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Discussion Starter #1
I was just watching the evening news and saw a story about an accident in Dallas on I35 that occurred this morning. According to the report, a police car was set up doing a radar speed check. Some motorist came up to the spot and slammed on the brakes causing a pile up. In the video shot was a SS MDX on its side, front windshield and hood smashed. From what I could get of the report, it sounded like no one was hurt, but the sight of the X made me whimper for the poor owner. I always said those speed traps caused more back-ups and accidents than they try to prevent.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Some Pics off the TV

Here is a shot I took off the TV of the overall sceen.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Close-up of the MDX
Thankfully the report was only minor injuries for all involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
And lastly the police car.
 

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Not too good there. Definite bending of the driver's side A-pillar. That's the second accident I've seen photos of, with the MDX's roof showing signs of collapse.
 

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Hi Wmquan:

___I have to agree with you on the A-Pillar and roof deformation. It does not look that great in the pic Tom-TX posted. It looks like the Cop car really took a hit from the rear end. The black? SUV appears to have had all of its axle’s busted but overall, it appears that the passenger space is relatively intact? The X appears to have taken the brunt of the accident with the possible roll over although from the front end alone, it appears to have deformed just slightly … This is the kind of crash the NHTSA probably never considers but will make for some interesting research after the fact.

___I am glad no one was seriously hurt to say the least.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email protected]
 

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I'm sorry, are we attempting to conclude that the MDX involved in this accident did or did not perform acceptably based the pictures posted here? Without knowing anything about the dynamics of this accident? For all we know that MDX may have been airborne and landed on it's roof. Or it may have been struck while laying on its side. Endless possibilities with endless permutations of collision damage.

I'm all for playing the "guessing game" as to what happened but let's not pretend to make assesments without having any real information.
 

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Yes, I am concluding that the MDX did not perform as well as it could have in this accident. I own an MDX, and I don't want to look at it with rose-colored glasses and deny roof pillar crushing. I don't see any reason to give the MDX the benefit of the doubt just because I own one and would like it to have a very strong roof. Especially based on observations so far.

No, the vehicle was not struck on the A-pillar while laying on its side. The damage pattern would be quite different. The roof line collapse is relatively straight, a vehicle hitting it would deform the roof starting at a foot up the roof (while the vehicle is laying on its side) and that sure would not explain the A-pillar deformation since the A-pillar is laying on the ground.

Yes, we don't have all the details, and perhaps it was the kind of accident that would have crushed any vehicle's roof. However, the only evidence we have on hand is that photo, and it doesn't look good. I daresay that if the vehicle was lying on its roof and it wasn't crushed, some folks here would exclaim that the MDX did great, drawing their own conclusion.

This reminds me of the posts here exclaiming how well the MDX did in a front-collision, and how the passengers were protected. The last two accidents posted here -- the front airbags didn't even deploy! How serious an accident were those? And in the last accident, a rear-end collision, no one mentioned that the driver suffered whiplash symptoms, something that the MDX doesn't prevent well with its poorly designed headrests (that only earn a "marginal" in the IIHS score).

My own opinion is that Acura did not make roof strength a major priority in the MDX. I have seen no evidence that shows that they have made it a priority.

Acura mentions some reinforcements but doesn't openly brag about it. They will not release any video of internal rollover testing with the MDX, either done privately or with the press.

Yet Acura will brag about the internal testing that would achieve 5-star crash safety and IIHS "Good" scores, though. If they knew the roof can withstand rollovers well, they would brag about that too. Especially with all the public concerns over SUV rollovers.

We have seen three photos (or sets of photos) of rollovers here. In two of the accidents, there was deformation of the A-pillar. Sure, it's not statistically relevant, but that can't give anyone a really good feeling. Meanwhile, as an example for comparison, the M-class has been out since 1997, and to date, I have only seen one rollover in which the roof exhibited serious crushing. In this example, MB does openly brag about its roof structure and what it's done to it, and releases internal crash testing video. So yeah, I trust that it's roof is strong. Wasn't enough to make me buy one back in 2000, but I knew its roof was strong.

Thus, I think the MDX lags behind the ML320 and the new XC90 in roof strength. Let's see Acura show video of the vehicle flipping over three to five times like MB and Volvo do. Reminds me of when Lexus tried to copy the MB "Staying Alive" video but omitted the rollover testing segment. Obviously because they didn't want to show it.

Now that Acura has aced the front/side collision tests, and has helped reduce the risk of rollovers with the 2003 MDX's VSA, it's time they focus on other key safety areas: head protection in side impacts (with side curtain airbags), whiplash protection (better headrests, better seats -- I doubt if the 2003's fully address this), and roof strength.
 

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The bottom line according to Tom-TX ...

... is that were only minor injuries. So apparently the MDX protected its occupaants. Perhaps Tom can give us some info regarding injuries.


donsev said:
I'm sorry, are we attempting to conclude that the MDX involved in this accident did or did not perform acceptably based the pictures posted here? Without knowing anything about the dynamics of this accident? For all we know that MDX may have been airborne and landed on it's roof. Or it may have been struck while laying on its side. Endless possibilities with endless permutations of collision damage.

I'm all for playing the "guessing game" as to what happened but let's not pretend to make assesments without having any real information.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry. All the info I have came from the TV news last night, which as you would imagine wasn’t very detailed. Since I have a PVR satellite dish receiver, I was able to back up and take a picture of the TV screen.

From the looks of the MDX, I would personally think myself lucky if I had only “minor injuries” and thus the vehicle did a good job in protecting me. If you look closely the front end damage seems to be minor. It almost looks as if the impact was on the roof above the drive’s side. This might explain why the air bags did not deploy (if in fact they did not). I’m not sure how certain anyone could be that they did not deploy.

I will take a close look at the newspaper during lunch time and report back if there is more info.

- Tom
 

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Re: The bottom line according to Tom-TX ...

msu79gt82 said:
... is that were only minor injuries. So apparently the MDX protected its occupaants. Perhaps Tom can give us some info regarding injuries.


Yep, and I'm certainly glad that there were no injuries. My bottom line is that the accident is another possible confirmation that the MDX's roof is not particularly strong, for reasons already outlined. I'd feel a lot better if all three rollover accidents we've seen with the MDX had the roof in good condition, as opposed to two of them in bad shape.

What I hate about TV news reports is how there's little follow-up, and how they'd rather show a "lifestyle segment" than news item.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Couldn't find any article in the newspaper.

- Tom
 

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wmquan said:
Yes, we don't have all the details, and perhaps it was the kind of accident that would have crushed any vehicle's roof. However, the only evidence we have on hand is that photo, and it doesn't look good. I daresay that if the vehicle was lying on its roof and it wasn't crushed, some folks here would exclaim that the MDX did great, drawing their own conclusion.
But, that is precisely the point. I said that we should not be so presumptuous as to conclude that the vehicle did GOOD or BAD based on 3 grainy photos snapped from a TV broadcast (which fall so far short of "all the details" as to be practically worthless).

If, as you say, the accident had shown the vehicle with no A-pillar damage, you imply that those who "exclaimed" that it "did great" could be wrong in their conclusion. The converse then must obviously hold, that concluding from the the "evidence" that the A-pillar or roof structure is somehow inadequate, is just as flawed.

There is a very good reason why accident reconstruction experts often must take voluminous measurements and use computer modeling just to determing WHAT happened during an accident.

There is a reason that the NHTSA and the IIHS use high speed photograpy and sensor loaded dummies to determine WHAT happens in their collision testing.

Although I am impressed with your ability to deduce precisely WHAT happened, and HOW it happened, I myself will leave that up to the experts.

(I am not sure what the references to air bag deployment has to do with the A-pillar discussion - other than to prove my point that people will jump at the chance to render their judgement with little or no information ;) )
 

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Hey Don, calm down, there's no need to get sarcastic. These aren't "judgements," they're opinions. You don't have to believe my opinion, and you've already stated such. This forum is a place for opinions, isn't it?

Since we're not going to have any more new information on this, it's up to the person to decide, based on the limited information available. I've stated my opinion, it's just my opinion. You can disagree with it, that's your right.

I do agree with you (as implied before) that we don't have all the information and that it's quite possible something else happened. We can only form opinions (or choose not to) based on what we currently know.

To me, in my opinion, that's the second bad roof performance in an MDX rollover I've seen out of three. Not statistically valid, yes, I know, but it's not as good as 0 bad rollovers.
 

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wmquan said:
Hey Don, calm down, there's no need to get sarcastic.
Sorry, I must have overreacted to the rather lengthy rebuttal to my suggestion that we simply not "rush to judgement" (oops, did that sound sarcastic?)

Speaking of judgement:

These aren't "judgements," they're opinions.
judg·ment also judge·ment Pronunciation Key (jjmnt)
n.
The capacity to form an opinion by distinguishing and evaluating: His judgment of fine music is impeccable.

I suppose what threw me was that you have traditionally set an example for others on the importance of using analysis and facts to reach a rational conclusion. In this case though, I sensed that you leapt on this anecdotal evidence to support your underlying assertion that the MDX is somehow not as "safe" as other SUVs - ignoring the body of evidence to the contrary.

Might the MDX be "less safe" than some other vehicle? Absolutely. But that is not a "judgement" that I would make based on a handfull of pictures gleaned from the internet.
 

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donsev said:

I suppose what threw me was that you have traditionally set an example for others on the importance of using analysis and facts to reach a rational conclusion. In this case though, I sensed that you leapt on this anecdotal evidence to support your underlying assertion that the MDX is somehow not as "safe" as other SUVs - ignoring the body of evidence to the contrary.

Might the MDX be "less safe" than some other vehicle? Absolutely. But that is not a "judgement" that I would make based on a handfull of pictures gleaned from the internet.
That Acura does not emphasize and demonstrate the MDX's rollover safety is known. That we have three rollover incidents is known. That in two of the rollover accidents, there was considerable A-pillar damage, is known.

My "rather lengthy rebuttal" did include analysis and facts. I did not "leap" to the conclusion in the manner you sensed I did (if I was to employ the sarcastic tone that you have decided to adopt here, I would compliment you on your incredible empathy over the Internet). I've been concerned about the MDX's performance in rollovers since before purchase of the vehicle, and I am interested in any anecdotal information, one way or another. You may recall my comments on the first rollover accident shown here, that I was pleased about the MDX's performance.

Don, I can certainly understand and respect your opinion that the above is not sufficient evidence to reach a rational conclusion that the MDX's rollover safety is questionable. I've noted that opinion, and while I don't agree with it, no big deal.

And at the same time, I would hope that you can understand and respect my right (and Wayne's right) to express our own opinions (or judgements, if you will) even if you disagree with them. Without using the sarcastic and hostile tone that you've surprisingly elected to adopt. Thank you.
 

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Gotta comment (I just never learned to keep my big mouth shut):

donsev: I agree, a whole lot of info is missing.

wmquan: I agree, there is sufficient info [visible and annecdotal] to be concerned about rollover protection.


The most damning info for me is what we don't know and can't seem to find out:

** As wmquan pointed out, Acura has stressed many things [front impact safety, side impact safety, stability, etc.].

** Rollovers is probably one of the hotest SUV topics. I have seen a rollover rating for the MDX [think MDX got 4 on a scale of 5] BUT can't recall EVER seeing any info on rollover protection!!


Sooooo ... I gotta side with wmquan here ... if rollover protection was really good [or excellent or great] Acura would surely have told us this. Now this does not mean that it is bad, but I think there is enough to conclude that it is not great!!
 

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srpbep --

For what it's worth, I suspect (without enough evidence) that the MDX's roof structure is probably somewhat better than average, or, worse case, just average. Everything is relative, and that's only my guess from the very limited information at hand. Even the two bad accidents I've seen don't have a roof failure as bad as in other vehicle photos I've seen.

Of course, I think that most of us expect the MDX to be more than just average or above average in all areas, as we all have high expectations of it.

Some vehicles have reputations for paper-thin roof pillars, and there are plenty of anecdotal accidents to back those up (the previous-gen Ford Explorer was a notorious example). Honda has done a very good job with overall MDX safety, as crash tests have proven. So I don't think they would totally neglect another not-tested area like the roof structure. They probably didn't emphasize it as much, but they did something.

Acura does claim in the 2001 brochure that it has a "4-ring structure" that involves the roof pillars, and that it provides extra strength. They don't specifically mention "in case of rollover" but I don't think they want to use the dreaded R-word (unless they know they have something amazing against it).

So I wouldn't be overly worried about a rollover in the MDX; I suspect it's probably average to above-average in roof strength, but below the roof structure of the M-Class and especially the new XC90.

And, of course, the best way to avoid a rollover is with accident avoidance measures. Driver caution, plus features like VSA which Acura has added to the 2003.
 

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wmquan said:
srpbep --


Acura does claim in the 2001 brochure that it has a "4-ring structure" that involves the roof pillars, and that it provides extra strength. They don't specifically mention "in case of rollover" but I don't think they want to use the dreaded R-word (unless they know they have something amazing against it).

Since presently there are no rollover standards, just tendency to NOT rollover standards. Acura among others would be wise not to say too much.

Some years ago, Volvo, which already had wide acceptance as a safe vehicle, demonstrated how strong their roof was by stacking cars.
It was later discovered some chicanery was invovled in their ads, and they quickly disbanded the campaign.
 
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