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Honda CR-Z no brakes after collision

I was t-boned in my passenger side door & rear quarter panel. After being hit, I tried to stop but nothing happened when I pressed on my brake pedal. It’s a 2011 manual transmission Honda CR-Z. I am 100% sure that I was pressing the brake pedal because my left foot was on the clutch - I even looked down to make sure. I did stop after hitting a car that was about 20 yards in front of me after the initial crash.

When I came to a stop all the dash warning lights were on. I had taken it out of gear but it was stalled anyway. I turned it all the way off and about 15 minutes later I restarted the engine. The ‘Cruise Main’ light was still illuminated on the dash (I hadn’t been using the cruise control). I pressed the cruise control button and the light went out. And then tested the brakes and they worked just fine!

Has anyone heard of such a thing happening? Could the battery recharging brakes or the battery location in the rear of the car have anything to do with this? I’m awaiting a report from Honda. The service technician as going to see if the computer has any information to explain the loss of brakes.

I suspect that this Honda has Vehicle Stability Control. I am sure that the VSC will be quite active if the vehicle was hit on the right side while traveling forward. The VSC may have taken over the braking activity and not released it to the ABS soon enough. I would wonder about the state of software design for the case of accident scenarios.

Keep us appraised of the progress of this case. Remember the stories a few years ago about runaway vehicles with throttle by wire?

Do you know if that is something that the car’s computer would be able to show??

Let me give you another possible scenario:

Modern cars have an “impact” sensor, which is designed to shut down the fuel pump in the event of a collision, in order to lessen the possibility of a vehicle fire. Thus–even though you might not have been aware of it, it is very possible that the engine “stalled” immediately upon impact.

When the engine stalls, it is not unusual for the brake pedal to feel unnaturally “hard” and unyielding. In reality, the car still has braking power, but without the power assist that you normally have, a LOT of extra pressure on the brake pedal is necessary. Some folks conclude that they had no brakes in this type of situation, when in fact, they did have brakes–even if it might have taken a lot of strength in order to activate them.

So…How did the brake pedal feel when “nothing happened”?
Did the pedal feel normal, or did it feel like you were trying to put your foot through something that was unyielding?

To my memory, the break pedal felt like it had absolutely no resistance. It felt like it went all the way down to the floor. I even tried ‘pumping’ the pedal with no response. Could it have gone down just a bit and then met ‘unyielding’ resistance? - yes I guess that could have been. I seem to recall pushing very hard down on the brake. But that said, I was also trying to decide what my best course of action was - continue straight and go into oncoming highway traffic or swerve to my right and hit the car in front of me. So I can’t be 100% sure of how far the pedal was being depressed.

It was slow speed by that time and since the car in front of me was about 15 - 20 yards in front of me I had time to even look down at the pedal and make sure I was pressing the brake pedal. Before the tow truck came to take the car away, I even did a trial of trying to push the clutch with my right foot - it’s so ‘un-natural’ that I know I couldn’t have been on the clutch just after the initial impact (t-bone). Also, I’ve been driving a manual car for over 30 years, so I know the difference between the clutch and brake.