Great UPDATE at the end
I reported last week on a crash involving a 9-2x that left one of the occupants with a mild back injury after the seat broke on impact. My comment at the time was that it was a worrying event given that Saabs (and Subarus) are generally known as being very safe cars.
The owner of the car, Jon, has got in touch with me via email and I asked if he’d mind giving us some more details about the event. Here’s his story:
The wreck happened the night of August 18th. Hurricane Erin made landfall the previous day in the southern U.S. Naturally, it weakened as it came on land, but then it began to reorganize (which is rare), and by the time it reached the area I live in, it was back up to a category 1 hurricane.
We were on our way home from dinner with friends, and it had just began to rain when the accident occurred. We were stopped waiting for a car in front of us to turn left across oncoming traffic into a neighborhood. Just as that car made its turn and got out of the way, we were hit from behind. The roads were wet, but I didn’t hear and skidding before the impact. I can only assume they didn’t get a chance to hit their brakes. The speed limit on the road we were on is 40mph (64kph). The car that hit us was a 1995 Dodge Intripid. The front end of the car went up over the back bumper of my car and most of the impact was absorbed in the back hatch area. The car also hit a little more on the passenger side. All things considered, the car held up pretty well.
I was driving, my friend was in the front passenger seat, my friend’s wife was in the back driver side seat, and my fiancé was in the back passenger side seat. At this point in time, everyone’s injuries seem to be minor, but we’re all under ongoing medical care just to be sure. Everyone has a good case of whiplash. My fiancé has a bruised back, bruised knee, and a concussion. My friend’s wife seems to have made it out with just the whiplash. My friend however, received the worst injuries because his seat back collapsed.
He’s a good sized guy, weighing in at 280lbs. (130kg) and is about 6’0″ (183cm) tall. Regardless of his size, the seat back should not have collapsed like it did. The Subaru Impreza is one of the safest cars on the market. I’ve owned a 2003 WRX sedan, and my friend injured in the accident currently owns a 2005 WRX STI. I believe the seat back failure was a fluke, but it is still unacceptable. As a result, he hyper-extended his back and received a severe case of whiplash, backlash, and a concussion.
I was told by the insurance company a couple of days ago that they’ve written the car off as a total loss.
Small photos only, I’m afraid.
Calling this one a writeoff gives me some fears for the fate of my Viggen, I must say. There must be some chassis damage there that we can’t see as the front of the car (not shown here) looks 100% OK.
I’d like to thank Jon for sharing the story with us and I hope he finds another car that’ll keep him happy soon (the 2008 9-3’s an absolute corker, Jon!!). I also hope his friend makes a speedy and complete recovery.
Jon emailed me again a few days after sending me this story with the news that his soon-to-be-father-in-law was so impressed with Jon’s 9-2x that he went and traded his Hummer H3 for a Saab 9-3, a 2007 model with the 2.0T!
SaabUSA: safety stories do matter and more than that – don’t ever let safety be compromised in the design of new Saabs.