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Discovered a flaw in Audi Pre-sense

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Old 06-12-2018, 03:33 PM
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Default Discovered a flaw in Audi Pre-sense


That flaw being......that drivers of janky Toyota Rav 4s traveling too close behind you don't have it and can't stop as fast as you can when traffic comes to a sudden, unexpected stop.

Sorry for the clickbait but I just had to. This happened last Friday and I'm still fuming and my whiplashed neck is still aching. My beloved, pristine, 2017 A4 Prestige – which was the first car I ever factory ordered to my exact specifications, and that I've cared for meticulously in the 5,700 or so miles since I've had it – was hit hard last Friday by some asshat who wasn't paying attention to the road.

This was my first accident since 1989 so I'm obviously not happy about breaking my lucky streak. I guess I should still consider myself fortunate considering that I've regularly driven in Seattle for almost 14 years now and this was the first time someone has hit me. I'm generally not on the road for more than three minutes before I start to see a litany of bad behavior behind the wheel: people running red lights, on their phone, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating, failing to yield. I've lived a number of cities in my life and this place takes the cake for bad drivers.

This was a really hard hit too. The guy had to be going in excess of 25 mph. And I didn't see him coming. The car actually seems to have taken the hit pretty good. It won't go into the shop for a couple more days so I won't know the full extent of the damage until then. But the bumper and trunk lid seem to have taken the brunt of it. The car was still drivable after the accident. All of the rear lights are still functioning and the trunk still opens and closes. Both rear quarters were spared and things don't look too bad underneath.

Fortunately, the guy didn't run (a miracle in Seattle where no one wants to take responsibly for anything) and had insurance. His insurance company has accepted liability for the accident. I actually looked into this guy's record and it seems he has been cited in the past for inattentive driving. Not that he was the least bit apologetic about the accident or concerned with my whiplashed neck. It was all I could do to get his insurance info from him at the scene of the accident. He acted as if slamming into my car was a huge inconvenience for him. In any case, this post has already taken up enough of your time. Just be careful out there fellow Audi aficionados!

Last edited by AidanHadley; 06-12-2018 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:10 PM
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Since you clickbaited us, did presense actually kick in? If so, would it have prevented an accident if the asshat hadn’t hit you?
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:39 PM
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Yes it did engage but I was in control of the car and probably would have avoided a wreck without it. I was in heavy traffic on an onramp to the freeway and the flow of cars seemed to be moving pretty well and then abruptly stopped. I did see this and applied the brakes hard. Pre-sense also saw the suddenly stopped cars and, likely taking note of my speed, sounded the chime and put the red triangle up in the heads up display. I'm not sure if the car applied the brakes simply because I was already applying them. With that said, though it was an abrupt stop (in wet conditions) it was not such that the ABS engaged. So I wouldn't have thought it all that extreme if I hadn't seen the Pre-sense graphic in the HUD. I probably had a mix of surprise (that the Pre-sense had gone off) and relief that my car stopped safely without hitting the car in front of me. But it was only a couple of beats of relief until I was slammed into and heard that horrifying thud.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:57 PM
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Dang that sucks. I have the same exact color, Scuba Blue is gorgeous. Was this on the highway? The guy must've been tailing you and distracted. Looks like trunk, bumper, underbody lip, and trunk tailights have to be replaced. Was the rear quarter panels saved? It also looks like the outer tail lights were ok too? Hard to tell
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:13 PM
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I am another scuba blue owner and like you, I take meticulous care of my car. I had a careless driver cause an accident which damaged my last Audi. I took the car to the body shop at the Audi dealer where I purchased the car and they did in excellent job with the repair and painting. In my case it was the front bumper, headlight and left front quarter panel. All repair parts were genuine Audi OEM. I had to take the car back a couple of times because the headlight had a defect and had to be replaced. But once they got the headlight fixed the car was perfect. In fact, it was better than before the accident because all of the stone chips on the bumper and hood were gone. I owned the car for another 5 years after the accident and it remained perfect until the day I traded it.

Find an excellent body shop and tell yourself “its only a car” :-)
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:27 PM
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Noooooooooo! So sad to see a scuba blue damaged that way...

That being said, here we try to always encourage looking at the bright side of life, namely - thanks to your A4's excellent brakes and presense, you didn't hit the person in front of you. I don't know how things are in your jurisdiction, but in many places, whoever rear-ends someone else is deemed at fault... so, for insurance reasons alone, it's probably better to be able to stop in a short distance and be hit by an idiot with longer braking distance and/or more inattention.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AidanHadley View Post
Yes it did engage but I was in control of the car and probably would have avoided a wreck without it. I was in heavy traffic on an onramp to the freeway and the flow of cars seemed to be moving pretty well and then abruptly stopped. I did see this and applied the brakes hard. Pre-sense also saw the suddenly stopped cars and, likely taking note of my speed, sounded the chime and put the red triangle up in the heads up display. I'm not sure if the car applied the brakes simply because I was already applying them. With that said, though it was an abrupt stop (in wet conditions) it was not such that the ABS engaged. So I wouldn't have thought it all that extreme if I hadn't seen the Pre-sense graphic in the HUD. I probably had a mix of surprise (that the Pre-sense had gone off) and relief that my car stopped safely without hitting the car in front of me. But it was only a couple of beats of relief until I was slammed into and heard that horrifying thud.
I wonder if the pre sense actually engaged the brakes or not. The main thing that triggers that red triangle, in my experience, is your car continuing to go at the same speed while the car in front of you is slowing down. It's fairly conservative - when I've had it go off, except maybe once, I don't think that it actually applied the brakes, I did. (That one time... that was fun... abruptly stopping from 100-110km/h to zero... and somehow managing not to hit the car in front of me.)
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:42 PM
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The warning triangle comes on as a warning at first. It chimes and the triangle lights up but it doesn’t apply the brakes. I know cuz it has happened in all my Audis except the SQ5. The triangle and chime light up/sound first. I think the brakes are only applied later.

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Old 06-12-2018, 07:43 PM
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Thanks guys. And a shout out to all of my fellow Scuba Blue owners! I do consider myself fortunate that the car was not more badly damaged and that no one was hurt. Though after doing $6,000 worth of damage last summer when the car bottomed out over a deep rut, and after being keyed once for no reason, I'm beginning to feel like this car has some bad juju. The car won't go in for a proper evaluation for a couple more days so I'll be curious to see what underlying damage there might be. But again, the quarters were OK and the lights weren't cracked, though one definitely got some paint transfer on a corner so I'm going to insist they replace it. The car is so new, with so few miles on it and they really need to put it back the way it was.

Despite the hard impact, and the fact it is hanging halfway out of its normal position, the backup camera still works. All of the backup sensors are understandably messed up. As soon as put the car in reverse (with nothing behind it) they all sound off. With the damage I had last year it added around $1,000 to the repairs just to recalibrate all of the cameras and sensors, despite the fact that the repairs were all related to the steering rack and belly pan. So I expect that will be the case this time too.

Interesting about the Pre-sense. Again, I was already applying the brakes in such a determined way that I can't be sure when Pre-sense would have applied them for me. But considering the rapidly closing distance I would hope that the Pre-sense would have been engaged by that point as there wouldn't have been much time for it to engage if I hadn't braked. And I believe that I have the Pre-sense set to the widest sensing distance though I may amend that after this incident. And while I've never rear ended anyone in the 32 years that I've been a licensed driver, it probably would not hurt for me to back off a bit and leave more stopping distance from here on out.




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Old 06-12-2018, 11:39 PM
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Sorry but I can't understand your reasoning that there is a flaw with the pre-sense. It chimed you reacted, thus it felt no need to apply the brakes. Then the idiot too close behind you hit you.
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