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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2004, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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premature airbags

My dad was on his way to vegas , when he hit a rubber piece of tire on the freeway. His side curtain and right side airbags deployed injuring my moms right arm and terriffing all the passengers..
Mercedes Benz insists that this is considered a collision and will not be repaired under warranty. The dealer service dept. says there is extensive damage under the car and thats what caused the airbags to deploy. I looked under the car and noticed one little dent and scuff marks under the undercarriage. Just because he ran over a part of a tire he has to pay over 6000.00 to repair the airbags. This in my mind should be covered under warranty. I have MB of N america involved and they closed the case without even inspecting the car for themselves and sided with the service managers story of there being extensive damage under the car. What do I need to do to have warranty cover this incident. The airbags should not have deployed from simple raod debris.

Please help me
I have never seen such poor serice from an authorized dealer "downtown LA Motors". perticularly the service manager Harry Hamparian. Also the service consultant Mike Shirinian who lied and exagerated about the undercarriage damage.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2004, 09:44 AM
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RE: premature airbags

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stomba333 - 6/4/2004 11:20 AM
What do I need to do to have warranty cover this incident. The airbags should not have deployed from simple raod debris.
Shouldn't it be covered under insurance ?
And road debris should damage car in any way - if it does - that is more like collision with object.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2004, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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RE: premature airbags

Yes it is covered by my insurance but I do not want them to be involved if it is not necessary.
The road debris happened to be a rubber part of a blown tire. Yes I admit he hit the object but i dont think it was severe enough to deploy airbags from an item hitting the bottom of the car. There is no body damage.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-04-2004, 05:48 PM
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The airbags deployed as they were designed to do...

stomba333: Welcome to the forum! Sorry to hear about your families dilemma. I can empathize with you & your parents about the accident & warranty issues with MBUSA, but you really only have two options.

You can either seek legal council (regarding the accident) or get your insurance company involved. I believe the cheaper, more convenient route is to simply pay the deductible & be done with it. Hey, what's insurance for anyway?! Hope your mom's arm is feeling better with each passing day! [:)]

BTW: Did your parents file a police report in the county where the accident occurred? A report isn't mandatory, just helpful.

Remember, advice is cheap & plentiful on a public forum. The path of least resistance is filing an insurance claim! Please keep us posted on both your final decision & your mom's health... [8)]




"If money can fix it, it's not a problem..."
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-05-2004, 01:28 AM
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RE: premature airbags

stomba333, hope your mom is doing ok and feeling better. Is the $6000 repair bill only for airbags? That just seems a little steep for two airbags, even for MB but I could be wrong.

I don't understand why the the MB shop would not do something under warranty if they could. It isn't like they aren't going to get paid for it. If your insurance covers it like others have said, at least you can get it paid for, you can make your complaint and find another shop for your future business.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 06:31 AM
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RE: premature airbags

"its better to have a gun and not need it than need a gun and not have it" - christian slater - true romance

sorry to hear about the injury and cost, but i have seen accidents where the air bag didn't go off, that is scary (sometimes fatal).

airbag sensor underneath the car? that's what i call thorough.

unless the sensor can be proven as faulty i would not expect the dealer (of any car company) to repair airbags every time someone hit something. the inspection report from the dealer will detail the damage and from there it is easy to determine if the damage was extensive.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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RE: premature airbags

I spoke with MBNA on friday and they told me the file was closed. I asked them how they could close the file without even inspecting or seeing the car since ithe car was in my dads possesion. The customer service relations contact John told me that there was nothing I could do and the decision was final. I started to get short with him because he couldnt explain logically how MB could close the complaint case without seeing the car. I told them my lawyer would be in contacting them. Several minutes later when I was on the phone with my lawyer they called back and explained to me that the case was closed according the MB Rep. Bryan Bay speaking to the shop manager. He said he closed the case because it was obvious the was contact with debris. I explained to him that just because he ran over a tire doesnt constitue airbag deployment. I have an appt to have the car inspected by Bryan at another dealership. If this were a Lexus they would be apologizing for the deployment and do everything they could to rush the repairs. MB customer service I believe is not what it used to be . I am hearing this from alot of MB owners.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 03:47 PM
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RE: premature airbags

Well, you can't really expect MB to pick a tab for every Air Bag deployment customers don't feel like it was necessary. I believe bumpers should withstand any collision with objects with speed up to 5mph. Hitting anything faster than 5mph qualify as valid reason for airbag deployement.

You better file insurance claim ASAP or they can deny you saying you didn't report accident on time.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-09-2004, 04:50 PM
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RE: premature airbags

The reply you posted allows me to believe that you're trying to persuade this poor guy to call his insurance carrier and discouraging him from protecting himself as a consumer. Why would you want to do that? Didn't you reed his entry? His taher ran over a piece of rubber tire. There wasn't any collision to the bumper whatsover. Try to read the entry in the forum before you pass on any advice. The guy's dad runs over a piece of rubber and they say he's got extensive damage under the car? That seems a little fishy doesn't it? Seems like you're a car salesman...am I right?
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 10:14 AM
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RE: premature airbags

Quote:
The reply you posted allows me to believe that you're trying to persuade this poor guy to call his insurance carrier and discouraging him from protecting himself as a consumer. Why would you want to do that? Didn't you reed his entry? His taher ran over a piece of rubber tire. There wasn't any collision to the bumper whatsover. Try to read the entry in the forum before you pass on any advice. The guy's dad runs over a piece of rubber and they say he's got extensive damage under the car? That seems a little fishy doesn't it? Seems like you're a car salesman...am I right?
No I am not a car salesman, and if you look on my post count - you can see that I've been around this forums for a while, and based on your post count - you just registered to post a reply to this thread. You may even be the original poster - by I really don't care.

My opinion that is insurance claim and not warranty is based on the facts that were provided in original post and my assumptions. To me story looks like while traveling from LA to Vegas in some modern MB sedan somebody hits piece of tire (I don't know why he decided to drive over it - but again - I don't care and that's not a point) assuming speed is about 80-90 Mph and piece of tire (that's likely from semi) could weight around 15 lbs - I believe that quite a big amount of energy was absorbed by the car.
So, I believe that computer saw a high speed the car was traveling, amount of energy that resulted from impact and was absolutely correct to deploy airbags. Also based on assumption we could make that airbags were deployed on only one side - likely car started to drift. (Think about it - if car's side would meet with concrete divider at 90 mph - I believe doors probably wouldn't last long enough for side curtain to deploy)

To say it is not so - I'd like to see pics of the tire piece, underbody damage, speed of car was traveling. Also somebody could calculate energy of the impact and compare it to the something like collision with other car at 10-30mph - that's a basic physics - but I don't want to spend time to run the numbers myself.

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