My Volkswagen Polo gets rear-ended by a Tata Safari

Request to all, please spend that extra bucks and buy a safe car. Both Safari and Polo absorbed the impact very well.

BHPian sinharishi recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

A summary of what happened on 16th October:

4:50 am: We resume our journey from Chitvan Resort, located on NH48 near Ajmer.

5:15 am: I overtook a Tata Safari Adventure, he was cruising at 80-90 km/h.

5:30 am: The same Tata Safari rear-ended us at Peepli, a few km before Beawar. I slowed down well in advance for a series of speed breakers. This being a routine trip, we are well aware of the road surface/conditions. The Tata Safari rammed us at its cruising speed. The driver claims that he saw our car at the last minute and tried to avoid it.

Polo is hit so hard that it takes 2x 360 spins before coming to a halt facing the traffic. Panic all around. Dad and I get down from the front seats, run to get mom out. The rear left door is jammed. I throw the luggage on the road kept next to mom, get her out from the other side.

The engine kept running, got the car on the side, dragging the rear left tyre. Had no choice.

Immediately rushed to the Safari as I see no one coming out. There was dust inside (both airbags worked). Got the driver out, asked if he is ok. He was in shock! Safari had 3 kids, 2 ladies and 2 gents.

Local teawala got out his chairs so everyone can be seated.

5:45 am: NHAI team on-site comprising of Ambulance, Tow Crane, Police and highway patrol. They ask each and everyone if they're ok!

2 Passengers from Safari are shifted to Beawar Hospital. The kids were absolutely fine.

Both, me and the Safari owner call their respective RSA.

6:15am: Tata RSA tow truck is on-site. I am still struggling to get hold of someone on the VW RSA helpline. Tried both numbers. There are 2 options: Option 1 is they will send you the link and you have to enter the details and PAY the amount.

Option 2 is to speak to someone at the other end, I kept choosing 2 but the call disconnects as soon as you enter 2.

6:30 am: I take Twitter, tag VW, Bharti Axa. No response whatsoever to date.

Between all this, I spoke to VW customer care multiple times, they tell me to keep trying RSA till I get hold of someone.

7:00 am: A known sent a car and driver from Ajmer, to travel to Jaipur.

7:15 am: I give up on VW and BhartiAXA. The driver of the tow truck which came to pick up the Safari helped me in getting a flatbed for Polo till Jaipur.

8:00 am: Flatbed reaches accident site. Meanwhile, the safari owner and Dad went to the police station to give a written letter that we do not want to file an FIR and are settling the case outside.

8:30 am: Polo is loaded on the flatbed. We wait for the others to arrive back from the police station.

9:00 am: Safari cannot be towed, the brake is locked. The car is not starting. We cannot open the hood. Tata ASC asks us to wait till they send a technician.

9:30 am: We leave for Jaipur. The passengers of Safari are now in Ajmer except the owner. We offered help to the owner of the Safari but he insisted on us leaving for Jaipur.

12:30 pm: I reach VW Jaipur (Tanya cars). They knew I was coming. Big thanks to BHPian Jalaj Prakash. I met the Body Shop Manager. SA was assigned and we waited for the flatbed to arrive.

An hour later flatbed reaches, we take the car in. The job card is open.

3:30 pm: We leave for Airport, drop my parents. We were on our way to Mumbai on a family emergency.

4:30 pm: I meet BHPian Traveler_Nayak and BB311. Big shout out to them for getting me back to Greater Noida safely.

6:00 pm: We departed Jaipur. Reached home at 2 am.

Settlement Between Us and Tata Safari Owner

They were travelling to Mumbai nonstop. Started from Delhi at night. He probably slept on the wheels. He was apologetic from the start.

Coincidentally, the other couple travelling stayed in the same apartment complex where we stay in Indirapuram!

I took his insurance, RC and DL copies. Gave a letter to the cops in writing that we will settle this outside.

Everyone travelling in Safari is back home in Delhi. Safe. A lady suffered a fractured shoulder. Thank god the kids are safe!

Safari owner will pay what Insurance will bill us (the difference).

What next?

The car is at VW Jaipur. The folks who helped us with the car arrangements from Peeplai to Jaipur have taken custody of supervising the car at Jaipur.

I will get to know today if it will be a total loss or not. SA tells me will be difficult for total loss as repair cost won't be more than 75% of the IDV. He is confident of getting the car back to the road 15 days from the arrival of parts.

I am okay with either outcome, we made it out safe, alive, which is all that matters.

Request to all, please spend that extra bucks and buy a safe car. Both Safari and Polo absorbed the impact very well. I will leave it up to the readers to judge the speed at which Safari hit us, the impact was such that we ended up 30 ft ahead. Drive safe.

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

Glad that you guys are safe.

Quite a nasty hit. Drives home the point of safe cars evermore.

Your choice of buying a strong car has proved itself so has the concept of not wearing seatbelts in a safer car too (Safari injuries).

Wish all involved a speedy recovery.

This very situation has been my primary concern during trips. Quite a few times I have eased off the brakes and hammered through the speed breakers since I didn't like what I saw in my RVMs. Traded in potential suspension issues for immediate threat mitigation. The biggest culprits are the SUVs and the best behaved being the truckers.

Also highlights the importance of having a rear impact in the crash tests (apparently the BNVSAP is supposed to have it whenever that comes around).

Here's what BHPian deetjohn had to say about the matter:

Glad that everyone in both cars is safe. That's one nasty hit and it's good to see two solid cars protecting the people inside given the highway speeds.

Also nice to see a very cordial settlement between you and the driver of the Safari, @sinharishi! Well done. A slight sliver of good hope after a mishap. In this country, its most often anything but that.

Coming back to the Polo, as much as it hurts, it's time to move on. That's a write off in most countries and that's how it should be. But they will try to talk you out of that. Penny pinching matters more than human life here.

And if both insurance and VW is hell-bent on repairs, put your foot down and ask for a full-body shell replacement. That should ideally put the cost of repair above the IDV threshold and insurance will budge for a total loss.

Your car did its job and it's time to move on! All the best and I would love the see another brand new Polo in your garage. I am quite sure a taller car would have turned turtle given the impact here. Take care!

Here's what BHPian Leoshashi had to say about the matter:

Thank God all are safe, the impact on Polo looks devastating.

Some points I'd like to share:

Do insist on getting a total loss claim for your car. If it's not possible, evaluate getting a replacement body shell. Since the Polo is still in production, that should be the next best thing. The bodyshell will cost around Rs. 3 lakhs, and adding smaller items plus paint etc, the cost shouldn't cross Rs. 4.5 lac in any case. Repairing will never bring the car back in the same state. Chassis strength aside, you will even face niggles, leaks and rusts in the long run.

It's scary for me, especially because I too prefer leaving late at night or early morning on all my drives.

Here's what BHPian androdev had to say about the matter:

Explore "cash loss" settlement. It means the insurance will pay their liability of repair costs + you/insurance-co sell the car as-is: the total proceeds will be close to the total loss claim. This is a common practice when the car owner is not interested in getting the car repaired due to factors like time, quality and being stuck with an accident-repaired car. This is my preferred option if the damage is substantial and I am not qualified for a total loss claim.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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