In an unfortunate turn of events, a Mahindra XUV500 with five occupants inside aquaplaned and rolled over at Surathkal, in Karnataka. Even though any of the airbags questionably refused to open, all five passengers miraculously escaped with minor bruises. One of the ladies suffered a slipped disc; but she’s recovering.
The vehicle was doing about 90 kmph when it started to aquaplane. The driver lost all control; and the ill-fated XUV500 spun out and started rolling over towards an adjacent ditch. Luckily, a coconut tree came in the way of the vehicle and stopped the fall.
The XUV500 was left in tatters, with the roof caving in lethally, but one also has to consider the near 100 kph speeds . In fact, according to the poster, even all the driving aids, which include ABS, EBD and roll over mitigation didn’t work. The tyres were also apparently new, with just 8000 Km on them.
The vehicle that rolled over was a top-end W8 variant of the XUV500, which features side airbags and most of the electrical driving aids. The incredibly lucky owner has purportedly emailed Mahindra customer service citing the safety failure; but hasn’t received a response yet. He is yet to perform the insurance surveys etc.
Various posts on the thread suggest that the front airbags didn’t open because they are designed to deploy ONLY if there is an impact detected by the sensors placed in front of the car. Since it was a rollover, it is quite possible that not enough front end impact was generated to deploy the front airbags. But what about the side/curtain airbags? Niranjan on the forum suggests that “Side and curtain airbags work when the crash sensors detect a side impact, and usually only the airbags on that side are inflated. A roll over would not register the same reading as a T-bone impact since it dissipates energy more slowly. To set off the side/curtain airbags in a roll-over, you’d need a roll sensor as well as airbags that can stay inflated for longer. If the sensor determines that a roll is imminent, it can inflate the airbag even before the vehicle’s door touches the road.”
Regarding the claimed ABS/ESP/Roll Over Mitigation failure, BHP-ian IshaanIan might just have the most convincing reply thus far: “As for ESP, had the driver panicked and not bothered reacting in the right manner to the situation, there is nothing that it could have done to save the car or its occupants. It works only on detecting steering inputs in relation to the direction the car is headed and traction values from the wheels. If one doesn’t bother turning the steering in the direction they want to go to avoid an accident, nothing can be helped. Even if one did react to the situation, in most cases ESP will still not be able to help because it relies on the wheels being in contact with the road or at least a more definitive surface than water. We must all be aware and careful in order to prevent aquaplaning.”
We’ll be following up the incident, but all the aforementioned explanations, though logical, could be merely speculative. Mahindra needs to answer some questions.
Source: glenmz @ Team-BHP