Warning about soft close door system on Bentley Continental


Gulf GT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 9, 2006
1,539
California
This is a warning to all owners of the Bentley Continental. The Bentley Continental features a “Soft Close” Power Latching Door System that engages the door just before it closes and uses powerful electric motors to pull the door shut and latch it automatically. This system does not appear to have a safety built into it to stop the power latching motor system from closing the door when a hand or finger is in the way. My wife’s Bentley crushed her thumb flatter than a pancake when the soft close power latching door system closed the door on it. To make matters worse, the door jammed and she was unable to open the door while her thumb was crushed in the door for several minutes. The pain was so unbearable that she eventually passed out. Luckily a man came to her rescue and opened the door. The man that opened the door stated that it took both his hands and all his strength to open the door. My wife was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and held for observation as she is 62 years old and her blood pressure was very high and she was in a state of shock not to mention the severe damage to her thumb. The doctors had to drill holes in her thumb to release the pressure and place a splint on it because it was shattered. My wife was in pain for many months after the accident, and her thumb is permanently deformed. However we feel lucky that she didn’t have a heart attack and die that day due to the extreme physical stress of the situation. Please be careful with your hands and fingers around the doors on the Bentley Continental when they shut, and be especially careful around small children so that they don’t get their hands crushed in the doors.

Thumb on 3-28-12 (716x1024).jpg7-11-12 Thumb (4) (567x800).jpg7-23-12 Thumb (7) (679x800).jpgThumb on 3-12-12 (736x1024).jpg
 

BlackICE

GT Owner
Nov 2, 2005
1,412
SF Bay Area in California
Thanks for the warning. I don't have a Bentley, but my BMW has the same soft close feature. I wish your wife a quick and complete recovery.
 

Fubar

Totally ****** Up
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Damn.. I wonder if anybody with a Bentley can afford PI attorney? That first picture looks crazy, I’ve never seen a thumb that big?

All kidding aside, I’m sorry to hear your wife was hurt. I hope it heal quickly (and I hope she doesn’t take it out on you).
 

THamonGT

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Wow, so sorry, I accidentally slammed my thumb in the door of a hunting truck on our lease a couple of years ago and I thought I was going to have a heart attach trying to get it out. I could literally feel my heart beating through the end of my thumb all night for weeks. I was alone on the lease and went through hell, having to drill through my thumb nail with my hunting knife to ease the pressure. Not fun. Not sure if I would ever purchase an automobile with a slow close system. Could imagine this happening with a child which would be horrible. Hope your wife has a speedy recovery.
 

steved57

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OMG what a terrible ordeal ! I hope she recovers soon
 

Empty Pockets

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^^^ What they all said! :eek

Can anyone 'splain to me the logic behind such a system? Like maybe Rube Goldberg heads the 'overkill gadgets' design dept at Bentley?
 

Xcentric

GT Owner
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Jul 9, 2012
5,192
Myakka City, Florida
This does not sound like German engineering. Soft-close locks are common on minivans and SUV hatches. I need to find a pseudo-finger and stick it under my Touareg hatch.
 

Empty Pockets

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On rear hatches and trunk lids...not on doors. Why doors? 'Would seem like that's just asking for trouble.
 

Sinovac

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5,507
Largo, Florida
Another gadget which is a "solution" to a nonexistent problem. Hope she feels better. I smashed my ring finger with a 22 oz framing hammer 6 months ago and I am just now getting a fingernail which appears slightly human.
 

zach05855

GT Owner
Oct 16, 2012
202
Calgary, Alberta
My MB S class has the same feature
 

Gulf GT

GT Owner
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Feb 9, 2006
1,539
California
Thank you guys. We are really worried about small children on something like this. I tried carrots and all kinds of stuff and the door just closes on them chopping them in half. When our grandson is around the car we are extra careful. As some have stated here, our S Class Mercedes had the same feature, but maybe they have some kind of safety built in it, I don't know. If this thing did that to my wife's hand, I don't want to think about what it could do to a child's hand.
 

bonehead

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Alarming at how kids can be so vile and jealous of wealth. Some of the comments here are plain disgusting. Congratulations Jalopnik. Your pre-pubescent contributor base has made you the outhouse of the internet automotive world.

http://jalopnik.com/owner-claims-225k-bentley-did-this-to-his-wifes-thumb-1385098656?utm_campaign=socialflow_jalopnik_facebook&utm_source=jalopnik_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow
 

Fracman

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Alarming at how kids can be so vile and jealous of wealth. Some of the comments here are plain disgusting. Congratulations Jalopnik. Your pre-pubescent contributor base has made you the outhouse of the internet automotive world.

http://jalopnik.com/owner-claims-225k-bentley-did-this-to-his-wifes-thumb-1385098656?utm_campaign=socialflow_jalopnik_facebook&utm_source=jalopnik_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow
They lost me when they started celebrating the misfortune of fellow auto enthusiasts when their vehicles catch fire. It seems they are striving to become the automotive equivalent of "The Enquirer". It is a shame since it cheapens their quality stories.
 

Empty Pockets

ex-GT Owner
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Oct 18, 2006
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Alarming at how kids can be so vile and jealous of wealth. Some of the comments here are plain disgusting. Congratulations Jalopnik. Your pre-pubescent contributor base has made you the outhouse of the internet automotive world.

"I believe the most effective tool for shutting a door would be your hand. Than again, if you're super rich, I can see why manufacturers try make you feels special with the help of a few electric motors." (Máté Petrány)

Quite the condescending, and evidently envious little twerp, isn't he. 'Writes like someone who lives in mom's basement.
 

Gulf GT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Feb 9, 2006
1,539
California
Yep, that’s the internet today, lots of trolls mixed in with real people. Nearly all of us have smashed a finger or toe in a door and quickly removed it and later we lost a nail which is no big deal. A better way to envision what this did to my wife would be to put your thumb into a vice and have someone else squish it down to less than ½ the normal thickness until your hear the bones crush, and then leave it there being crushed for 5 minutes. It's one thing to smash your finger for a couple seconds; it's another to crush it to the point of breaking the bones for 5 whole minutes straight. In the beginning the doctors told us that she might not ever be able to use her thumb again, but we got lucky as she did regain most of the use of her thumb. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to think what could happen to a 5 year old child that gets their whole hand caught in the door and they don’t get lucky. We did not release this information to get sympathy from strangers or more money out of Bentley, we aren’t broke, and any amount we might get isn’t earth shattering. You don’t get millions for breaking your thumb. This is simply about the idea that if we said nothing and someone else was to get hurt or God forbid got hurt worse that would be irresponsible on our part. Our main concern is children; if this had happened to my 3 year old grandson I would be beyond discussion. Someone needs to look into this before someone really gets hurt.
 

Empty Pockets

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Did you order that option, or did you just happen to buy your car off the showroom floor so equipped?

On second thought, PM me if you want to answer that!


(Edit: If you ordered it, I'd really be curious to know why. 'Can't imagine any practical use for those. :shrug Buuuuut, I lead a very sheltered life!)
 
Last edited:

BlackICE

GT Owner
Nov 2, 2005
1,412
SF Bay Area in California
Did you order that option, or did you just happen to buy your car off the showroom floor so equipped?

On second thought, PM me if you want to answer that!


(Edit: If you ordered it, I'd really be curious to know why. 'Can't imagine any practical use for those. :shrug Buuuuut, I lead a very sheltered life!)
I ordered a car with soft close it was in a package with keyless entry. You couldn't have one without the other.
 

Gulf GT

GT Owner
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Feb 9, 2006
1,539
California
All of Bentley's cars come standard with it; you can't buy their car without it. We also had it in a couple cars before this, the Mercedes 600S and 500S. So, we didn't think anything of it. We just assumed there was some kind of safety feature like there is in minivan doors. We even asked Bentley if their newest cars (this year’s models) had a safety feature to stop the door from "soft latching" when something was in the way, and they said no. I think it's unbelievable in this day and age. Someone at some point is going to get really hurt.
 

Button

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2009
183
St. Paul, MN
Jalopnik is full of hoodlums and immaturity.

Best of luck to your wife's continued healing.
 

Empty Pockets

ex-GT Owner
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Oct 18, 2006
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All of Bentley's cars come standard with it; you can't buy their car without it.
Well then, that explains how you came to have it! 'NO CHOICE.

People can call me 'dense' if they want, but, I just don't see any actual benefit created by that feature.


We even asked Bentley if their newest cars (this year’s models) had a safety feature to stop the door from "soft latching" when something was in the way, and they said no.
'Want to bet serious money they WILL by the time this is over? That feature might even go bye-bye completely.


(E.G.: Can you imagine what would happen if elevator doors worked the same way? When you come right down to it, what's the underlying diff?)