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Old 14th November 2014, 06:05   #1
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Default Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Probably a rarity in Indian automotive cases, Toyota India have agreed to pay a total of 25 lacs as compensation for an accident in Nov' 2012 involving a Fortuner where a death and serious injuries occured as the airbags failed to deploy. Apparently the vehicle rammed a pole and then toppled over.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...w/45141644.cms

A very relevant case today when we have several posts on safety /airbags /mannufacturers pushing for less safety measures etc.

(Posting this as a separate thread since I felt it is a significant happening which can have serious impact on safety issues in future - mods please merge if required)

Last edited by wilful : 14th November 2014 at 06:16.
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Old 14th November 2014, 07:37   #2
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

I see a good chance of airbags not deploying if a car hits a pole and then topples. Objects with less surface area like a pole or post for instance can fail to trigger the crash sensors.

This maybe due to using less number of sensors to correctly detect the force of impact of the crash in the first place. Decreasing the threshold of the force needed to trigger the airbags too can fix this problem when using less number of sensors but that's not the ideal solution and creates other problems. But adding sensors will increase the cost. Adding bull bars is another stupidity which will save the sensors and airbag units.

Continuing with the very strong opinion on T-BHP these days, I too hope our government will step in soon to tighten the screws around vehicle safety and not budge before manufacturers lobby.
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Old 14th November 2014, 08:17   #3
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

I suggest the court should also start taking into consideration factors such as the speed of the vehicle at the time of impact as contributory negligence and reduce the compensation.

This kind of a judgement does increase the chance of more rash driving when one tends to reply on the technical safety features of the car - and a resultant payout by either the manufacturer or insurance company - instead of one's own driving discipline and following traffic rules.

Suppose I hit a pedestrian: my defence? The ABS failed to kick in, or the EBD didn't work!
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Old 14th November 2014, 08:28   #4
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Suppose I hit a pedestrian: my defence? The ABS failed to kick in, or the EBD didn't work!
Unfortunately, people dont need new technology to make stupid statements. The other day my wife was out in our car with our driver and somebody bumped into the back of our car. It wasn't that serious, but it was a proper "fender bender" as they say.

The other driver jumped out of his car and started shouting at my driver: It's not my fault! My brakes aren't working!

Utterly pathetic.

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Old 14th November 2014, 09:00   #5
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Wont this be contested in court again by Toyota? Further an isolated case like this wont really help anyone, we all know how long other cases we have been following here have been stuck in the courts.
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Old 14th November 2014, 09:39   #6
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Nope, don't think it will be contested. The negative PR out of this case will be much worse. Also since the case is already in the Supreme Court it will be covered in one media or the other and will not be decided very quickly.

Btw, the owner had made all the directors as defendants in the case. If the case did go on, there would be a chance at least one director would have to appear before the court, worsening the PR situation.
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Old 14th November 2014, 10:27   #7
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
I suggest the court should also start taking into consideration factors such as the speed of the vehicle at the time of impact as contributory negligence and reduce the compensation.
We already put enough blame on the Driver for most of the cases. The accident data of the government 'blames' the driver for most of the accidents, while in reality it is not. This is fine if we have 'reliable and tamper-proof' GPS sensors in all vehicles to collect accurate data about speed, etc - otherwise (almost) all police reports would blame driver error.
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Old 14th November 2014, 11:36   #8
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Well, if a vehicle topples over after hitting a post on a flat road, do you think the vehicle was being driven according to the applicable laws, following all the precautions and speed limits?
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:05   #9
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

I am surprised at the opinions being voiced in this forum which supposedly is considered to be very knowledgeable in terms of pedestrian & vehicle safety. No wonder it is very convenient for the police & courts to blame the driver / car owner as they are considered to be soft targets.

I am sorry for my rant but could not resist myself.
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:17   #10
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

The question here is not how the vehicle was driven but the question is WHY THE AIRBAGS DID NOT DEPLOY in case of a frontal collision with a pole.
Being a owner of a fortuner for last 4 years I for one would like to know the answer.
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Old 14th November 2014, 13:46   #11
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Is it anyway related to recent Takata air bag issue (even though defect seems to be different) which forced them to recall many Toyota, Lexus vehicles?

May be Toyota do not want to get in to more trouble continuing the legal battle.

Last edited by Latheesh : 14th November 2014 at 13:47.
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Old 14th November 2014, 14:13   #12
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Oh come on guys! FINALLY the legal authorities pull up a manufacturer, and you'll are pointing fingers at the driver!!!

The technical reasoning would've surely been proven while the case went upto supreme court.

Don't you'll think, especially the way our legal system is, we should appreciate the owner for the case that numerous others will be able to use as a citation ?

Toyota sold Innovas' & Fortuners' with Airbags at quite a handsome premium, how can they not be liable for irresponsible decisions where the crucial Secondary Restraint System - Airbags, wouldn't work due to a manufacturing defect ! Moreover, they didn't even have a recall !

Much Deserved IMO. Happy that our Judiciary took up the case & provided relief to owner & driver.

Hope other car makers take a note and ensure they don't take irresponsible decisions.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 14th November 2014 at 14:14.
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Old 14th November 2014, 14:17   #13
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

The fact that Fortuner's airbags did not deploy even after hitting a pole before toppling should concern all Fortune owners and potentially all Toyota vehicle owners who have airbags equipped in their vehicles.

If collision with objects with lesser surface areas increases the chances of airbags not deploying then in effect equipping airbags on a vehicle does not serve the purpose !

Before going to talk about driver negligence etc, can Toyota vouch that their Fortuners sold in India have the same no of sensors ( say for frontal airbag activation atleast) as they provide for the same car sold in other countries - say South Africa, SE Asian countries?

My point here is did Toyota reduce the no of crash sensors (for obvious reasons) in the Indian model of the Fortuner?? If yes - this opens a new can of worms.
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Old 14th November 2014, 14:19   #14
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by columbus View Post
The question here is not how the vehicle was driven but the question is WHY THE AIRBAGS DID NOT DEPLOY in case of a frontal collision with a pole.
Being a owner of a fortuner for last 4 years I for one would like to know the answer.
This is actually one case where I'm inclined to side with the car maker, based on the facts in the story alone.

According to the story, there was no frontal collision with a pole - "The manufacturer had argued that since the SUV toppled over and did not have a frontal impact, its airbags did not open." The Fortuner has no side airbags so the front airbags not deploying is a smokescreen. Also it doesn't say how the driver died. Perhaps he hit his head against the side of the car. In that case, how will a front airbag help?

But it's good to know that a big car maker can be brought to its heels in India by naming the directors in the case!
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Old 14th November 2014, 14:22   #15
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Default re: Toyota to pay 25 lakhs for Fortuner Accident (airbags didn't deploy)

Was the Fortuner fitted with a bull bar in front of the front bumper, which did not let the airbag deployment sensors work upon impact?
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