I've got a 58 plate S3 Sportback and coming home from work on the M4 on Thursday night (after I'd had the car a little under 3 weeks!) somebody slammed into the back of it. Damage doesn't appear to be severe:
The reason that I'm posting is that I was a bit alarmed at how the car behaved in the accident so thought I'd share in case anybody is unlucky enough to find themselves in the same situation.
The accident was fairly standard motorway stuff - I was in lane 3 doing about 70mph when somebody further up the road braked hard for some reason forcing all of the cars behind to do the same. All of the cars in front of me were modern BMW's and Audi's, the car behind me was a 1992 Toyota Starlet - no prizes for guessing which car failed to stop.
The Toyota hit me hard enough to trigger some of the Audi's accident responses - it cut off the fuel, fired the seat belt pretensioner on the driver's seat belt, switched on the hazard lights and unlocked the doors. Thankfully it didn't trigger any of the airbags. This all seems sensible enough but left me with a couple of problems. The seat belt pretensioner pulls you so tightly back into the seat that you can't breathe and hence your natural reaction is to unbuckle the seat belt - the seat belt is now deceased and cannot be used again (I don't know if this is normal or a fault). The second problem was that I could not turn off the hazard lights - I pressed the hazard lights button many times to no effect, tried holding the button (this makes the hazards flash faster) and turned the ignition off and on several times but nothing changed (they are off now so I can only presume that there is some kind of timer in control).
By the time that I had given up on the seat belt and lights the traffic in lanes 1 and 2 was travelling at a fair speed again which left me with the fun task of getting from lane 3 to the hard shoulder across two fast moving lanes of traffic in a car with no functioning seat belt or indicators - this almost certainly put me at a greater risk of injury than the original accident!
Anyway, my (completely unprofessional) advice to anyone who finds themselves in the same situation would be:
1. If possible, do not unbuckle the seat belt until you are on the hard shoulder.
2. Don't waste your time trying to turn off the hazard lights
3. In the moments immediately after the accident all 3 lanes will be virtually stationary - catch your breath, turn the ignition back on and get your a** over to the hard shoulder.
Hopefully none of you will ever need to follow this!
One positive note - my insurance company has sent me a brand spanking new Peugeot RCZ to use while they are repairing the S3!