rear head rests of the rear passenger compartments are deployed.

Caution / Warning / Aviso – Vehicles purchased as salvage title flooded vehicles are subject to premature failure of the vehicles air bag control module, electrical system, and safety systems. **** Once the subjected to rain water or flooding, the ECU can trigger the pyrotechnic device and cause the air bags to activate ******* The Majority of lawsuits in these cases do not have favorable outcomes if you knowingly purchased a salvaged title vehicle or one that is suspected of being in a flood.