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Got into an Accident. Messed up my ISF :(

10765 Views 30 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Flipside909
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:
ODI #10251618

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...

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Darn, sorry to hear about it, poor IS F! At least no one got hurt and no airbags deployed. Since this happened on dry pavement and that happened, it would definitely be best to get it checked out, I read the forum posting that you put here, and that doesn't seem to be the problem since there's no snow, better get that braking system checked out.

I wonder if any others are experiencing this problem besides these two incidents.

Hope you get her fixed up and good to go soon (get the brakes checked out though!)!
Sorry to hear about the accident disordr :( I'm glad you and your passengers are alright!

Very very interesting problem you mention with your brakes. This is the first time I've heard of this happening on a Lexus (F or a 350 from the link). I'm not sure what could have caused it to happen. Your car is fairly new, perhaps there was an air bubble in the brake line and instead of getting brake fluid when you pressed the peddle, you just got air and were unable to stop in the short distance you needed to. (see link: This could also explain why Lexus was unable to duplicate it. If it was an isolated bubble of air or moisture, then the lines would be fine afterwards and Lexus wouldn't notice a problem. Hope it gets worked out and let us know if Lexus finds anything!
Wow that certainly sucks! Good thing you weren't going 80.

I think there was some kind of rear brake recall for the 2IS but the F is probably not part of that.

Not sure what else you could do, keep pushing Lexus and may be file a complaint to the gov? Anyhow best of luck & hope everything works out at the end!
Sorry about your loss. The most important part is that no one is hurt and the car is definitely repairable. Just out of curiosity, do you have photos of the damages, and also who is your insurance carrier? I'm an adjuster by profession. PM me if you have questions.

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. NEVER had this >

happen in any of my Lexus's,,,, my Race cars, Ford cars and Jeeps yes.

The usual cause was either air in the lines or overheated brake fluid, either in the front calipers or in the lines themselves. Worked for Lotus when another MFG was using Lotus parts in another car and their brake system was "fading".... Turned out to be the position of the master cyl being to close to the exhust manifold, but that is NOT the case with the IS-F. Have also cooked the brakes in my race cars on short street courses before, but again that had to due with bad/overused and overheated brake fluid and not getting enough cool air to the calipers or master cyl which again is not the case with the IS-F's IMHO.... Though once in a spec racer I did have a bad master cyl rubber pedal gasket that leaked under pressure that reared it's ugly head during a race.... SO lot's for Lexus to look at, and hopefully you weren't riding your brakes without really knowing it????

Don't really think it's a common Lexus problem.
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Sorry to hear about your accident. I'm glad it you weren't coming down from a much higher speed.

If it makes you feel any better I wrecked my first car less than 24 hours after I got it. Also, the first new car I bought after college was hit buy a drunk lady about 12 hours after I got it. Neither cars where anything like a F, but at the time I was really pissed.

Find a good body shop and the car will be good as new soon. If you were considering an aftermarket front lip now would be the time to do it.:D
Wow....Sorry to hear

Sorry brotha. That bites. At least no one was hurt, that is the good thing. The first thing I thought when I started reading was that is was brake fade, but you weren't on the brakes really hard for much before that were you? The culprit is sounding like an air bubble in the lines. Hope it all works out for you.
Wow, Practically brand new car at 1K miles..Oh man!
I hope everything works out..It really pains me when I hear F getting into a accident..:(
Oh, that's awful!
I've been suspicious of my brakes ever since I noticed them grinding the car to a halt, so I'm always trying to prepare for if they fail. It's probably nothing, but I'm going to go ahead and get new brake pads ASAP.
If you makes you feel any better, someone rear-ended my new, custom-ordered Boxster 4 months after I picked it up. It was as good as new once it was repaired and I should know: I drove it 6.5 more years, on and off the track.
I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I had an accident within two months of getting my previous 02 Subaru WRX, so I feel you pain.

I'm glad no one was hurt and I'm sure the car will be good as new when it is repaired.

08 Smoky Granite Mica IS-F
Wow, I am so sorry to hear about the accident. I am glad to hear that no one was hurt and your car is repairable. However, it's very disturbing because there is a possibility that the brakes could fail again. I would definitely get a second or third opinion before driving it aggressively. Good luck and please keep us posted!
Sympathies bro, what a drag. Yes, it does sound like air in your lines. Sure doesn't look like brake fluid boiling cause your were not driving aggressively at all. Please get on Lexus' back to get to the bottom of it, if necessary cc. Brembo. I would like to know what's up.

Please keep us posted cause you may just be able to help save some lives.
I agree totally sucks balls...but this is very consistent with air in the lines. Had this problem on a corvette before. Get it checked, I bet it never happens again! Also with the way they do body work now it will be every bit perfect. No worries
I'm sorry to hear this, but I'm glad everyone's fine. I hope you find out what was the cause of the malfunction and update us...
Hey Everyone,

Thanks for all the supportive words and encouragement.
I went down to the dealership where my car is sitting to take a few pictures. I'll upload them later when I have more time.

I spoke with the insurance adjuster and the driver of the car I hit (a young guy in his late teens or early 20's) is claiming neck and back stiffness. I guess that's typical, especially for people in LA. Everyone in my car is fine.

I spoke with Lexus Product Liability 2 times now. Here is what they had to say:
We sent a lexus factory trained engineer to the dealership where your car is and your car is performing within Lexus specifications.
Thats it. No details, nothing. Every question that I asked like:
What are the specifications?
What tests were performed?
Is the raw data available?
What other guarantees can you provide that this will not occur again?
Is there an independent lexus service center that I can have additional tests performed at?

The answer to all my questions were, that information is internal, we are not allowed to release any information. If you have further questions, you can contact our legal department, and then she provided me with the mailing address.
Talk about covering their asses, even if they didn't find anything wrong, their behavior makes it seem like they are hiding something.

My question to you guys:
Do you know of, or can you recommend any independent lexus repair shops that I can have additional tests done on my car once I get it back from the body shop?
Even for my own sanity this would be good to have done.

Also, anyone have experience writing to the legal department to request any of the additional details that lexus tries very hard at keeping a secret?


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What about a black box?


I'm wondering if there's a "black box" (event data recorder) in our IS Fs. If so, it might provide the full story about what happened. I don't understand who owns the data, or if it's even available in our cars.

If it is, you might want to try to get it. I'm sure brake system status would be recorded during a collision and probably even before.

See this article at Autoweek:


Does anyone know if Lexus uses these devices? I've search the web a bit and can't find any believable information about whether they do or not.

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If I remember correctly, Toyota/Lexus do have the event recorders and Honda/Acura do not. I've also heard that European cars generally do not have the event recorders.

From what I've read, the data from these event recorders can be used in court as evidence, but I'm no lawyer so I can't be sure. I'm also not sure what data is retained and for how long. Some of them only collect data in airbag deployments which wouldn't help in this case.

I have a bad feeling that in order to get the data off the recorder (if the car has one) would require retaining an attorney and would probably not be cheap.

This whole situation is a shame because I can relate to your distrust in the car. I would have a lot of trouble keeping it too, especially given the lousy treatment that Lexus gave you. You'd think at least they would tell you that they couldn't find any problems rather than dancing around the issue.

Please keep us posted on what you end up doing. Again, what a bummer.

08 Smoky Granite Mica IS-F
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Wow that sounded like a response I would expect may be from the big 3 but not Lexus. Certainly very disappointing. Was the dealership willing to do anything for you at all, or did they turn their back as well? Man just hearing about it pisses me off. It's not like you spent peanuts and bought a pinto for crying out loud.
very sorry to hear that, hope everything goes well with getting it fixed and everything
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