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Old 1st October 2015, 12:56   #16
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Shocked to know about the accident. Glad that you were able to come out unharmed. This is the first time I am hearing anything like this and indeed it sends shivers down my spine.

Also, I read members quoting that this is a common issue with Tata vehicles or at least has happened with 2-3 Tata branded vehicles so I am a bit worried now since I also own the Tata Safari Storme.

I am thinking of getting the same checked proactively when I visit the TASS next time before hitting the highway next month for a 1000+ kms journey.

Anything specific that I need to get checked or check myself and let the TASS SA know regarding the same?

Cheers!
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Old 1st October 2015, 13:01   #17
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

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Originally Posted by jinojohnt View Post
Even if you release the bonnet lock from inside the car, the bonnet will only open by an inch. You would be able to lift the bonnet only after (manually) moving a latch under the bonnet. This is how the bonnet lock is designed in Maruti cars. How is it for Tata, can anyone please confirm?

Yes, exactly it is the same on all cars.

My logic was if the bonnet was already open by ~ an inch, then there was that much more space for air to rush in (that too at highway speeds) and apply pressure against the bonnet. Eventually the lock gave up resulting in the bonnet flying open.
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Old 1st October 2015, 13:05   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iabhishekkumar View Post
I am thinking of getting the same checked proactively when I visit the TASS next time before hitting the highway next month for a 1000+ kms journey.

Anything specific that I need to get checked or check myself and let the TASS SA know regarding the same?

Cheers!
I would still say mine was a freak accident. I don't think you need to be worried.

And, if your Tata svc is anything like the one here, I would urge you to visit them only when the car is incurably, unfixably broken down.
What I learned the hard way is that, preventive maintenance doesn't seem to work with this car. You ask them to fix one thing, they'll ensure two are broken in its place.
Again, this is limited to my experience with the car. Your svc might be better, for all I know.
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Old 1st October 2015, 13:06   #19
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Angry Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

@schakravarthy Glad you are safe. Good presence of mind.

Shocking! to say the least. I thought this was not possible! Isn't there a second safety catch that you have to release before the bonnet lifts from its resting position after the release in the cabin is pulled/operated?

What is the equivalent of the NHTSA ?
Will this prompt a Maggi-like recall?

I'm surprised that such a basic safety mechanism failed.

But here is a related story:
Nissan Altima hood latch recall rises to 625,000



Quote:
Nissan is expanding an earlier recall of its popular Altima sedans to fix a flaw that can cause the hood to fly open while the car is being driven...
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Old 1st October 2015, 13:23   #20
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

You must thank the almighty and your nerves to come out unscathed from this accident.
I have heard of similar bonnet openings in the past too, but nothing recently. I have a question for you if you can remember something. When you were about to overtake the second bus or while overtaking the first one, did you hit any rough patch/ pothole on the road? Normally bonnet locking mechanisms are of 2 stages. If by any chance had the first lock disengaged and then because of some rough patch, there are chances of the second lock getting disengaged too.
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Old 1st October 2015, 13:37   #21
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

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Originally Posted by RoadSurfer View Post
When you were about to overtake the second bus or while overtaking the first one, did you hit any rough patch/ pothole on the road? .
Nope. No bad patches, speed , potholes.. nothing. It was a clean, smooth stretch of tarmac.
Also, from what I understand, even if the first lock is disengaged, the function of the second lock is to prevent such accidental openings. It's precisely why it's there.
Correct me if I am wrong though.
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Old 1st October 2015, 13:49   #22
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

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Originally Posted by schakravarthy View Post
Nope. No bad patches, speed , potholes.. nothing. It was a clean, smooth stretch of tarmac.
Also, from what I understand, even if the first lock is disengaged, the function of the second lock is to prevent such accidental openings. It's precisely why it's there.
Correct me if I am wrong though.
You are correct. The purpose of the second lock is exactly that. But normally this lock is spring loaded. So on bad roads it may get disengaged too.
What is the reason given by Tata?
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Old 1st October 2015, 13:59   #23
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Why don't cars have the bonnet hinged in the front, like in the premier 118ne ?
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Old 1st October 2015, 14:08   #24
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

From the sound of it, this seems to be a case of hinge getting dislodged during movement.
As the bonnet was firmly closed to start with, i suspect there could be some bad quality of metal involved. To cut costs further all manufacturers these days are opting for cheaper vendors for small parts.

What is surprising to me is that Tata is the biggest manufacturer of auto grade steel in India and still they are making cheap quality parts for their own products.

The old M&M Jeeps used to have 4 latches on the outside to keep bonnets properly in place, maybe it is time to get back the hinges for Tata cars
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Old 1st October 2015, 14:12   #25
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Really scary!! Good that you kept your cool head! Can't think of moving ahead blindfolded even at a slow pace!

Chances are the bonnet will fall on its own to the front, by braking hard. Of course, presence of mind is required, one has to check the rear, otherwise it will be suicidal. But the situation is equally bad!
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Old 1st October 2015, 14:26   #26
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

I experienced something similar in a Premier Padmini in the early 90s. My dad was driving and we were on a national highway when the bonnet flew open. I don't remember exact speed but it was fairly. My father quickly managed to bring the car to a stop, but we were all stunned by this incident. Luckily it didn't break the windshield. I am surprised to learn that this happens even on modern cars.
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Old 1st October 2015, 14:48   #27
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

From what I understand, there is an 'adjuster' for the bonnet lock. Depending on the adjustment, the bonnet lock can vary from "cannot be locked" to "cannot be opened using bonnet release" (yes, such a wide variation possible).
My dad's Alto was back from MASS recently, when we found that the bonnet simply wouldn't lock. It seems somebody adjusted the lock (played around) when the car was at the MASS. When dad complained and took the car back to MASS, they adjusted it at the gates in one minute (without even taking the car in). I strongly suspect that the adjuster in your Xenon was calibrated at the brim, hence the sudden release of lock.
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Old 1st October 2015, 15:24   #28
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

The only other instance I have known is from movie Michael Madana kamarajan I think

Extremely lucky that it happened in a road with median between. Cant imagine if someone was passing on a two lane road and not being able to see in front. Have they found the exact reason for this to happen ? Else its scary that it could happen again in other similar cars.
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Old 1st October 2015, 16:45   #29
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Quote:
Originally Posted by behaln View Post
did you have a word with someone senior in Tatar motors?
Behram sir was of immense help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by batterylow View Post
Why don't cars have the bonnet hinged in the front, like in the premier 118ne ?
Although its certainly a safer way, it really would prove to be a pain to work on the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarJunki View Post

The old M&M Jeeps used to have 4 latches on the outside to keep bonnets properly in place, maybe it is time to get back the hinges for Tata cars
Believe it or not, I called up my friend (PreethamB) who has a Thar asking if he too would be interested in hood pins. Tata and Mahindra aren't that far apart, actually. He assured me that his car already comes with side-latches from factory.

Last edited by schakravarthy : 1st October 2015 at 16:46.
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Old 1st October 2015, 16:57   #30
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Shocking to say the least!

Srinivas,
You have given us all a lesson what to do in such situations. Wonderful presence of mind.

By the way, do you think you should also check for rodents? May be they chewed into something that may have caused this mishap.

First time I have heard of this and it is scary as hell.

Take care,
Achyu
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