Ecosport topples multiple times; none of the 6 airbags deploy

The Ford workshop is giving lame excuses that the car was not hit from the front.

BHPian Rahulbarik recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello, my name is Rahul and I belong to Kolkata. I am new to this forum and this would be my first post here.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to start my journey with Team BHP on a happy note, as I have recently lost my 2016 Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCI Titanium+ in an almost fatal crash. Yet luckily, I lived. And lived to tell the story.

I would just write down what happened as things unfolded as I am still in a state of shock even after 1 month.

We were 3 friends returning from a marriage and the car was driven by my friend, while I was on the passenger side and one more friend on the rear seat. We were traveling at around 80 kmph on a state by-pass road at around 3 am, when a Tata 407 came head on which made us serve left and off the road completely with all 4 wheels outside the road surface and almost into a roadside pond, which was at least 4 feet lower than the road itself. Our car tilted left with left wheels touching the water, while still at 80 kmph, when my friend swerved right to get back up on the road but couldn't as the wheels couldn't grip. He kept on accelerating with the wheels spinning, hoping to bring the car up the road and avoiding getting submerged in the pond. The car was still probably at 80 kmph when suddenly the tyres gripped somehow and made the car jump up from the pond and on the road resulting in the car toppling on the left side and rolling at least 8 times and hitting a light post and breaking a wall after hitting it and God knows what else. Finally the ordeal stopped, with the car plunging into another pond couple of hundred metres down the other side of the road, just giving enough time to get out before getting 80% submerged. Luckily it was 3-3:30 am in the morning and there was no traffic.

My car is a TDCI TITANIUM PLUS with 6 airbags and NOT A SINGLE AIRBAG DEPLOYED. NOT EVEN THE SIDE AND CURTAIN AIRBAGS. Yes, we were having our seat belts on.

The front windshield glass also shattered (on first impact with the road) like cheap glass which it is not supposed to. The glass is supposed to be laminated from both sides as far as my knowledge goes, to prevent it from shattering and falling off and becoming like armed splinters(which is actually what happened and injured us, specially me with glass pierced on my whole body).

While the build quality of the car saved our lives with just bruises from the flying glass splinters, from the horrific accident, I'm still in awe as to how not a single airbag deployed.

The Ford workshop is giving lame excuses that the car was not hit from the front. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SIDE SENSORS FORD? They said side sensors get activated after the front sensors are triggered which i found to be a lame answer. When I showed them a video on YouTube on Ecosport crash test from side with the side and curtains deployed, they didn't have an answer.

Before I take it up with Ford, I thought of getting valuable inputs from this forum and getting myself armed sufficiently so as to not look like a fool when Ford gives me another lame excuse. I would now let the pictures do the talking.

Special mention to Ford RSA.

These guys are amazing. They kept in touch with me right from the time of the incident and kept me updated. They kept on trying to pull out the car for 2 days with multiple failed attempts and survey of the location, after which they finally did it after they brought in 2 Hydra cranes.

And lastly kudos to HDFC Ergo!

They declared it a constructive total loss, handed over the legal documents for the same. No drama, no questions, they simply paid up. All from the comfort of my home. That's how easy it was. All within less than a month.

Here's what BHPian gkveda had to say on the matter:

Instances like this will reinforce the evidences that all these claimed safety features are hit or miss and never reliable. There are more than 100 cases in our forum where airbags deployment discussion have happened with heated arguments.

Forget all logical reasons and justifications from the dealers, manufacturers or R&D groups. 95% of the accident occur with 3 generic patterns. Either head-on, topples or side collision. If airbags don't deploy during any of these collisions, then, it simply means, they are not designed to address needs of the accidents. Then, what is the use of those safety features?

Some one has said "We purchase things that we don't need with the money we don't have to please someone who we don't like." These safety features also falls under the same category. We purchase cars with safety features that we never intend to use by paying hefty money that we don't have, to please someone in the friend circle to boast another special feature (6 or 8 or 10 airbags )and it never works when required.

And we get brilliant explanation by dealers finally which states our driving itself was faulty and therefore airbags didn't deploy.

Below are the reasons dealers give for non deployment of airbags:

  • No head-on collision

When an accident is about to happen in next 4-5 secs, Should I avoid head-on and try to escape major mishap or go and do head-on to get the airbags deployed?

  • Vehicle was not running at the required speed.

So, are they expecting that I will increase the speed and acceleration when I am left with 4-5 secs for collision for airbags to deploy.

  • Impact was not adequate enough for airbags to deploy.

Oh, ok. What do I do for an effective impact next time ?

Common man is very intelligent. What ever hype manufacturers, reviewers and dealership give to these safety features, he does take it with a pinch of salt.

Theoretically, is there any difference between this car and say, a Maruti 800 with respect to safety features?( let us not talk about metal thickness etc).

Here's what BHPian BoneCollector had to say on the matter:

Really glad to know you guys are safe after such a horrendous accident.

As far as the curtain airbags are concerned, I've seen a couple of Ford Ecosports at a service center with only curtain airbags deployed due to hit from the side. One car had left side airbags deployed due to T-boning and another had right side due to a side swipe by a truck. So if they say that it can get triggered only after the front airbag is deployed is all BS.

Here's what BHPian shancz had to say on the matter:

Quite an ordeal, thankfully ends in a safe and happy note.

Side airbags are supposed to deploy on side impacts, that's the objective and definition. That's why there is a side impact test and a pole test in NCAP. Check your owner's manual for deployment of airbags no further proofs needed and take it up with Ford since your service center is useless.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Power to the people