Multi-level parking fails: Upper deck falls on a Kia Seltos

Luckily there was no car on the upper deck; hence the damages were minimal. Only scratches on the roof rails.

BHPian Tejas Ingle recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

This mishap took place last week in a corporate office parking in Pune. The upper deck of a mechanical parking lowered itself without any human intervention and rested onto the roof of a Seltos parked on the lower deck. Then it stopped working completely. The deck was heavy enough to compress the suspension of the car almost completely.

Luckily there was no car on the upper deck; hence the damages were minimal. Only scratches on the roof rails. The deck was lifted by several people and the car was driven out.

Usually there are sensors and systems in these parkings to prevent these type of incidents. This one seems to be a combination of multiple system failures:

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

I think the brand also makes all the difference. I have huge respect for Wohr; parent in Germany with huge Indian presence. Any such installation must have fail-safe measures. I remember the Wohr guys explaining how such an incident is almost impossible to happen in their machines.

Most of the authorised dealer workshops in Mumbai (including BMW) use Wohr only.

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

I had it happen to my car several years ago in the multi-level parking on JM road. My car suffered some damage to the roof. After some follow up with the owner of the parking, I got 8k as compensation which was enough to fix the roof of my Indica.

Since that incident I always park my car in such systems and say a little prayer for it to be safe.

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

Our new office campus is filled with three level stack parking systems and it's been a nightmare. First, the slots are narrow due to which you have to move in almost straight and the driveway is narrow. The answer to this is valet parking which makes it time consuming and also a horror to watch. The width is so less that the Innova has to be driven mirrors closed. After these episodes, I took the parking manager to task and now get open slots only or ones where my car goes on the upper palette without side pillars.

Now these failures are another thing to worry about. I was of the opinion that the upper pallete is locked into place and the lock won't get released when there is a car below. Looks like this system has been faulty and the pallete hydraulics malfunctioned. And this is the same brand as what is in our office parking.

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

We have a stacked parking system as a car park given by the builder in our apartment complex. As far as I know these are supposed to be fail safe systems. For the systems which operate on hydraulic pressure (electro-hydraulic ram-type systems), there is a mechanical lock to prevent lowering of the upper deck in case the hydraulic pressure is lost. Usually a single fault will not cause such failure. It has failed due to a double fault. This system will fail, when the mechanical lock is not free on its axis or damaged & failed to engage AND in this condition if the hydraulic pressure is lost, the upper deck will start to lower at a speed at which the oil is being lost or returning back to the system due to internal leak.

For systems, where a screw is driven in clock wise or anti-clockwise direction for hoisting and lowering, using an electrical or hydraulic motor, the upper deck cannot come down unless there is a physical damage to the hoisting/lowering system. The car workshops usually use screw type hoisting systems, preferably with manual chocks or locks (pin type) for additional safety. The screw type systems are like the screw type jack provided with the cars and will not lower by themselves.

The following link will provide some more information on the car lift safety systems.

Since it is a commercial parking space, there must be a contractor/firm hired for maintenance. They may be held responsible for any losses depending on the terms and conditions agreed upon.

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

This was my biggest nightmare for me, every time I had to visit one of our offices at Bangalore. It used to be more like a once a week visit to this location and I always struggle. Turning is hard, the parking approach is too narrow, the space in the ramp is just about enough to hold the car and therefore you can’t have a lot of tolerance on any side.

I always fear that something from above will land on my car roof. And sometimes, just watching the attendant move the equipment to get your car down to basement level is scary. I almost always look the other way.

This office is in one of the crowded locality and I don’t blame the facilities people for this arrangement, but it used to worry me quite a bit.

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