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Old 17th May 2018, 09:57   #1
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Default Woman's thumb fractured by BMW's soft-closing auto door

Those who have the high-end models of BMW won't be strangers to a little-known yet convenient feature called SCAD and it does exactly what it means - soft-closing automatic doors. Very often we swing our car doors gingerly inwards only to find it hanging without properly locking but the SCAD technology pulls the door inside using suction and mechanical linkages as long as the door is close to the locking bolt of the car frame. Its convenient because we would not have to open the car door again to gain momentum and close the door if the first attempt was a failure (happens to all of us).

However every convenience feature has a dark side, it started with power windows switches being criticized for not opening if there is a battery failure leading to a possibility of being suffocated, or the inherent danger of the power window motor crushing fingers if they accidentally happen to be resting over the window. This lead to technology like anti-pinch guards, something that BMW now may have to do for their SCAD feature as it has lead to a crushed thumb of a lady driving her 750Li :

Quote:
Fields, 40, says she was reaching in to grab her purse with her right hand leaning on the door frame when the wind nudged the door slightly and triggered the motor.

“It happened so fast. It pulled shut on my finger and clamped down like a vice. My thumb was completely flat within seconds,” Fields said.

“Then it exploded. It blew up two, three or four times its size. It was awful. Initially I felt no pain but then I started to panic and the pain came in,” Fields added.

Within two hours Fields, whose thumb was “mauled and mutilated,” went to a specialist who performed surgery. But “sadly, by that time, it was too late to restore Mrs. Fields’ thumb to its former pre-injury condition,” the suit states.
And another case of a man owning a BMW X5 :

Quote:
In March, Godwin Boateng sued the carmaker after his right thumb was chopped off by the SCAD technology in his $70,000 BMW X5.

Boateng, a 61-year-old who also lives on Long Island, is also repped by Cohen.

Unlike Fields, doctors were unable to save his thumb and he now wears a fake digit from a $3 magician’s kit.
The lawyers and their mastery of words :

Quote:
“BMW, like a petulant child, has been unwilling to take responsibility for its modern-day guillotine doors,” Cohen said.
As usual with all American cases, there will be some exaggeration from both parties in order to better their chances of winning the suit or to minimize damages but if the question is "is SCAD technology dangerous?" then the answer is, it is dangerous without a shadow of a doubt and should be either removed completely or only put in when there are other safety overrides, one off the top of my head should be that the weight-sensors of the seat should deactivate the SCAD as long as there is a person sitting on the seat of the respective door that is being closed, accidentally or not. The 730Li is a 4 seater anyway.

https://nypost.com/2018/05/16/ultima...my-thumb-suit/
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Old 17th May 2018, 14:01   #2
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Default re: Woman's thumb fractured by BMW's soft-closing auto door

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Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
one off the top of my head should be that the weight-sensors of the seat should deactivate the SCAD as long as there is a person sitting on the seat of the respective door that is being closed
But that would mean SCAD wouldn't work when the person was closing the door from the inside -- which in my opinion is more useful than when closing it from the outside.

I think Tesla developed some methods to make the Model-X doors a lot safer. Perhaps there's some learning to be made there.

Bottom line for BMW is probably --> do nothing until cost of legal fees > cost of R&D and production.


EDIT: Well, maybe it's not so good either:


Last edited by Rehaan : 17th May 2018 at 14:04.
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Old 17th May 2018, 14:06   #3
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Default re: Woman's thumb fractured by BMW's soft-closing auto door

In my very frank honest opinion, this piece of technology ... in fact why would anyone want such a thing in the car - given the potential downside (of hand/finger/something else getting caught between the "hydraulic press") with only a laughable upside.

I don't even require an accident of such kind to assess what can go wrong.

Last edited by GTO : 18th May 2018 at 10:52. Reason: typo
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Old 17th May 2018, 23:12   #4
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Default re: Woman's thumb fractured by BMW's soft-closing auto door

Having used soft close doors on many cars, I have always found it to be a convenient and good feature. I think someone hurting themselves with this is similar to someone slamming the door on themselves. The door is pretty much shut when this activates and one would really have to shove a finger into the gap for it to get stuck in the soft close doors.
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Old 18th May 2018, 00:01   #5
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Default re: Woman's thumb fractured by BMW's soft-closing auto door

Another feature that looks useful until it isn't!

I wish there was the exact opposite of this feature available. That is, if someone tries to slam the door shut, this piece of technology would automatically slow it down to a gentler speed, before the door closes.
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Old 18th May 2018, 10:58   #6
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Default Re: Woman's thumb fractured by BMW's soft-closing auto door

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Originally Posted by Akshay1234 View Post
Having used soft close doors on many cars, I have always found it to be a convenient and good feature. I think someone hurting themselves with this is similar to someone slamming the door on themselves. The door is pretty much shut when this activates and one would really have to shove a finger into the gap for it to get stuck in the soft close doors.
The difference being: a person has proprioception, so his body is usually aware of where his foot, fingers, hands, arms, etc are and therefore will not slam the door using the other hand.

A machine doesn't have any such awareness about other being.
Similarly, most of such accidents between human beings occur when two or more people are involved.

Last edited by alpha1 : 18th May 2018 at 11:01.
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Old 19th May 2018, 13:30   #7
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Default Re: Woman's thumb fractured by BMW's soft-closing auto door

Well at first it does seem dangerous. But, technology is evolving. At the inception stages of automated window roll-up, they complained of failures leading to suffocation and finger pinch hazard. As for this reason, they brought in anti-pinch guard as highlighted in this thread already. For the convenience of we (humans) they got this tech of soft closing doors. But, no we aren’t again content with it. We blame manufacturers and technology again for being not so perfect. Humans have to be content with what they have, but, it doesn’t seem like we are ever going to be content even when technology is evolving in phases.

I do feel, every technology, no matter how advance it gets, will still have one or other disconnects that will go into addressing by engineers as the time progresses. These are learnings rather than calling it a technology gap! This is purely my opinion.

If this had occurred in India, it would’ve been taken lightly by the person and would’ve posted it on FB or Twitter with a humor touch, isn’t it, unless the incident was something very serious
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