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Old 19th August 2012, 21:53   #91
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

VW sales personnel's will save this story and make it part of their marketing pitch. I always doubted why is VW is charging a premium for their models , when similar cars loaded with lots of features are available from other makers with much less price . Your incident cleared my doubts.
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Old 19th August 2012, 22:45   #92
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

I know that everybody has told you this, but had the pics been posted in the 'Accidents In India' thread, almost all BHPians would have written it as a total loss. Some would even have offered their heartfelt condolences. Believe me, you are one really lucky person to walk out of this alive. Now coming to the finer points of the accident itself:

1. In a spinoff case, no technology can help you. Even EBD would not have functioned satisfactorily.

2. Your tires were not in the prime of their life, as others have stated.

3. Airbag deploying issue has been a sore point of some Toyota Fortuner accidents too. In your case, most probably the sensors were damaged when you hit the RCC wall.

4. As to your new car, i would strongly advise to go with Germans because of their build quality, as the VW proved first hand.
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Old 19th August 2012, 23:13   #93
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Wow, this gave me the shudders! Glad you are safe! Please drive safe. I can vouch for a VW Vento if you are looking for a car in 10 lacs.
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Old 19th August 2012, 23:35   #94
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

God! You are one hell of a lucky guy to have walked out after this accident.

Since you were wearing a seat belt you walked away with minor injuries else I have no clue as to what your condition would have been. It looks as if the top of the car had been pulled by an excavator.

Regarding the air bags not getting deployed, where are the sensors placed in the polo? And as the name suggests SRS - Airbags (Supplimental Restraint System)

Airbags are only supplimentary. Primary is always the SEAT BELTS.

A lesson for the world and people who feel seat belts are a pain and they keep you tied up.

Drive Safe and Take Care!
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Old 19th August 2012, 23:54   #95
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

God bless you mate! Wish you a fast recovery and shock recovery for the family.
Well my observation from this incident is that
1. Do wear seat belts ALWAYS no matter how short the travel is and even if its your colony lane. (Atleast I Do)
2. This signifies the German built and inherent safe-inside-shell feeling that comes with these cars.
THough Life and Death is in God's will but as a God's way of saving you, Your safe being today to certain extent goes to your decision of spending some extra money on this car.
3. Yes you should raise this issue of NON-Deployment of SRS Air bags with VW

One thing I couldn't figure out, WHY is the roof so crumbled? (as its said by a fellow Was is pulled by clamshell excavator kind of thing?)
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Old 20th August 2012, 00:16   #96
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Thanks everyone! The car was indeed pulled out by a hydraulic crane from that canal - but I also mentioned that the car had fallen upside down. This is why the roof is broken - I don't think it's because of crane pulling. Maybe some additional bruises while pulling out cant be ruled. Again this is my guess, I was in the hospital when it was taken out.
I will call VW tomorrow for investigation, being a weekend had few friends visiting throughout the day.
Regarding FIR - the insurance company and cops came to a mutual conclusion that FIR won't be necessary, a "panchanama", "on spot inspection report" and a letter from cops is sufficient. So with only 2k as "bakshish" this seems to have solved. Thanks to those who offered help , will surely let you know if some other issue comes up.
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Old 20th August 2012, 00:16   #97
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Oh my God! Really shocked after reading this! Just came from Nashik today after a near miss in my polo. There were two suv's in front of me where the first one goofed up during overtaking and hit the truck in front with the resultant chain reaction behind . The second suv was also hit but I was saved thanks to my tyres which I give a lot of importance too. If it were the mrfs that came stock I would not be typing today. They had pathetic braking, so after being fed up I changed them to Michelin xm1 plus which improved polo's braking dramatically . S drives are soft and wear out faster, so it's always advisable to change them quickly once you see wear. Anyways these s drives perform really bad on bad roads and they also aquaplane easily. So my point being these performance tyres are not so good on our roads and they wear out at a rapid pace.
Also while cornering our cars are really vulnerable to a spin. Even a small nudge can spin u off and old tyres makes it all the more risky. But I must say you are one lucky guy. God bless!
Polo is a really well built car which probably did save you and it's one of the few cars whose rear doesn't step out even under hard braking at a curve unlike some hyundais I have owned before. I think your next car would be vw again.
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Old 20th August 2012, 01:25   #98
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

God did shower his blessings directly on you buddy.I hope you use your "new" life to do a lot of good things. This thread would have just created a lot of sensible and responsible drivers. And looking at this, I feel happy that we opted for a Polo when we took the decision last year.
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Old 20th August 2012, 01:30   #99
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

You are lucky to have walked away unscathed after that crash!

Coming to the air-bags (and adding to what Anshuman has posted), the front airbags are controlled by a control module. The control module takes inputs from the ECU and triggers the airbags when several parameters are crossed - most important being the magnitude of the frontal impact and the speed registered just before the moment of frontal impact.

Going by the pictures and the narration, once the car was nudged from the rear, it went into a spin and brakes were applied reducing its speed (as recorded by the ECU) to probably close to NIL. From the looks of it, the car took down the wall by sliding sideways into it and then slid down to the ground in something akin to slow motion.

I would not go the 'manufacturing defect' route in this case. (1) The occupant survived without major injury so VW will argue that SRS was not required. (2) Very difficult (or impossible) to prove unless data was logged for the last few minutes of that drive. (3) The hypothesis given by me above.

Once again, a lucky escape. Seeing that roof sent shivers down my spine.

Thank God and God bless.
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Old 20th August 2012, 02:10   #100
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

You are truly blessed to have survived this. The condition of the car is shocking. I do this road every 2 weeks and I see all sorts of wreckages and this is as bad as the worst. A miraculous save, a gift from above.

The whole section from the Lonavala flyover exit to the straight after the Sinhagad college needs extra caution since you are carrying speed and while it may look like a long, sweeping and harmless curve from a distance, it really tightens up.

Infact a lot of curves on the Pune Mumbai expressway are like this, the exit from the tunnel on the Pune - Mumbai side where the Lonavala railway line crosses comes to mind, that's one dangerous exit and curve! I wonder whether this is a design flaw.

Given the bonnet is deformed as are the front sides and wheels its a bit of a mystery why the airbags did not deploy, if this does not cause front airbag airbag deployment then what will? The whole car is deformed and bent out of shape.

We hear what comes off sounding like frankly 'excuses' about angle of accident, front side accident but clearly if accidents like this do not cause deployment then the mechanism is fatally flawed. Its not about angle of accident, its about protection in case of an accident. How come the bonnet can deform with the front wheels and yet the front airbag sensor cannot pick up this huge impact and the ensuing impact all over the car?

I think it would be really helpful and informing if an expert qualified about airbag deployment could throw more light on this beyond vague and unsatisfying explanations about angle of accident which doesn't really help.

Last edited by raul : 20th August 2012 at 02:14.
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Old 20th August 2012, 08:18   #101
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

In your case your guardian angel flew along with you all the time!
I feel you should definitely seek an answer from VW about airbag deployment,Who knows it might even result in a recall if they find something genuine causing the issue which could in-turn save many more lives in ghastly situations.
Can some educate me why ABS and EBD are not always offered together,if they are expected to work in conjunction ?
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Old 20th August 2012, 09:26   #102
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

A chill went down my spine after seeing those pics. You are indeed lucky and God has been merciful on you I guess you woke up from the right side of the bed that day

Hope this incident doesnt demoralize you in anyway and that you will live a great life ahead.

Last edited by _raVan_ : 20th August 2012 at 09:29.
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Old 20th August 2012, 09:30   #103
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

You had a miraculous escape. Divine intervention at work. Happy to note that you escaped with only few injuries. Hope you recover soon and are back on your feet. I was petrified looking at the pictures. I can only fractionally visualize what you might have gone through - for no fault of yours. The next time I take the expressway, your story would add double caution to my driving style. Just goes to show that even if you drive safe and stick to rules, things can still be unpredictable.
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Old 20th August 2012, 10:00   #104
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
I have a Polo in the exact same colour and looking at your car its almost unbelievable you walked out of it alive!

You're really lucky to survive such a shunt, and may be the build quality of the car helped. ABS helps prevent a skid when you are braking and not in case of an impact.

Front airbags haven't deployed as the impact was from the rear followed by side impacts.

While I agree with you that in this "21st century India" we appreciate a technical understanding of what happened and why, one cannot rule out a certain amount of 'luck' when you walk out of a car with its shell crushed, alive! It may be his luck, but some of us chose to call it 'divine intervention' or GOD as the OP has put it.
Well said .
But everybody stressing the same thing caught my more attention over that subject .
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Old 20th August 2012, 10:28   #105
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Default re: God saved me on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (in a VW Polo)

Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Is it possible that the vehicle stalled or switched off before the first major impact.

The vehicle got a nudge, starts spinning out of control. During this time it switches off. Then it makes frontal and side impacts. Airbags don't deploy because the vehicle is not running.

Thank god your Guardian angels were also in the same car and saved you.
Originally Posted by black12rr View Post
Wow who decides( ment designers/law/.. ) the deployment of airbags ? .

Assume that you have parked you car on side of the road with blinkers on , just in case if some one does a head-ON , the airbags don't open ,since the car was not running ? . This is a design flaw then .

Airbags(and the collision detectors ) should be ON irrespective of the car is running/stationary or ignition turned ON/OFF .

@Frontosa, take care dude , live life to fullest . I would have be pissed off high if those airbags has not opened. You should get full answer and explanation and compensation and sue them for the major component not working (which you have paid for) .
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If this is how the airbags work, then even if the engine stalled the electricals were working. The collision should trigger the airbags.
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