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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I would like to share with you details of my horrific crash on December 8th 2011 in my 2004 V10 Phaeton, so you can see first hand how strong and safe the vehicle is. My car hit a very large tree head on at dual carriageway speed in Leicestershire, UK during awful weather conditions. All the emergency services were staggered that I left the scene with just a broken femur bone. The fire brigade & paramedics were particularly surprised with regards to:

1. How strong the car was, they were quite specific that had I been in most other vehicles I almost certainly would have had life threatening / fatal injuries.
2. The way the car protected me going from dual carriageway speed to zero instantly without even cracking a rib, no internal injuries, and most importantly no spinal injuries whatsoever. They were amazed at the dual seat belt tensioners, seats, and the fact the dashboard, steering wheel and everything else hadn't moved a millimetre during the accident.

I know most people here already realise the car is very safe and strong, but I didn't realise what it was capable of in a serious crash.





It goes without question that I am currently ordering my next Phaeton!

Kind regards

Oli
 

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Thank you for posting your story and here's hoping for your speedy recovery.

Do you care to comment on other particulars of the accident... was it a pool of water that took you off road, some other vehicle, what the speed was.

Best wishes and best of luck with the replacement buying process,
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the kind posts

Itzmann according to the witness the road conditions were terrible and the car went over some sort of grease, the back wiggled and it hit the tree. The police kept the road shut until it was cleared as other cars slipped on the same patch. On my mind though is the fact various people in my office convinced me to replace the tyres with budget tyres claiming decent branded tyres just made a lot of profit margin and there is no difference between them. Although I can't be certain if this had any bearing... never again will I buy budget tyres and I would recommend you all to avoid them!

I can't comment on speed for obvious reasons. The limit on that stretch is 70mph.

I assume you can see the pictures? Wasn't sure if I uploaded them correctly!

Cheers

Oli
 

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I think that's a wise tyre decision. There's a huge difference in performance between a good tyre and a bad one, the most noticeable thing being braking performance in my experience.

Crash protection was one of the deciding factors for me when I bought the car, it's nice to know you survived with relatively minor injuries!
 

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Oliver:

WOW! Thanks for posting. We all have heard and believe how safe the Phaeton is but most of us have luckily never experienced an accident like yours to test our confidence. Your Phaeton sure past the test.

I often believe I am rationalizing the decision to keep my Phaeton based on safety. Your experience shows that the safety performance of the Phaeton is real and more than a trumped-up reason to keep it.

My first thought when I saw the damage was to be relieved that you had no passenger. Then I noted the steering wheel and recalled that you are on the other side of the pond. The outcome was even more amazing since it was your side that took the worst of the impact.

Hope your recovery is going smoothly.

Jim X
 

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Thank God you're ok Oliver!

You're a 100% correct about your tires. The safest car in the word is only as safe as its tires and brakes. You never want to be cheap with those two components.

I'm always surprised about questions about what are the "best" tires for the Phaeton.................VW spent a lot of time and money testing tires before they settled on Michelin, and you can bet their legal departments made sure they tested them completely (especially when it came to the V10 and W12 models). And you can also be sure Micheline tested them to assure VW that those tires exceeded even the Phaeton's limits before they made any agreement to supply those tires to VW. Its not "rocket science" at some point. ;)

Bob
 

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It's sad to see such a fine car come to such an end. But, it carried out its final duty for you with all the quality and design perfection it was known for. I hate to be morbid, but you should be dead. That was a full speed frontal impact, and it went juuuust to the side of all the crash-supporting and absorbing elements like the bumper reinforcement and collapsing mounts, the frame rails, etc. And the passenger cell is still fully intact. Wow!

I hope you're healing well, and checking used car lots for lonely Phaetons in need of drivers.

Jason
 

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I hope you are healing quickly and comfortably. It is really reassuring to see that the car is such a safe one. As someone observed before, I too was not aware that the impact was on the driver's side and your injury was only a broken bone. Albeit, the body's biggest bone and one of the most painful fractures; nest time aim for fingernails, scraped knuckles, or a toe stub. :)

I am also sorry that a V10 was involved since so few of them were built and now we have even fewer of them left. It is a pity that these vehicles are not sold here in the US anymore. Your experience speaks volumes about how solidly built this car is.

Let us know how you are coming along mending your femur and good luck with your new Phaeton purchase.

cai
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks guys

totally agree on tyre view.

I can't stress how strong the car was. I needed to be cut out of the vehicle due to the fact the emergency services believed I had some degree of neck/back injury from the forces involved and severity of the smash, they wanted to take me out the car on a stretcher as flat as possible. It took the fire brigade almost 2 hours to cut through the B pillar breaking 2 of their pneumatic cutting tools in the process.. again they kept saying they had never experienced anything like it and commenting on how I was so lucky to be driving such a strong vehicle! Being a Phaeton none of them had come across one before. Obviously when they got me to hospital they found there were no neck/back injuries at all.

I've pinned down a nice silver 3.0 TDI with comfort seats to replace the car... sadly we don't get the awesome V10 in the UK any more due to emissions!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Jason

v tempted by a 2005 V10 but they are getting on now and you never know really how they have been looked after once you start hitting high milers.

My femur was smashed pretty badly into 5 pieces, they think I hit the brake as it hit the tree and my femur came into contact with the steering wheel from beneath it. That shows you how hard the car hit the tree and the forces involved. If the dashboard or seat would have shifted as in most other vehicles in this level of crash and made contact, I would have ended up with smashed knees, pelvis, goodness knows what else.

The seatbelts are also sensational, I was told most people in accidents at half the speed would definately have had cracked/broken ribs and other issues due to load on the belts... not in the Phaeton! I also don't know why other cars don't include dual pre-tensioners as standard as this clearly kept me firmly in the seat and probably contributed to protecting my spine from damage. I know the old s-class's used to have them.

Oli
 

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I am pretty sure the dual pre-tensioners still come with the 18-way seats, but would be grateful if someone could confirm
Hi Oliver,


Glad you are intact...

As for seats and seat belts, the GP0 and GP1 (first face lift) had the double roll - double pretensioner setup, as of the GP2 (so late 2009) they have adopted a more standardised setup with a single roll and pre tensioner, with the clasp/catch floating rather than fixed. I believe the reasons were to make the seat cheaper to manufacture (supplier also changed at this point) and it also saved significant weight on the seat (I think it was in the region of 10-15kg per seat).

The official reason was that the old seats had a tendency to squeak and or rattle, whereas this is not the case with the new arrangement (there is some truth here, but I suspect cost was the main driver)

Not sure this will make the seats any less safe than the old ones, having both, I can see good and bad things with both...

(as an aside, the massage function is not as strong on the newer seats)

Regards,

Johan
 

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Hi Oliver,


Glad you are intact...

As for seats and seat belts, the GP0 and GP1 (first face lift) had the double roll - double pretensioner setup, as of the GP2 (so late 2009) they have adopted a more standardised setup with a single roll and pre tensioner, with the clasp/catch floating rather than fixed. I believe the reasons were to make the seat cheaper to manufacture (supplier also changed at this point) and it also saved significant weight on the seat (I think it was in the region of 10-15kg per seat).

The official reason was that the old seats had a tendency to squeak and or rattle, whereas this is not the case with the new arrangement (there is some truth here, but I suspect cost was the main driver)

Not sure this will make the seats any less safe than the old ones, having both, I can see good and bad things with both...

(as an aside, the massage function is not as strong on the newer seats)

Regards,

Johan
...just a thought, one for others to chime in on, I think that 'load limiting' pre-tensioners was the thing that was the saving grace here, the fact that there were two rolls with pre-tensioners is more an artefact of the design of the comfort seat... Or is that what made the difference? Just asking as the dual roll arrangement is not available any more, and I suspect we all like to know if the older cars are safer than the newer ones.

Regards,

Johan
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks for clarifying that Stu, Damon & Johan, appreciate your help

Out of interest I wonder if there are any other cost cutting areas that may (or may not) have any bearing on the safety of the vehicle through the different model years
 
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