Pictures at the end…..
China’s one of those countries that we don’t know much about in terms of Saab’s popularity. The word coming through to me, though, is that there’s a definite brand of enthusiasm there, and I hope to be bringing some images and stories from club events there in the near future.
Until, then, we have this story, which was sent to me a few weeks ago by Ying. It appeared on a Chinese motoring forum and Ying was kind enough to provide a translation. It doesn’t matter what country we’re in what language we speak, “Saab” still means “safe”.
SAAB 9-5 Serious accident, car written off, 2 occupants aboard
This morning I was at a Shanghai SAAB service station, and happened to see a tow truck bring in a 9-5 ARC that was involved in a serious accident.
From what I heard, the accident happened this morning on a Shanghai suburb express way. Due to the poor night time visibility, plus the tail light of the truck (that the 9-5 hit) ahead of the SAAB is faulty and non-lit, the 9-5 driver hit that truck almost blindly tail on, while doing 120KPH.
The frontal damage is heavy, from what I can see under the bonnet, the mechanical parts are almost un-recognisable. The engine has moved from its mounting position, and I was surprised to see some signs of burning or charring. Heavy damage to the front quarter panels and very light deformation to the A pillar, a sign of energy absorbing design working. The front doors are both operable. The windscreen is shattered but almost no pieces projected into the cabin. Both front airbags had been deployed. The speedo needle got stuck at around 110KPH. Probably indicating the impact speed.
The heavy truck didn’t suffer much damage, but strangely it’s front windscreen is broken – the driver said it could have been broken by objects in the cabin hit the window after impact. I’ve not sent the accident scene, but I guess it’d be a pretty shocking accident to all involved.
The 9-5’s driver and front seat passenger both survived without a scratch, very fortunate indeed. And I’ve noticed the passenger didn’t even use his seat belt (Ying’s comment: This is a BAD BAD habit in China – most passengers and some drivers don’t use the belt, it’s as if they have a death wish. I was in Beijing for a business trip and none of the Taxis have back seat belt, and some don’t even have front belt! I refused to ride in a few of them because of this). SAAB’s design incorporated a belt warning with beeping noise, some people would even stick the belt into the catch then sit ON TOP of the belt to cancel the warning noise – total stupidity and completely negated the designer’s attempt for adding this safety feature.
Some of the people from the service station commented the outcome might be very different if this weren’t a SAAB but a Japanese or Chinese car. I jokingly suggested they should purchase this 9-5 as is and use it as an advert for its safety features.
What is lucky? I think it’s when you meet the most bad fortune but don’t loose what’s most important, that could have been easily lost. For example in this accident, the driver and passenger is able to came out alive, not even suffering from any scratches. That’s luck. What brings that luck to him, is the proud safety culture and design of SAAB vehicles.
That last paragraph almost reads like it was written by a Saab employee! I’ll assume that the guys and girls at Saab China are doing more with their time than posting things on the internet (I mean, who’d waste their time doing that???).
I hope the passenger’s learned a lesson and will wear their belt from now on. No matter how safe the engineers make these puppies, your seat belt is still your first defence.
Thanks to Ying for providing the translation!