Just registered here to sell some parts in the classified sections (Carbotech brake pads) and tell a story.
My dad had a 2011 CSL550. He really enjoyed the car. It was always getting looks and compliments. He drives almost 100 miles per day, and he loved how it was both comfortable and sporty at the same time.
Back in March of this year, he was on the way to work and hit stop-n-go traffic on the interstate. He came to a stop, and looked in his rearview mirror to make sure the guy behind him was stopping. As he looked, he saw a Ford Ranger pickup coming at him at a high rate of speed, and only had time to think, “He’s not going to be able to stop.”
Next thing he knew, the truck had hit him. The rear window exploded. He made at least 2 full revolutions in the car, all tires locked up. Luckily, it knocked him slightly to the left and he was in the leftmost lane, so he spun onto the lefthand shoulder and didn’t hit any more cars.
The driver of the truck later told police that he had dropped his cell phone (obviously, he had been using the phone and not watching where he was going) and have bent over the pick it up. He never had a chance to hit the brakes. He told police he was going at least 70mph (if he told police 70, we think it more likely that he was doing 80).
When the dust settled, he was laying flat in his seat (seat back broke at the pivot point where it reclines). His neck was hurting painfully, so he didn’t move. But, he was able to move if he had to. We later found out that he had ruptured a disc in his neck.
As you can see from the pics below, the car absorbed much of the damage without transferring the energy to the passenger compartment. The roof was wrinkled, as was the lower rocker panel underneath the passenger doors. Obviously, the car transferred energy around the passenger compartment, instead of into it. The only interior bits that were affected by the impact was that the rear passenger side seat was moved forward about 5”, and the broken driver’s seat. Everything else was perfect. No gasoline leakage, even. Except for the rear passenger door, all the doors to the car still opened!
We credit the car with saving his life. The CLS550 is not a “big” car (not S-class size), so things could have been much worse. If he had been in a comparable size car of lesser quality, we don’t want to think how he would have fared.
Anyway, I just wanted to share his story here and thank MB for making such a quality automobile.