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Old 11th July 2010, 13:47   #1
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Default Pedestrian safety norms leads to a very FLIMSY car.


This is my 1st report on my i10, bought in March 2009 at Ajmer (Rajpath Hyundai).

This is a major problem I have repeatedly faced and IT DEFINITELY IS A DESIGN FLAW.

My car has twice met with minor accidents where the front bumper was damaged (Very slightly and superficially, no cracks etc., the dent also came out immediately).

The 1st time (in March 2010), the car hit (not with force, as it was starting from parking), a slab of concrete about 6-7" thick.

This led to the breakage of the plastic frame holding the radiator, grill, bumper. lights and what not. This resulted in a total replacement cost of about Rs.12,500/- for Fame, Bumper, the black grill etc., though everything except the frame could have been avoided.

At that time I put it down to my carelessness.

Now 2nd time again, 3 days ago, the car went into a small hole/ditch at night. Again the bumper was damaged (superficially as it is a plastic bumper, again the dent came out by hand only).

This time again a support of the frame was broken. This also led to the fan of the radiator getting jammed somehow, maybe even the motor is damaged?? of course many of the locks of the bumper(attached to the frame) are also broken. this time the bill is expected to be higher (i would say about Rs.17-18000/-). I am covered by insurance, but that does not mean that this problem is not there.

This is the 1st time in my life that I am facing this problem.

1st of all, always the bumper was a separate entity, not integrated (for beauty) like the i10. How does beauty matter if it affects the very integrity of the car??

2ndly, I now find that this frame, even in a Santro (and Maruti 800, alto. Swift etc.)is of metal/steel and in multiple parts. This leads to repair/replacement of only the necessary part, and not the whole frame.

I feel, to save cost while producing the car, and increase their own revenues while repairing the car HYUNDAI had deliberately made these parts flimsy and of plastic. They have also kept the cost of parts and repairs pretty high, so that they are able to cheat the customer.

The same problem I have seen in Verna and i20 (at the workshop) also. i was also told by the workshop/dealership persons that this is a major problem with the i10 and Verna.

I therefore request all who are thinking of buying these expensive cars, to definitely do a rethink and think about these major costs for minor repairs (as compared to other cars).

I also request the company to do something for my car and change this in general for all cars.

Last edited by alankarm@sancha : 11th July 2010 at 13:59.
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Old 11th July 2010, 14:07   #2
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I sympathise with you, but wonder how a ditch could damage your bumper in the second incident. If it was so deep, did you not spot it?

I was told by my pal who owns a 2002 Santro that he incurred expensive repairs when he had a mild collision with an auto that suddenly stopped. Not only was his bumper dented, but also some part of the AC that was just behind it. Is this a trademark of all Hyundais?

I am told that even the Ford Figo has a potential to get badly damaged owing to its wafer thin bumpers. Not a good trend, if you ask me.
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Old 11th July 2010, 14:10   #3
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Either the bumper wasn't fixed properly or the ditch was a big one. Issue of workmanship?

You own one of the best selling car's of Hyundai and haven't heard of such an issue ever before.

vnabhi: all modern cars will have the same defect

Last edited by jkdas : 11th July 2010 at 14:13.
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Old 11th July 2010, 14:17   #4
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In this context, I wish to bring all the bhpians attention to the "child part" philosophy that ford has put forth. Even honda city when introduced had a 3 piece bumper, which unfortunately vanished later on. It is shocking that even ford started making child parts after several years. Just imagine replacing the entire bumper and several other things for just a small dent, which normally could have bee left as such. Imagine the kind of energy that goes into manufacturing all these parts, which could have been avoided. All manufacturers should adopt the child part philosophy which essencially is a truly green policy that saves lot of energy (and cost) in manufacturing the parts, transporting and then fitting (having said that, there is already a thread running giving the high cost of repairs of a figo that had a small dent created by the tail pipe of a wagonR! Child part or no part, all new models seem to drain money out if you are met with a repair!).
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Old 11th July 2010, 14:21   #5
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Somewhat fragile bumper/nose design is due to the pedestrian safety norms. They are designed to deform and absorb the damage (rather then hurting the pedestrian) even with slightest impact.
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Old 11th July 2010, 14:23   #6
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Blame the international safety standards the car is designed for.
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Old 11th July 2010, 14:32   #7
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I thought that this problem was present only on an Indica Vista. In the Vista, the inter-cooler is just behind the bumper and could get damaged easily when the bumper hits gently another car.
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Old 11th July 2010, 14:40   #8
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alankarm@sancha Sorry to hear that ! Even i had similar problem with Swift but there was two metal pipes running behind the bumper to save my AC and Radiator

I would say that this is not only with i10,all new generation cars are in such state.Even my Indica V2 2001 had the same problem.I once left the car in big pothole the PS was damaged.

This generation of cars are designed to to get damaged and take all the force with the engine bay,but that is only for major accidents.

May be this is a specialty of KINETIC DESIGN (figo.Fiesta,MICRA,i10)

I think Hyundai is using more of plastic (polypropylene) to get more mileage of of their new products.

They should definitely have a cross bar behind the bumper ,just have a look
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Old 11th July 2010, 15:17   #9
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Fortunately, I havent had any major accidents with any of our cars. But there are several times I have got done minor repairs to our 800's or swift's bumper. Now when the front bumper is removed there is no safety bar or the front cross as we call it, in these cars, so the chances of damage is much more when one has even a small accident. Swift does have small pipe kinda bars but they are useless.

The first time I realised this was when I got the front bumper of my cedia painted when I bought it. There is a thick vertical cross bar in the front to stop the damage even in case of crash at speeds over 40-50. this thing is soo thick that it can almost take all the damage atleast in case of normal crashes we have in slow moving traffic. To add to my surprise, I saw another cedia at the paint shop whose rear bumper was being painted, and there is a similar thick rear cross bar at the rear which takes the impact first when the car is rear ended.

A few days back, I left my cedia's key in the car's boot while taking out some stuff and the doors were locked. I had to leave my car in office and I went back with a colleague. Next morning, my colleague got her new alto and I was the one driving since she is still a learner. When I reached naraina (bumper to bumper traffic in peak hours), just before the flyover starts, I saw a white A4 on the other side which was being driven by a beautiful gal, and in process of watching both the A4 and the gal, I rear ended an accent at about 20 max. This was the first time ever, I felt its damn my mistake.The paint of accent's rear bumper cracked and what I saw on the alto was surprising and shocking, the front bumper was damaged, the right head light was broken, and when I went to get it fixed, even the headlight support was a bit bent (very little). I was soo shocked that at a speed of about 20kmph, the car had soo much damage, what if one crashes at high speed, damn, and thats when I thought to myself... all these years I have been driving 800 like crazy and what would have been the consequences of the same.

In order to reduce cost and also the car's weight for improved FE, these cars does not have any support behind the bumper that can take the impact in case of crash. Ofcourse, these cars have crumple zones but that comes to use in case of major crashes.

Also, an incident last night shook me completely. But before I say that, let me tell you I am one of those who could have "I hate Hyundais" written on my Tshirt before I saw the i20, althought the design is highly inspired by Vauxhall Corsa, the car is real VFM premium hatch.

Last night, I turned into the outer ring road in Delhi near peera garhi and there is an underpass beneth, I saw an i10 come at speed over 100 as I joined the road through a slip road and then to avoid crash with a biker, the i10 hits the middle divider of the road, takes about 2-3 somersaults and lands in normal position on the road.

A few other cars and I stopped right there and helped the person in the i10, the car was completely mangled but the person inside was almost fine. The front door somehow opened and we were able to pull the driver out. He had some pain in his left side neck shoulder area and was taken to the hospital for first aid, he wasnt drunk though. The car was a total loss but the person came out fine from it. So, I would say every car has its positives and negatives, these cars atleast the plastic parts are delicate and one needs to take care of these.

Also, I am surprised how a small ditch caused damage to the front bumper, or is it that your car's front wheel entered the ditch, in that case, the suspension would have been a gone case and not the headlight, radiator support.

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 11th July 2010 at 15:32.
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Old 11th July 2010, 17:13   #10
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Unfortunately this is the case with all the new cars coming off late.
The front bumper is almost inexistent, there is only a body colored plastic which, whose main function is to act as a cover to the radiator and protect against small stones thats all.

The given is one would never meet with an accident, and if one meets then these parts will absorb the shock of the accident thus resulting is less jerk for the passengers.
I remember lots of customers complained about the same crumple zones in Figo also, as mentioned by someone its the pedestrian safety norms that mandate this.
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Old 11th July 2010, 20:17   #11
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Once while it was raining heavily, i banged my santro xing into another santro which was reversing on the wrong side. The impact was huge, but the next day at the mechanic i saw that the damage was minimal, nothing was bent. bumper was fixed within 30mins.

Similarly in my Getz, once i had to slam the brakes due to a female driver in front panicking and a Biker crashed into the rear bumper of my getz, huge sound but minimal damage. Biker went flying in the bushes though.

So the Quality is good, therefore lets not generalise.

Last edited by aZa : 11th July 2010 at 20:20.
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Old 11th July 2010, 20:31   #12
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For Indian traffic conditions, we need to buy cars/models that will not be sold in the western world.
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Old 11th July 2010, 20:45   #13
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Rear end of all cars (except maybe rear engined ones like Nano) are stronger compared to the front end. There was this incident witnessed by jk and i where an Innova had slammed into the rear of a Zen which wrecked the Toyota's front end but the Zen had a small ding and a little bit of bumper damage.
(Applicable only to new gen cars)

Front end flimsiness has got to do with pedestrian safety norms and crash safety. Nothing can be done about this it will only become more and more common across the auto world.

Usage of alternate materials like engineering plastic is due to cost and weight factor. But i still wish they used metal in lieu of plastic. As you guys know insurance will only pay 50% for plastic, and a bent piece is better than a broken piece which could make the vehicle completely undrivable.
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Old 11th July 2010, 21:53   #14
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I had read an incident of a i10 engine block getting damaged because the crossmember in the front is missing in the design. Correct me if I am wrong.

No doubt that the front is made to absorb the impact incase of a high speed collision and hence the plastic parts as they deform a lot quicker.
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Old 11th July 2010, 23:01   #15
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Originally Posted by aZa View Post
Once while it was raining heavily, i banged my santro xing into another santro which was reversing on the wrong side. The impact was huge, but the next day at the mechanic i saw that the damage was minimal, nothing was bent. bumper was fixed within 30mins.

Similarly in my Getz, once i had to slam the brakes due to a female driver in front panicking and a Biker crashed into the rear bumper of my getz, huge sound but minimal damage. Biker went flying in the bushes though.

So the Quality is good, therefore lets not generalise.

You are talking about the SANTRO and not the i10. I have (as you can read in my post) already pointed this out. I have personally seen the SANTRO, ACCENT, Elantra, i10, i20, VERNA -- all at the same time, with their front portion disassembled (at the workshop). The SANTRO, ACCENT and ELANTRA (even the GETZ as you yourself tell me) have a full metal frame in multiple parts. This is more rigid, sturdy and definitely less prone to breakage on minor impacts. Simply means that these are better built, sturdier and SAFER cars. These are definitely cheaper and less of a headache to maintain too.

Even the Maruti 800 has a metal body behind the plastic bumper (where the whole bumper is attached/bolted).

Whatever the reason they may give, most of the sedans and hatchbacks are still giving metal support / backup to the frame. This protects the radiator etc. also.

But this is the 1st time I have seen an all plastic, single piece frame. This means that there are no impact bars to save any of the internal parts of the car, even at pretty low speeds.

Only my left wheel had gone into the pothole/ditch, at pretty low speed, as I was anyway turning to the left. But I see that the impact was enough to cause big damage (at least to the pockets).

I had looked at a lot of things, before buying the i10. But the flimsy plastic frame and thus very flimsy front end was something I never imagined. This too in a regular, high selling car?? PATHETIC!! This is pure CHEATING on part of Hyundai. They highlight the god points while selling. This being a real technical detail is hidden from most (I'll say all) buyers, till they encounter it in person. Even then most persons will put it down to their own carelessness, and not to the BASIC DEFECT present in the design.

This will now lead me to clearly start telling friends and acquaintances not to buy HYUNDAI cars. They are out to cheat us, now that they are fully established.

I am also posting this in various magazine and other sites. i know they will not publish any of this in the print version, as they are getting a lot of money, goodies, cars to test and other perks from these car companies.

Last edited by GTO : 16th July 2010 at 16:28. Reason: STRICTLY no discussion on Mod Activities
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