07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - david518
Crash caused by a manufacturing fault?

Yesterday I was involved in an accident on a busy motorway, luckily no one else was involved resulting in damage to just my car. However I am very puzzled as to what to make my next step.

Whilst lighting a cigarette from the lighter port in my car, it caused a short circuit in the display panel, resulting in the cd player, time & temperature display to fail. I noticed that after this happened I saw the ?red key? function on the drivers display panel flash. Usually this would mean (as the car has keyless ignition) that I had attempted to start the car, but the key-fob was not within a close enough distance for the engine to start. But as the car was already in motion & I was in the ?fast-lane? I thought this was very unusual, therefore I thought it would be prudent to pull over in the hard shoulder and check over the car, but on the application of the brakes they locked into position, the steering wheel locked & the engine stalled. Resulting in a collision with the safety barrier between the two carriage-ways.

As I said, my reactions mean that at a busy time of day I avoided hitting anyone else & no one collided into the back of me. Eventually after I managed to pull back onto the busy motorway & had actually managed to pull over & check to see if the car was road-worthy I carried on my journey home, shaken but still in one piece!

Today I tool it to a local Suzuki dealer, and although they haven?t run any tests on the car ? they said that they don?t feel a broken fuse would have caused the accident, indicating towards a driver error. I feel that as the ?red-key? function displayed & the brakes locked, with the steering failing ? surely this can?t all be coincidental?! But due to an error with the cars electrics.

My dilemma is, obviously I need the car to be fixed, but if I let the car go into the garage for repairs & for the electrics to be tested ? does this mean I am admitting liability or just following procedure?

Many thanks,

David.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 21/04/2008 at 19:52

07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - Screwloose
David

That's an interesting tale - and, like the dealer, I'd initially find it hard to take at face value. The steering should never lock with the engine running.

However; electronic systems can sometimes behave unpredictably when convergent fault conditions interact and the first move is to download all the stored data in the various modules and see what clues that may unearth.

What skid marks were left on the carriageway after the brakes locked? Are they still there and can you get a photo? The existence of such marks [theoretically impossible on an ABS-equipped car] would be powerful evidence. Does the car have an electronic handbrake.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - david518
Thanks for your response...

Well as no other cars were involved & i manage to drive the car out of accident, i didn't exit the car until i had re-entered the motorway & pulled over on the hard shoulder where it would be safer...therefore i didn't manage to see if there were any skid signs on the motorway. I called the police & they said, so long as no other cars were involved & that no damage was done to 'motorway furniture', there was no reason for their involvement.

The car doesn't have an electronic handbrake. As i said, obviously the car needs to be looked at, but by surrendering it to the garage i fear i'm accepting liability - just unsure on the path to follow now...
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - Carse
Davis,

Surley if by pressing the lighter it caused a short, you should be able to repeat the symptoms and show the garage, the issue it caused you? (CD player, time, temp etc...)

Carse
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - RichardW
So, you were on a busy motorway, the brakes and steering locked, but your 'reactions' meant you avoided hitting anyone else, but collided with the barrier. Then, still on this 'busy' motorway, you were able to restart the car - all the previous apparent faults having cleared - and drive it away without anyone else running into it, or you causing a big traffic jam, or the police turning up? Despite a coming together with the barrier at, what 40, 50 mph, the car is still apparently driveable - and despite it throwing a big style wobbly you were still happy to continue to drive it on the m-way.

Hmm.


07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - drivewell
David

I have to second the earlier suggestion that you have the garage read, and give you, a print-out of the stored fault codes from all the modules on your car. These will be essential to prove that the accident was caused by a systems failure. Did you confirm that a fuse was actually blown - do you have the failed fuse?

In the absence of this evidence, I think it will be hard to convince your dealer, and your insurance company, that the accident did not result from a momentary loss of attention while lighting your cigarette while driving.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - david518
Thank you for your response!

I do have the failed fuse & the all the audio equipment etc... still doesn't work. They are unable to do any further diagnostic tests until they have time to look at it - which will hopefully be tomorrow.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - nortones2
Never heard of hydraulic brakes coming on without applying foot to brake pedal, nor locking by themselves. Releasing the pedal would release the brakes in the normal run of things, as seems to have occurred as the OP drove away from the barrier, from stationary, across the busy M-way, without hitting anything. Sounds very strange.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - oilrag
What does your insurance company intend to do about it David? I would have thought they would be interested in making sure its roadworthy when you get it back?

I would have thought that If its even touched the central barrier at speed, there must be substantial damage?
Regards

Edited by oilrag on 21/04/2008 at 19:51

07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - Hamsafar
Well, in theory, Brake Assist (which a google suggests the car has) can apply brake pressure which is not 'driver demanded', the car probably has electric power steering like most new small cars, so maybe the brakes came on and steering lost assistance (I don't see how it could lock) but while fiddling with smoking materials it could appear to.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - nortones2
Brake assist intensifies the action: it won't come on all by itself! www.carkeys.co.uk/glossary/9655.asp

07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - yorkiebar
I wonder if there is some confusion over what exactly happened?

As I read it, and read between the lines alittle(?) it sounds like the car may have cut out (in gear?) causing wheels to lock up and any steering assistance to be of no use; possibly giving the feeling of locked brakes and steering.

I am not a fan of all these electrical aids on cars because of the possibility of such instances.

My opininion would be to follow screwlooses advise regarding downloads of information etc.

A thorough investigation of the lighter circuit would be intriguing? A simple test of engine running, new fuse in place, use the lighter and see if it causes engine to cut out or lights to appear. If it does then there is a definite path to follow!
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - Bill Payer
It's a strange tale - especially the way it's written.

How does the "keyless ignition" work? I assume the steering would lock if the engine stalled and the car couldn't detect the key fob - but that seems potentially very dangerous.

Regarding brakes - there have certainly been stories (but not substantiated, as far as I know) of BAS triggering on Mercs without any driver input. Mercedes cars have had BAS for quite a few years.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - qxman {p}
Being a bit of an electronics 'geek' I managed to find a Suzuki Swift manual to download and just had a look at the electrical diagram. Fuse 27, which feeds the cigar lighter also feeds the audio system. The EPAS has its own fuse, as does the ABS and the keyless ignition.
The cigar lighter circuit is completely seperate from these other circuits, and they are seperate from each other, so I don't see how there could be any interaction.
The ABS system of this can does not seem capable of applying the brakes under its own steam. I can't understand how the described sequence of events could have happened.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - drivewell
Be honest with your insurance company

I don't want to appear heavy-handed here, but when the time comes to complete an insurance claim form (if you have not already done so), bear in mind that you have stated on here that you were lighting a cigarette at the time the incident occurred.

Technically, by posting this information here, it is now in the public domain, and a failure to disclose this on your claim form could be viewed as a withholding of relevant information.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - injection doc
Hmmmmmmmm & they say smoking can kill!!!
It may be inadvisable to light up whilst driving in the outside lane of a motorway epecially when busy. Are you sure you didn't just drift towards the barrier & drop a wheel in the shingle which slows the car very rapidly & takes the steering away from you & into the barrier?
I wouldn't want to go near the car after an experience like that. I would suggest that the wiring loom is stripped to find out wether the short has caused further wiring damage & a confliction of components. I wouldn't of driven it another yard & insisted on all the data being retrieved. The outcome may be very interesting.
I Doc
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - bhoy wonder
Hmmmmmmmm & they say smoking can kill!!!
It may be inadvisable to light up whilst driving in the outside lane of a motorway epecially when busy. Are you sure you didn't just drift towards the barrier & drop a wheel in the shingle which slows the car very rapidly & takes the steering away from you & into the barrier?


No more on this one then. I suspect that injection doc may have been right with his comments.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - Hamsafar
Any update on the story David518?
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - ex-Triumph man
I am not clear as to whether or not the car has been taken to the vending Suzuki dealer or not. However as the car is probably still under the manufacturer's warranty, they will probably have a technical repesentative who should become involved. Have you contacted Suzuki Customer Service?
You should also make the vending dealer aware (if different to that where car is now) stating you feel the car has a manufacturing defect and give him the opportunity to change the car or refund your money.
Most important, keep a written log of all contact made regardless with whom.
Good luck.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - spikeyhead {p}
There's amny things that can have happened. Here's some more conjecture.

A fuse takes time to blow and in that time it's possible that the voltage to the main ECU dropped enough to mean it thought that the ignition had been turned off. It then wants the keyless entry system reactivating. It's possible that this caused the steering lock to come on, even though this system is on a different fuse to the cigar lighter.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - stormyinthenorth
This happened to my six month Swift last week, luckily without a crash.

Plugged the ipod FM transmitter adapter into the ciggie adapter as I have done for months now, set off and within a few miles the stereo and the time, temp and mpg display died.

Took it back to the garage who asked me first of all 'So have you used an ipod or mobile phone with the cigarette lighter?' Which made me think it's clearly a common problem. Of course I bent the truth somewhat and said 'No, of course not!

'Good' he said. 'As the cigarette lighter is a Japanese specification and not suitable for running appliances.

Got it fixed no problem on warranty, but I do a lot of miles and I really need my music! I suppose I'm going to have to get an adapter that uses the ipod's battery to run rather than the car's. I bet that won't play for long. Rather that than risk it and have to take another day off work taking the car back if it happens again.

It all seems a bit stupid really.

M

Edited by stormyinthenorth on 22/07/2008 at 11:32

07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - Dynamic Dave
'Good' he said. 'As the cigarette lighter is a Japanese specification and not suitable for running appliances.


The ciggy lighter is capable of handing quite a few amps. There are few plug in appliances that will cause problems providing they don't require more than 10 amps to power them.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - SpamCan61 {P}
Yes, it does sound very odd, a cigarette lighter must need 5 - 10 amps to function, presumably without blowing a fuse, yet an iPod adaptor, which is going to be less than 1 amp I should think, allegedly causes a problem. That doesn't add up!
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - Screwloose

Given the poor design of most fag-lighters [BS or JIC] it's surprising that even more of them don't short.

A short in that circuit should have been allowed for in the design; that fuse is, by far, the most likely to need replacement.
07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - stormyinthenorth
Yes, I think it is the poor build quality at was the fault rather than any electrical defect.

I always had to make sure it was pushed firmly in as it very often popped out just enough to lose electrical contact. I only had to accidentally brush it and it would cut off. It always worked a lot better with the outlet in the wife's Corsa. I reckon I must have wiggled it too much for it to cope with!




07 1.5 Crash caused by a manufacturing fault? - retgwte
ok so its got a keyless ignition?

you normally start it by turning the switch when the "key" is within range?

so the normal mechanism that prevents the steering lock cutting in when the key is in the ignition presumably isnt there? and its just dont on the turn of the switch?

steering fail... was it i) power steering fail, ie did the steering get much heavier without power assistance or ii) did the steering lock cut in and prevent steering altogether? you should be able to figure out which from how it felt

if it was power assistance to the steering failing is it electric or hydralic power steering on your car? electric issues could easily cause power assistance to fail in this way if its elec power steeting, much less likely if its hydralic power steering - and you would know from other stuff such as hydralic fluid leak or belt snap etc likely cause there

brakes harder to diagnose? again was it simply power assistance lost but still able to brake with much greater pedal force needed? else how did you actually stop the car?

sounds very strange all in all
 

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