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Old 2nd August 2015, 00:11   #1
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Default Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

This happened to a friend of mine at Suratkal while returning to Cochin.

The vehicle was doing about 90 kmph when it aquaplaned. The vehicle gets into a spin and then rolls over. Luckily, a coconut tree came in the way and stopped the free fall. There were 5 people in the car including my friend; they had a miraculous escape.

As the title mentions, the Airbags didn't deploy, but shockingly that's one of the many safety features that did not work. ESP, ABS, EBD, roll over mitigation, Airbags - nothing worked; rather nothing helped. I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking. I was shocked to see the condition of the vehicle, at the same time relieved that he has come out with minor injuries. One of the ladies suffered a slipped disc; they struggled to pull her out of the vehicle. Others had cuts and bruises.

The tyres were new, ran about 8000 Kms since they were changed.

He has emailed Mahindra customer service citing the safety failure; haven't gotten a response yet. He is yet to perform the insurance surveys etc.

Based on the insurance and accidents threads in T-BHP, I have advised him to get the vehicle transported to Cochin and get the insurance formalities done. Any formalities to be done with regarding to this? I suppose a notification to the insurance company is due before shifting the vehicle? The vehicle is awaiting RTO inspection, it is currently at the police station.

Possible all the steel in the vehicle shell has safeguarded them. But when you have paid for the top variant which has all the safety mumbo-jumbo, that's supposed to prevent the accident in the first place.
Attached Thumbnails
Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-img20150801wa0003.jpg  

Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-img20150801wa0004.jpg  

Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-img20150801wa0005.jpg  

Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-img20150801wa0006.jpg  

Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-img20150801wa0007.jpg  

Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-img20150801wa0008.jpg  

Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-img20150801wa0009.jpg  

Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-img20150801wa0010.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 3rd August 2015 at 15:19. Reason: Spacing. Glad no one was severely injured
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Old 2nd August 2015, 01:50   #2
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

Interesting - thanks for sharing. I'd want to learn and understand this better. Here's my hypotheses - I could be totally wrong!
Airbags won't deploy till there's a front impact.
ABS/EBD won't come into play - its not like they were braking hard.
ESP - I could be wrong, but it sounds like ESP didn't work because there was no steering input that would cause the ESP to kick in. See tests like this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by glenmz View Post
The vehicle was doing about 90 kmph when it aquaplaned. The vehicle gets into a spin and then rolls over. Luckily a coconut tree came on the way and stopped the free fall. There were 5 people in the car including my friend; they had a miraculous escape.
As the title mentions, the Airbags did not deploy but shockingly thats one of the many safety features that did not work. ESP, ABS, EBD, roll over mitigation, Airbags - noting worked; rather noting helped.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 01:54   #3
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

This is a miracle. God surely saved them. Seeing the condition of the Car nobody would believe that someone survived that bad an accident.
Front airbags deploy only when there is frontal collision and when the front passengers have their seat belts on. Since there was no front impact, I guess the front airbags didnít deploy.
Since this is the top end XUV, Iím guessing it had side-curtain airbags. Not all side- air bags are designed to deploy as rollover air bags. I think you should check with M&M about that.
Also, recently, M&M recalled many XUVís manufactured before July 2014 for some side curtain airbag software upgrade. Source: http://profit.ndtv.com/news/corporat...oftware-740365
Was your friendís XUV recalled too?
Ideally, immediately after the Rollover Mitigation identified (if it ever did identify) potential dangerous driving conditions that could lead to the vehicle rolling over, the ESP system should have intervened and controlled the vehicle speed and thereby restored stability. I think the ESP with Rollover Mitigation did not function properly or simply was not capable enough. I don't see why a legal action shall not be initiated against M&M if they do not provide a satisfactory explanation or compensation.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 01:59   #4
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

OMG !!!! Glad to hear that occupants are safe. Kudos to Mahindra on that front. Air bag sensors might be sitting in the front and there weren't much impact to the bonnet. That could be a reason for air bag not deploying. But nevertheless, Electronic Stability control should have kicked in and avoided the spin here. This is scary and confusing as Bosch itself markets ESC feature with XUV 5OO as one of the demo car.

Last edited by sbala : 2nd August 2015 at 02:03.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 02:07   #5
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

Glad to know the occupants did not suffer life threatening injuries!
Had the airbags deployed, would it have resulted in any lesser injuries for the occupants?
As for ABS/EBD etc etc, they are just aids. They will not overcome physics! Aquaplaning suggests either it was raining or it had just stopped raining.

Last edited by amitoj : 2nd August 2015 at 02:09.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 03:13   #6
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

Firstly, it is odd for the car to have aquaplaned on relatively new tyres. One must slow down when the roads are wet and if they can't manage to do that, then always remember to stay away from big puddles when driving fast regardless of how many electronic aids their car has. End of the day, the bigger puddles are the cause and an SUV is inherently less stable due to its higher center of gravity.

Front airbags are designed to deploy if there is an impact detected by the sensors placed in front of the car. In most roll-over accidents, they do not deploy unless there is a risk of head and/or chest injuries to the driver (were there any). Manufacturers typically design the thresholds in such a way that airbags are not deployed when they would be of no use.

As for ESP, had the driver panicked and not bothered reacting in the right manner to the situation, there is nothing that it could have done to save the car or its occupants. It works only on detecting steering inputs in relation to the direction the car is headed and traction values from the wheels. If one doesn't bother turning the steering in the direction they want to go to avoid an accident, nothing can be helped. Even if one did react to the situation, in most cases ESP will still not be able to help because it relies on the wheels being in contact with the road or atleast a more definitive surface than water. We must all be aware and careful in order to prevent aquaplaning

All this having been said, there does not seem to be any excuse for the side and curtain airbags not deploying.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 2nd August 2015 at 03:27.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 07:41   #7
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Ishaanlan is correct that systems step in based on inputs but a car which is aquaplaning send virtually nil actionable inputs as all wheels are without patch contact.

That said, to me this does not look like 90kmph crash. Either the speed was 120+ or - and I shudder to say - the body shell design is crap. This much shell damage on roll over at speed you are mentioning?

Mahindra body and design shop needs to collate data.

New tyres do not guarantee no aquaplaning. Each tyre pattern has max capacity of water removal - almost like a pump - and quantum to be removed goes up with speed.

Last edited by sudev : 2nd August 2015 at 07:45.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 08:06   #8
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

Let your friend first thank whoever is his maker that they are all alive! As sudev has pointed out either the speeds were higher or the XUV5OO has inadequate upper structure strength. It definitely looks like a multiple rollover scenario and you friends are seriously lucky in that case.

Check out the S-Cross accident in the other thread. Multiple rollover scenario is usually a killer!
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Old 2nd August 2015, 08:08   #9
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenmz View Post
As the title mentions, the Airbags did not deploy but shockingly thats one of the many safety features that did not work. ESP, ABS, EBD, roll over mitigation, Airbags - noting worked; rather noting helped.
IMO, Phamilyman has summed up everything well and not much is left to doubting the working of the safety features in general.

May be the roll-over effects weren't transferred to the occupants which I feel is decent enough looking at the terrain, conditions and speed of the vehicle which was 100+ kmph. Now look at the front end, looks like it is clean and no damages, so the airbag sensors sitting there will not get activated as there was no input to them in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Interesting - thanks for sharing. I'd want to learn and understand this better. Here's my hypotheses - I could be totally wrong!
Airbags won't deploy till there's a front impact.
ABS/EBD won't come into play - its not like they were braking hard.
ESP - I could be wrong, but it sounds like ESP didn't work because there was no steering input that would cause the ESP to kick in.
You are right!

You summed it up fully.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 08:57   #10
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

When you look at this vehicle, you wonder how anyone at all could have survived!
This is one of the reasons that I am very glad I did not go the XUV route, though I have been an M&M loyalist for years.
The world has advanced. The needs of people are way different now. Safety is of top priority as is proven reliability in terms of safety.
I would be very careful when considering such vehicles in future!
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Old 2nd August 2015, 09:16   #11
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

3 possible reasons:
1.The rollover dislodged some airbag inflator components. Hence they didn't deploy OR the gas escaped.
2. The airbag specific fuses were burnt out previously.
3. As per transport statistics - % failure of airbags are 16%. It simply does not work. Unknown reasons.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 09:35   #12
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenmz View Post
As the title mentions, the Airbags did not deploy but shockingly thats one of the many safety features that did not work. ESP, ABS, EBD, roll over mitigation, Airbags - noting worked; rather noting helped.
Firstly, I'm pleased to note that everyone came through safely.

Please get Mahindra to check the vehicle for any failures. If you feel it is truly warranted, file a consumer case against them, so they perform a proper investigation and release a report.

Having said that, consider the following:
  1. Please check the user manual to see the conditions under which the safety features will activate, or cases when it will not function
  2. Consider the excellent points made by phamilyman, IshaanIan and sudev
  3. Notice that the front is undamaged, the running boards and bottom of B-pillars are likewise undamaged. These are the locations for the front and side airbag sensors. No damage, no airbag deployment

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenmz View Post
But when you have paid for the top variant which has all the safety mumbo-jumbo, that's supposed to prevent the accident in the first place.
I'm probably guilty of jumping to a conclusion, but this statement almost reads like an assumption that there's some technology that prevents accidents. Sorry, every safety feature available just reduces a few percentage points of either an accident occurring, or the damage caused by an accident.

Moreover, I wonder if there's some aspect of risk compensation involved? Would the people involved have driven the same way in a smaller and lighter hatchback, something that sat closer to the ground, and looked less menacing?

Speaking for myself, I view all the safety features in one of my cars as additional aids that keeps me safe, not something that helps me push the boundaries of the driver and vehicle. And whether I drive that one, or my other car with no safety features, I drive them both identically.

Last edited by arunphilip : 2nd August 2015 at 09:40.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 09:40   #13
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

As mentioned by others on this forum there was no/minimal frontal impact for the FRONT airbags to deploy.

However upon closer inspection of the photos I found that the vehicle had Side-impact air bags (as seen in this photo) and mostly it would've also had Curtain airbags. They both should've deployed when the vehicle was in a roll over situation, why it didn't deploy will only be known upon an inspection by engineers at M&M.


I suggest you tweet directly to Mr. Mahindra with a link to this thread.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Y@SH : 2nd August 2015 at 09:42.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 11:23   #14
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

Thanks for the inputs friends.
I tried to collect as much information before posting this thread. The car was driven by a friend of his at the time of accident. There is obviously a state of panic when such a situation happens. Spoke to him about 2 days after the accident and he was still shaken. He definitely is thanking the almighty for the intervention. It is still not clear how the vehicle got into a spin. I have encountered such situations in highways with my Fiesta. There would be some puddle formation which you cannot sight; I have managed the vehicle with a steady steering, not doing any panic braking and ofcourse, with divine help
I missed to mention the vehicle version. Its W8 FWD version. I expected atleast the curtain airbags to deploy. Attaching another pic. This shows the impact on the sides. I assume this is sufficient for the airbags to deploy. But I am not sure if there is a minimum speed required for the curtain airbags to deploy.
I did a basic search regarding ESP and aquaplaning. Some articles claim that ESP can help with water puddles and snow while some claims that it does not help in a scenario where aquaplaing occurs.
There would be certainly some amount of steering input and braking by the driver when such a panic occurs; but maybe the system became incapable of handling the situation at that particular stage. It was a 180 degree spin. The tyres were from Continental.
He has been a Mahindra fan for quite sometime and he indeed was proud of the company for the value that they provide with the XUV. As a matter of fact, he influenced his brother in law to get an XUV too. Now, not any more a fan.
I will update the thread when I am able to get more inputs from him based on the queries raised on this thread.

Thanks Again.
Attached Thumbnails
Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!-ximg_0581.jpg  


Last edited by glenmz : 2nd August 2015 at 11:31.
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Old 2nd August 2015, 12:08   #15
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Default re: Mahindra XUV500 W8: Severe topple, but Side Airbags didn't deploy!

Are we sure that the damages seen in the pics are the result of the accident? or because locals stripped open the shell to rescue people? or because of the straps on the crane?
If it is purely the result of the crash, IMO the body-shell of the XUV is poorly designed and built, all in the aims of getting to that 1700 kg kerb weight.

Curtain airbags and shoulder/seat airbags must deploy on a roll over scenario. That's what they are designed for. If not even one side airbag/curtain airbag has deployed, then its time for Mahindra to explain what went wrong.
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