XUV500 airbags do not open in crash; Mahindra responds

Recently, images and details of a 2013 Mahindra XUV500 W8 that met with an accident were published on a Team-BHP thread. These images showed a completely mangled XUV500 that had met with an accident in NCR. What’s startling is that in spite of the huge damage that the car has suffered, none of the six airbags present in the car did deploy. The distraught owner, Arvind, even clarified that no seat covers or bumper guards or accessories were installed on his car. Moreover, all the passengers were wearing a seat belt. He also added that his son, who was driving the car, had suffered severe brain injuries in the accident.

Like we said, these images of the totalled XUV500 have been doing the rounds online. Most were surprised that the airbags did not deploy, despite none of the usual factors that prevent the deployment of airbags were present in this case.

The owner of the Mahindra XUV500, and most commenters on the forum, have been demanding a third-party investigation of the accident, to discover what led to the non-deployment of airbags.

Yesterday night, Team-BHP moderator GTO shared a letter from Rajan Wadhera, the president of Mahindra’s Farm and Automotive division, on the forum. An excerpt from the letter below:

We are aware of the accident involving an XUV 500 that occurred in May 2018 in Gurgaon. We are pained to hear that a young man who was driving the vehicle was seriously injured. We pray that he recovers quickly and is back in good health. We empathize with the situation and can imagine the agony that his family is going through. We are in constant touch with the customer.

There are questions raised by concerned people and our customers to understand the reasons for the non­-deployment of airbags in this incident. Some of the social media posts seem to conclude that because the airbag did not deploy in this particular incidence, the XUV500 is an unsafe vehicle. Let me assure all that we take such incidents seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation once the vehicle is made available to us.

Wadhera then wrote about some safety features of the XUV500. He said that the XUV500, which was launched in 2011, was one of the first Indian designed vehicles to offer ABS and airbags on all variants. He further insisted that Mahindra has been thinking ahead of the time in terms of safety features for the XUV500. He even said that his company has many testimonials from its customers that indicate how the airbags and the structural integrity of the vehicle saved lives and reduced the severity of injuries. He then says that the airbag deployment happens when the sensors detect a signal upon sufficient impact. The calibration of sensors is meticulously carried out to ensure there’s no unnecessary deployment of airbags. He even said that ‘sometimes what appears to be a severe enough accident may not have enough impact intensity for the airbags to deploy.’ The letter from the high-ranking officer at Mahindra goes on to state that the company plans to soon obtain access to the vehicle and conduct a detailed investigation.

Arvind, the owner of the crashed 2013 Mahindra XUV500 W8, has responded to this letter and he was not satisfied. He reasserted that this incident calls for a third party investigation and has promised to continue fighting for the same.

We, at Cartoq, are really sad to know about the condition of Arvind’s son and wish him a speedy recovery. Also, we request Mahindra to investigate this incident thoroughly and find out the reason for the airbags failing to deploy.