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Old 17th June 2013, 08:01   #1
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Default Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

One moment, everything was good. My wife and I were driving from Bangalore to Palakkad on NH 47. The highway was smooth and wide. It was a nearing noon and we were making good time. Salem was behind us and we hoped to reach Palakkad by late afternoon.

The next moment, the big Toyota Innova listed to one side and jumped across the median dividing the six-lane highway. The rear end swung out in a wide arc and 1700 kilos of speeding metal skidded across three lanes of oncoming traffic before swinging back towards the center and coming to a halt as the front wheels bumped against the median.

“Tire burst,” observed a tourist taxi driver laconically when we stepped out, shaken, to inspect the damage. Around us, vehicles skidded to juddering stops as drivers desperately swerved to avoid our wild swing across the busy national highway.

The gods were kind, said people with much wringing of hands and looks heavenwards. We hadn't hit any oncoming vehicle or rolled or toppled over. We were unscathed. And apart from the four tires and rims that were destroyed, there was no damage to the car.

With the practical kindness that is typical of Tamilians, we were quickly sorted out. A gentleman in a blue shirt (thank you sir, I never got your name) showed me his bill from the nearest toll plaza and asked me to note their phone number. He had already called them and asked for a tow truck and wanted me to follow up. Someone gave me the phone number of the nearest Toyota dealer for repair. Others offered us a ride to the nearest town or garage. Or checked if we had water and food in case we wanted to stay with the car.

In due time, the official apparatus swung into action. The tow truck rolled up and moved us to the side of the road. Two policemen arrived, took down our particulars, and having ensured that no one was hurt, left.

The folks from the highways patrol vehicle were solidly helpful. Being well versed in such matters, they advised me to file a police report and insurance claim only after checking with my insurance company if they’d cover the damage (turns out insurance does not cover tires). They also stuck around till I had called the Toyota helpline and initiated assistance. In another stroke of luck, a passing Toyota driver (thank you, Ravi) who was delivering a vehicle somewhere, stopped when he saw us stranded on the road, and called his manager with an assessment of the damage. Forget the tow truck, he told them, just send four new tires and rims.

The famed Toyota process was not without glitches. We were stranded in Perundurai halfway between Salem and Coimbatore, two large towns with sizable Toyota dealerships. But when I called Coimbatore, they directed me to the dealer in Erode, a smaller town close to Perundurai. For four long hours as the afternoon wore on, we waited on the highway answering curious gawkers and playing phone tag with Toyota bureaucracy as the Erode dealer tried, and failed, to organize assistance. Finally, five hours after the accident, a rescue car from Salem brought us new tires and rims and we were car borne again. Late that night, in torrential rain, we finally reached Palakkad.

The accident cost us thirty six thousand rupees in repairs and half a day. Not a small amount, but a small price to pay for a providential escape. As my wife said, it would have been bad enough had we been hurt in the accident. But it would have been impossible to sleep at night had we been the cause of someone else being hurt.

On that sunny afternoon in Perundurai, the gods had truly been kind.

Last edited by GTO : 17th June 2013 at 12:41. Reason: We don't allow linking to personal blogs. Thanks
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Old 17th June 2013, 09:25   #2
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Glad to know that you guys came out of a bad moment without much trouble. It is a very fast highway and a tyre burst could turn real bad.

Which tyre burst? What was the age and mileage on the tyre? And which brand was it?

Do go to the nearest Toyota A.S.S. and check the front and rear suspension thoroughly. Also, get the alignment and balancing done from a good place.

Last edited by deetjohn : 17th June 2013 at 09:26. Reason: typo.
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Old 17th June 2013, 09:41   #3
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Toppling, hanging upside down by your seatbelts, head-on with oncoming trucks, inter state buses/monsters - the scenarios are endless.

HE was in your car. No other way to explain what happened. Say thanks to HIM soon.
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Old 17th June 2013, 10:34   #4
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

That was miraculous indeed. Forget the money or time lost, am glad you were unscathed and unshaken enough to drive on.

What was the condition of the tyre? Age and distance covered? What speeds were you doing? Six lane highway, I presume north of 100kmph?

Did you maintain the advised tyre pressure or a bit higher?

Was the tarmac really hot and when did you last stop? Am asking this to assess the heat build up which most probably resulted in the burst.

Also being a tubeless tyre, did it burst all of a sudden or just lost air real quick?

Asking these questions so we can all learn from the incident.
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Old 17th June 2013, 11:26   #5
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

That's terrible and you should really thank your stars that nobody was hurt. Innova is a giant on road and should it go wild, it can be really scary, dangerous and can cause massive damage.

I hope you have by now migrated to tubeless tires. They shield you much from such bursts at least.

Best Regards,
Saket
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Old 17th June 2013, 12:15   #6
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

All 4 of them together???
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Old 17th June 2013, 12:20   #7
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

I don't know about God, but you were very lucky. But I'm surprised by the way the vehicle behaved after the tire burst. Very violent.

I had once had a similar experience on a hot afternoon on AP's highways at around 60kmph with my motorcycle. Rear tire burst, the bike swivelled a little, I understood why, I pulled over and fetched help. I was happy it wasn't any worse.
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Old 17th June 2013, 12:20   #8
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Front right side tyre may be the culprit which caused the accident and other tires might have gone bust when the vehicle jumped over the divider.
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Old 17th June 2013, 12:26   #9
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
...I hope you have by now migrated to tubeless tires. They shield you much from such bursts at least....
I dont think so....tubeless tyres can also burst just like tubed ones, if conditions are right.
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Old 17th June 2013, 12:30   #10
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Thunder View Post
I dont think so....tubeless tyres can also burst just like tubed ones, if conditions are right.
You are right, they can and when they do, the situation can be even more dangerous, because there might not be anything left on the rim then making things even difficult. But the probability is much much lower than the tube type tires, isn't it? When I changed to tubeless, my biggest concern was to minimise the risk of punctures and tyre bursts.

Last edited by saket77 : 17th June 2013 at 12:35.
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Old 17th June 2013, 12:33   #11
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Angels were with you that day. This can get very very bad at times and God's grace saved you.
You should thank him.

Get your car checked at the ASC thoroughly. All 4 tyres busting at the same time seems a bit impossible. Was there some kind of metal objects that were lying on the road that you failed to notice?
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Old 17th June 2013, 12:37   #12
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Default re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Let me first congratulate you on what is truly a low probability escape! As somebody else pointed there is no shortage of some very varied and ghastly outcomes to cases of high speed highway tire bursts. Such a relief to know that the loss was only monetary.

For all of us who travel long distances on highways regulary, tire bursts are a regular threat. It would be fantastic for the rest of us from an education perspective if you can give more detail of the key seconds immediately before and after the tyre burst, like:

1) Vehicle Speed
2) How did you realize that tire/s had burst
3) What sounds you heard
4) What did you try to do after the vehicle started misbehaving.

I know all of the above would have happend in less than 10 seconds, but I would be grateful if you can think through the above points and detail your experience. Maybe the information you save can be the saviour of somebody else some other day!
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Old 17th June 2013, 13:33   #13
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Default Re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Thank God you guys are all safe! Tyre burst is the only thing that scares me immensely on fast highways. Even Sam Kapasi lost his life due to the same cause.

It looks like one tyre burst first, and the others after hitting the median. 36K is a small price to pay when compared to medical charges if any of you got hurt.
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Old 17th June 2013, 14:14   #14
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Default Re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

Thanks to the Almighty that you both are safe and unhurt.
It was a very narrow escape.
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Old 17th June 2013, 14:53   #15
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Default Re: Tyre burst! The Gods were kind in Perundurai

You have been real lucky. I faced a similar situation (not a tyre burst) on the Goa highway in my Accent. We were unhurt but the car was in a total loss. As we believe, life is more precious. "Jaan hai toh jahaan hai"

Last edited by GTO : 18th June 2013 at 13:29. Reason: Correcting spelling errors. PM coming up
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