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Old 27th September 2015, 00:03   #1
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Default Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

"Accident

- noun

an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap: automobile accidents.

Law- such a happening resulting in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person for which compensation or indemnity is legally sought.

Any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause."


With so much debate going on about the 'Accident' part of the thread, here's one that I believe ticks every definition in the book.

The car, sadly, is mine.

I was on my way to Bangalore last week. Travelling alone, I was doing a steady 80kmph on the Bangalore-Mysore highway.
I came upon a couple of buses and with the road clear, I lined up to pass them.
80kmph, I moved to the right lane to pass bus number 1.
With the first bus overtaken, the speed around 90kmph, I was mid way into the second passing when the bonnet of my car flew open. The windshield was smashed and the wind force ensured that the bonnet stayed open; thereby blinding me completely.
Buses on my left and rear, and the median to my right- not sure where exactly.

Luckily, I didn't panic. I switched on the warning lights and let go of the throttle. I checked the rear view mirrors and having estimated that both the buses would have passed by now, I pulled over to the left lane gradually. I hoped there would be enough shoulder by the road to park the car; Thankfully, there was.

I shudder to think about the consequences had this accident occurred on a double lane.


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Last edited by schakravarthy : 27th September 2015 at 00:11.
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Old 27th September 2015, 00:16   #2
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Thank goodness you are safe Srinivas! Wondering how the bonnet opened just like that. Did the lock fail? What vehicle is this? Xenon?
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Old 27th September 2015, 00:24   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schakravarthy View Post
I was mid way into the second passing when the bonnet of my car flew open. The windshield was smashed and the wind force ensured that the bonnet stayed open; thereby blinding me completely.
Buses on my left and rear, and the median to my right- not sure where exactly.

Luckily, I didn't panic. I switched on the warning lights and let go of the throttle. I checked the rear view mirrors and having estimated that both the buses would have passed by now, I pulled over to the left lane gradually. I hoped there would be enough shoulder by the road to park the car; Thankfully, there was.
What happened to you is scary. I shudder to think of how bad it could've been had you not kept your cool and rammed the brakes. Good that you were able to assess and act accordingly.

Is the fuel cap release positioned next to the hood release in the Xenon? If so, do you remember if you pulled that instead of the fuel release while refuelling or did the bonnet lock just give up?
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Old 27th September 2015, 00:31   #4
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Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Thank goodness you are safe Srinivas! Wondering how the bonnet opened just like that. Did the lock fail? What vehicle is this? Xenon?
It's a Xenon XT.

And, I've no idea how the bonnet opened. Really.
The bonnet was securely closed. Having performed my usual pre-highway checks, I can say that much.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanksta View Post
Is the fuel cap release positioned next to the hood release in the Xenon? If so, do you remember if you pulled that instead of the fuel release while refuelling or did the bonnet lock just give up?
The fuel cap and bonnet release are conventionally positioned- near the driver's foot and towards the bottom of the dash respectively. No way to mix them up.


I had driven a good 30kms at the same speeds before the accident occurred.

Last edited by schakravarthy : 27th September 2015 at 00:49.
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Old 27th September 2015, 00:58   #5
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Quote:
Originally Posted by schakravarthy View Post
"Accident

- noun

an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap: automobile accidents.

Law- such a happening resulting in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person for which compensation or indemnity is legally sought.

Any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause."


With so much debate going on about the 'Accident' part of the thread, here's one that I believe ticks every definition in the book.

The car, sadly, is mine.

I was on my way to Bangalore last week. Travelling alone, I was doing a steady 80kmph on the Bangalore-Mysore highway.
I came upon a couple of buses and with the road clear, I lined up to pass them.
80kmph, I moved to the right lane to pass bus number 1.
With the first bus overtaken, the speed around 90kmph, I was mid way into the second passing when the bonnet of my car flew open. The windshield was smashed and the wind force ensured that the bonnet stayed open; thereby blinding me completely.
Buses on my left and rear, and the median to my right- not sure where exactly.
Thank god you are safe! How could this happen on its own? May be some kid would have opened the bonnet while playing in the car or you opened the bonnet and forgot to shut it down properly? Whatever may be the case, this is scary.You are the person who acted wisely and calmly, did not panic.
Salute you for the patience and calmness you possessed in such a shuddering situation.
Hats off man!
I just wish it never happens to any of us.

Regards
Aakarsh
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Old 27th September 2015, 01:15   #6
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Default Re: Accidents in India - PICS

Quote:
Originally Posted by schakravarthy View Post
... ... ... I was mid way into the second passing when the bonnet of my car flew open. The windshield was smashed and the wind force ensured that the bonnet stayed open; thereby blinding me completely. ... ... ...
Nightmare. Really, one of the worst dreams a driver can have.

Congratulations on your cool head. Keeping control, and stopping the car without further damage to it or you, and without any other vehicle or person being involved.
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Old 1st October 2015, 11:02   #7
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Mod Note: Bonnet opening incident has been moved out to a new thread. @ Schakravarthy, am glad you made it out okay. This is any driver's worst nightmare come true. Hats off to maintaining your cool in such a situation.

This is the second such instance reported on the forum, the earlier one was a Tata car too. Thread Link (Bonnet flies open in my new Tata Indigo CS and shatters the windscreen - now what?).



Quote:
Originally Posted by mathranik View Post
Not enough can be talked about how cheap some of the stuff is, that goes in a few of these Tata cars. I would like to talk about an incident that happened a couple of hours ago.

While driving a 4000 kms old Tata Indigo CS (Diesel) on Surat - Baroda highway, which is a six-laned smooth road, the bonnet suddenly flew open at around 80 kmph. The impact that the windscreen took was bad. The windscreen stands broken and bent inwards (pictures would follow in a couple of hours). The bonnet does not sit back properly in the lock, and is protruding upwards.

This could have resulted in far worse calamity, and as all of you would understand, we rather got away unscathed.

The damage has been done, but I would not remain silent. If it were to be a rusty, two-year old car I might have understood. But a two month old, 5000 km driven car ends up like this?!! What might the actions be that I take?

Please advice! Thanks

Here are the pictures that everyone's been waiting for.

I had a lengthy talk with the regional office and CSM based out of Surat. After a lot of argument, they have agreed to repair the car at their cost (without the interference of insurance). They find it very unnatural for the bonnet to unlock by itself. The lock seemed intact, but the locking mechanism was a bit stiff.

I would like your advice on how to proceed further against Tata?
It's a good thing that some premium cars come with TWO of these (one on either side):

Last edited by GTO : 1st October 2015 at 11:07.
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Old 1st October 2015, 11:25   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

This is the second such instance reported on the forum, the earlier one was a Tata car too.
Immediately post the accident, I called up a good friend of mine to seek his advice on how to proceed. As I narrated my incident, I was surprised that he didn't find it umm.. 'Strange' that the bonnet flew open on its own accord.
On enquiring, he revealed that this wasn't the first event that he had come across. Apparently, his colleague's new Indigo (again a Tata ) had met with a similar fate. Luckily, there were no casualties in that case too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

It's a good thing that some premium cars come with TWO of these (one on either side
I've ordered these:
http://www.sparcousa.com/product/hood-pin
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Old 1st October 2015, 11:57   #9
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanksta View Post
Is the fuel cap release positioned next to the hood release in the Xenon? If so, do you remember if you pulled that instead of the fuel release while refuelling or did the bonnet lock just give up?
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?
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Old 1st October 2015, 12:01   #10
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Quote:
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?
It's the same in my Xenon.
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Old 1st October 2015, 12:08   #11
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Hear in the mouth situation there! Good that you were able to maintain your cool, and even more lucky that there were no other vehicles behind you - particularly two wheelers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schakravarthy View Post
It's the same in my Xenon.
That was what I was also wondering. Even if you had accidentally pulled the lever, the bonnet should not fly open of its own - there are two operations required, totally. Were you able to get to the bottom of it?
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Old 1st October 2015, 12:16   #12
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Scary!

Similar incident happened with my Tata Sierra a decade ago. My father was driving Sierra and suddenly without any clues the bonnet opened. Luckily we escaped without any damage. A good thing from now on is to get the Bonnet struts of Safari installed, this will help limiting the range of bonnet travel and reduce the speed of opening of bonnet. I do hope the best for your safety!
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Old 1st October 2015, 12:22   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schakravarthy View Post
Luckily, I didn't panic. I switched on the warning lights and let go of the throttle. I checked the rear view mirrors and having estimated that both the buses would have passed by now, I pulled over to the left lane gradually.
Srinivas,

Thats indeed scary, I mean really scary. Imagine this happening on the busy roads, the situation would have been something else. Hats off to you for not panicking which was the need of the hour and you could safely steer the car to the side.

Can you post a pic of the Xenon's bonnet clip or lock?? Will be easier to understand what could have failed. Would there be any chances that the door mat must have pulled the bonnet opening lever causing the bonnet to open slightly and the wind could have forced the bonnet to further open?

I remember you asking a query on the Insurance thread regarding making an Insurance claim and I had replied that wear and tear of mechanical parts are not subjected to Insurance claims. Have you checked with the Tata workshop regarding the possibility of claim? Whats the response. The repair cost is going to be a big one for the windshield, roof repair +painting, bonnet repair+painting.

If this is a known issue in the Tata cars, has this been brought to Tata motor's notice? How is the bonnet locking arrangement in the newer cars like Bolt and Zest??

All I can say you are one hell of a lucky guy.
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Old 1st October 2015, 12:36   #14
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Default Re: Tata Xenon: Bonnet flies open on the highway!

Sad to know about your accident. Equally glad that with your presence of mind and situational awareness you escaped unharmed.
Lock failing on Tata vehicles is a common issue. One of my friend who owns 2 Tata vehicles has confirmed this.
did you have a word with someone senior in Tatar motors?
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Old 1st October 2015, 12:54   #15
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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post

Can you post a pic of the Xenon's bonnet clip or lock??
I don't have pics of the lock. And, the car is still at the bodyshop.
But the system looks pretty much the same as a Palio's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Would there be any chances that the door mat must have pulled the bonnet opening lever causing the bonnet to open slightly and the wind could have forced the bonnet to further open?
No saar.
The car had been to repairs, and I got it back only the previous evening.
In keeping with the high quality and reputation of Tata service, the car went in for an oil leak fix, and came back leaking coolant.
There was a small puddle of coolant when I went to check the car before starting off on the journey. I opened the bonnet to check the coolant level. My cousin came out to see what I was doing.
After the check, he went on to close the bonnet, in the typical showroom way- drop it down and push it into place. I chastised him, popped the hood again, and went on to show him the 'correct' way.
This is the reason for me claiming over and over again that I am absolutely certain that the bonnet was closed securely.

And, regarding your suggestion about the mat interfering, I guess that's not a possibility.
The car doesn't even have dedicated floor mats. What I have are skimpy Sumo Grande OE mats. They hardly cover the floor, let alone reach up till the hood release lever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
I remember you asking a query on the Insurance thread regarding making an Insurance claim and I had replied that wear and tear of mechanical parts are not subjected to Insurance claims. Have you checked with the Tata workshop regarding the possibility of claim? Whats the response. The repair cost is going to be a big one for the windshield, roof repair +painting, bonnet repair+painting.
The estimate I got was Rs.39,000/-

It needed a bit of 'talking' from my side, but the insurance company has agreed to process the claim.
I was able to show them that the bonnet could be closed, they were unable to prove that it was a mechanical failure. So, in the end, they agreed to process the claim.
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