In Reply to: Wrecked 323i...please read. posted by phil on October 07, 1999 at 21:33:47:
Sorry about the accident and glad everyone is OK.
Since the steering system isn't "drive by wire" (in other words, steering wheel isn't electronically connected to the wheels), and assuming the steering is OK (everything connected) after the accident, there really isn't any way the steering mechanicals can let go and then go back to normal. Everything in your report sounded 100% consistent with being on a slicker than expected road surface and/or going too fast for conditions. (Both your explanations of lack of steering and braking).
It would be possible to momentarily lose the power steering in the car, and power brakes (probably not both at the same time, however), but you would still have braking and steering available, although the effort would be higher to make either of them work.
Did you feel that the ABS was activated at all? If the surface was slick and you were on the brakes fairly hard, you might have felt the pulsation/vibration through the pedal. Under the circumstances of an impending accident, you might not have noticed, though.
It sounded like you said that only the passenger side side airbags went off (nothing on driver side). I wasn't aware that they were separately activated. This is a good thing, I guess, because repair cost this way will be less and it prevents unnecessary injuries from airbags going off where they definitely aren't needed.
Keep us informed as to the outcome of all this. Hope the repair/insurance process goes well.