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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday, on my way home from work, I was on the freeway and got rear-ended. Actually the car behind me got rear-ended and it pushed her car into mine. I got a pretty good hit, but no major damage. There are a few gouges on the rear bumper and you can see that the plastic has dimpled slightly.

The reason I am commenting is that my car started the emergency blinkers immediately, and I also got a message "restraint system malfunction" . Now the airbag warning light and seatbelt warning light are on.

What gives?
 

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Yesterday, on my way home from work, I was on the freeway and got rear-ended. Actually the car behind me got rear-ended and it pushed her car into mine. I got a pretty good hit, but no major damage. There are a few gouges on the rear bumper and you can see that the plastic has dimpled slightly.

The reason I am commenting is that my car started the emergency blinkers immediately, and I also got a message "restraint system malfunction" . Now the airbag warning light and seatbelt warning light are on.

What gives?
I was in a similar situation a few weeks ago and was hit pretty Hardin the back. I didn't see any warning lights though. Definitely have a body shop and/or dealer take a look because what looked like very minor damage actually cost 2500 to repair!
Bmws have a system where if you are hit hard enough to deploy an airbag the blinkers come on, the battery disconnects and the doors unlock. Maybe they have programmed the car to do some of those things even without an airbag deployment. Sounds like your batter didn't disconnect?
 

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The reason I am commenting is that my car started the emergency blinkers immediately, and I also got a message "restraint system malfunction" . Now the airbag warning light and seatbelt warning light are on.
Sorry to hear about your accident, glad you are ok and the car is not badly damaged.

The hazards came on because the crash sensor detected a collision of enough severity to activate them. The doors should have also unlocked automatically and interior lights turned on.

The restraint system warning is due to your seat-belt pretensioner and/or anti-whiplash active head restraint deployment. When that happens they need to be replaced. If your head restraint doesn't look any different it was probably the pretensioner.

Bmws have a system where if you are hit hard enough to deploy an airbag the blinkers come on, the battery disconnects and the doors unlock. Maybe they have programmed the car to do some of those things even without an airbag deployment. Sounds like your batter didn't disconnect?
It's not tied to airbag deployment. The emergency systems trigger based on the measured severity of the collision. So it may turn on the hazards and unlock the doors but not trigger the battery disconnect or any airbags. However, an airbag deployment will usually trigger everything else including the BMW Assist emergency call.
 

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Sorry to hear about your accident, glad you are ok and the car is not badly damaged.

The hazards came on because the crash sensor detected a collision of enough severity to activate them. The doors should have also unlocked automatically and interior lights turned on.

The restraint system warning is due to your seat-belt pretensioner and/or anti-whiplash active head restraint deployment. When that happens they need to be replaced. If your head restraint doesn't look any different it was probably the pretensioner.

It's not tied to airbag deployment. The emergency systems trigger based on the measured severity of the collision. So it may turn on the hazards and unlock the doors but not trigger the battery disconnect or any airbags. However, an airbag deployment will usually trigger everything else including the BMW Assist emergency call.
Intersting..good to know
 

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I got rear-ended hard in January and all those warning came on. It was related to the whiplash prevention system in the headrest, which apparently detonated. The headrest looked the same afterward, but that needed replacing. It's all expensive. I'd make sure you have the insurance info for the person who hit the person who hit you, or at least for the person that got pushed into you at the very least.
 

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Sorry to hear about your accident, glad you are ok and the car is not badly damaged.

The hazards came on because the crash sensor detected a collision of enough severity to activate them. The doors should have also unlocked automatically and interior lights turned on.

The restraint system warning is due to your seat-belt pretensioner and/or anti-whiplash active head restraint deployment. When that happens they need to be replaced. If your head restraint doesn't look any different it was probably the pretensioner.

It's not tied to airbag deployment. The emergency systems trigger based on the measured severity of the collision. So it may turn on the hazards and unlock the doors but not trigger the battery disconnect or any airbags. However, an airbag deployment will usually trigger everything else including the BMW Assist emergency call.
Hi jwac. Are you referring to the seatbelt pretensioner? If so, the OP would have known if that went off because it's damned loud. It's a pyrotechnic charge, a 'squib', which is ignited and fires a steel slug pulling a steel cable down a hollow tube. The other end of that cable is attached to the seatbelt.
We always fight over who gets to fire them off when we need to replace a seatbelt here at the shop. Very impressive to watch. No wonder people get bruised by the seatbelt in an accident.
PS You should see the fun we have with airbags...
 

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Hi jwac. Are you referring to the seatbelt pretensioner? If so, the OP would have known if that went off because it's damned loud. It's a pyrotechnic charge, a 'squib', which is ignited and fires a steel slug pulling a steel cable down a hollow tube. The other end of that cable is attached to the seatbelt.
We always fight over who gets to fire them off when we need to replace a seatbelt here at the shop. Very impressive to watch. No wonder people get bruised by the seatbelt in an accident.
PS You should see the fun we have with airbags...
How much do you pay a junior tech? ;)
 

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I am glad you are okay O.P.
Cars are just appliances and can ALWAYS be replaced.
Good luck with everything and have a great night.
Great post, Cadi man!! Couldn't agree more!! :thumbup::thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Sorry to hear about your accident, glad you are ok and the car is not badly damaged.

The hazards came on because the crash sensor detected a collision of enough severity to activate them. The doors should have also unlocked automatically and interior lights turned on.

The restraint system warning is due to your seat-belt pretensioner and/or anti-whiplash active head restraint deployment. When that happens they need to be replaced. If your head restraint doesn't look any different it was probably the pretensioner.

It's not tied to airbag deployment. The emergency systems trigger based on the measured severity of the collision. So it may turn on the hazards and unlock the doors but not trigger the battery disconnect or any airbags. However, an airbag deployment will usually trigger everything else including the BMW Assist emergency call.
Good information. After looking more closely, it is the anti-whiplash system. The headrest on the drivers seat is noticeably different than the one on the passenger side.

My neck was sore for about 24 hours, but is OK now. I'll probably go to my chiropractor in a day or two just to get checked over/straightened out.

The amount of safety equipment in these cars is pretty amazing.

After the wreck, the interior lights came on, the flashers came on and the doors unlocked after about a second or two. I also immediately got a restraint system failure warning - related to the anti-whiplash system. (I assume)

None of the airbags went off.

We called AZ DPS immediately and everyone had insurance (amazingly). All of us were wearing our seat belts, and noone tried to hit and run. I should have gone and bought a lottery ticket afterward. DPS has computers and printers in their cars, so the officer gave each of us a copy that summarized everyone's information.

The interesting thing is that the morning after the wreck, I was caught in that tanker truck mess here in Phoenix that made the national news. They closed the freeway (both directions) plus the interchange from another major freeway. It took me over an hour to move to the exit and get off the freeway.

I drove the car home afterward. I'm arranging for a tow truck to take it to the body shop for repair. Penske owns a bunch of high end dealerships _ Porsche, Lamborghini, Land Rover, BMW, etc. and the also a body shop that these dealerships send their cars to. So I am having it towed there.
 

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Are you referring to the seatbelt pretensioner? If so, the OP would have known if that went off because it's damned loud.
Yes indeed, they do mean business. I was in a serious crash in an E90 330i a few years ago and both pretensioners fired. I had substantial bruising from the belt as did the driver, but we collided with the concrete freeway dividing wall almost head-on at close to 50 mph. I thank my lucky stars it was there to pull the slack out of the belt.
 

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After the wreck, the interior lights came on, the flashers came on and the doors unlocked after about a second or two.
The system actually delays the automatic door unlocking to ensure the vehicle has fully stopped. They think of everything!
 

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Sounds like everything went your way, except the original hit, of course. As others have said, you will be surprised when you learn the repair cost.

I drove the car home afterward. I'm arranging for a tow truck to take it to the body shop for repair. Penske owns a bunch of high end dealerships _ Porsche, Lamborghini, Land Rover, BMW, etc. and the also a body shop that these dealerships send their cars to. So I am having it towed there.
 

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Sounds like the active head restraints kicked in. I'm assuming your headrest is stuck in the highest position with it tilting forward? When I was rear ended I had to get both head restraints along with the firing mechanism in the seats replaced along with the bumper cover and some frame straightening.
 

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Nothing matters more than safety for our fellow Bimmerfesters'. :thumbup:
A great post! Shows compassion for your fellow man! :thumbup::thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The driver's headrest was moved forward and up - I'm assuming that is the anti-whiplash restraint system. They will need to replace the bumper cover as well.

I won't know about any frame problems until they inspect the car.
 
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