I have been driving for 15 years, and up until now, have never been involved in an accident.
This past Tuesday (my birthday no less) I got into my first accident, and it was my fault.*
I went out to lunch with a friend and afterwards dropped him off at his place of employment where I also used to work. Some of my former colleagues (one who recently got an E92 M3) wanted a ride in my ISF. I took 3 guys out. This was the first time I had 4 people in my car (myself included).
I went down to Pacific Coast Highway, brought it up to 60 or so, then slowed back down to normal speed, ~45mph.
I moved to the right lane as I was going to make a right on an upcoming street (entrada dr)
The street light was red, and I was slowing down as normal.
As I was getting closer to the car in front of me I applied more pressure to the brakes, and got no response. It felt either as if the ABS was engaging, or like I was braking against some acceleration. At this point I was going about 15-20 mph. I lifted my feet up to ensure nothing was touching the accelerator pedal and slammed down on the brakes. Again, very little response from the brakes, and I rolled into the Ford Focus in front me.
This was around 3:00pm, the road conditions were dry, the weather was sunny.
No airbags deployed. The damage on the Focus wasn't too bad. He'll need a new back bumper. The damage on my F was more severe (sorry I don't have pics). I'll need a new front bumber, possibly 1 headlamp housing, grill, chrome piece around the grill, and the hood latching system seems misaligned, although the hood itself seems OK.
After swapping insurance info with the other driver and dropping my passengers off at their work, I went straight to the lexus dealership, who pointed me to their service center.
I explained what happened with the brakes. They said they are not allowed to touch the car until Lexus Corporate sends a Product Liability specialist and factory engineer out to inspect the vehicle.
They did that yesterday and of course found no problems with any of the systems in the car, everything is operating as normal. (I waited to hear back from them before posting here.)
Doing some online searches, the only type of similar experiences I've seen are:
I also found this:
Not only does this suck that my brand-new ISF (less than 1000 miles) got into an accident, but now I'm really worried about driving my car. My parents and my gf are worried that this might happen again after my car is repaired, and it's gotten me thinking about it a lot as well. I've driven the car Much more aggressively than when I got into the accident and never experienced anything like this. I'm worried I'll be subconsciously un-trusting of my car, and keeping a foot near the e-brake or ready to slam it into neutral in case this kind of behaviour happens again. Honestly, I wish the accident was caused by me being careless or stupid, as I could easily point the finger at me, and move on. The fact that I truly feel the brakes failed on me has me worried.
The car is still at Lexus awaiting the insurance adjuster to come and do their part of the claim before its off to the body shop.
I'm not looking for sympathy, just some logical explanations on how this could have happened. I checked the carpet/floor mats and they were securely fastened with their clips in place so that wasn't it...