Conclusion: Forensics Report on Mercedes R320 Explosion - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2007, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by n5160u
Thank You for your reply to all the guessing going on here. I still do not believe that GPS has any ability to apply input to safety related equipment except position reports which update too slowly to be a reliable source of safety related real time data.
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correct... once again i can verify that no gps data is sent to the any of hte modules (ASR,ABS, ESP, 4matic, etc.) attached is a direct trace of an R320 and if you look at the numbers you will see nothing that corresponds to GPS coordinates. anyone wanting to verify this for themselves can do a continuous trace of the BUS while carrying seperate GPS receiver spitting out NMEA coordinates. you will see no changes to any of the CAN data that correlates to the gps coordinate changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by n5160u
Any failure of a wheel speed sensor is treated as a total systems failure by ESP, ASR, BAS, and ABS and will result in the electronic controls shutting down and the reversion to manual control. There is no backup GPS input to those systems.

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this is also correct; each module has a safe mode that the system will revert to when it sees any sort of nonstandard input that would cause improper operation.in such a case as a critical sensor failure the module will effectively shut down and the cluster will flash a warning message and alert the operator to drive to workshop.
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2007, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by eddie4203
In which case, it is the insurance company who should pay,then go after the manufacturer, if they think it was some sort of engineering issue. That is what you pay your premium for.

I don't agree that with what you said that it does not matter what she did to precipitate the situation, just so long as it can be proven that the car malfunctioned. I think that her hand in this matter the most. Regardless of her intent, she made some VERY poor decisions once her car became stuck, which caused the "malfunctions" and catastropic tire failure.

Life lessons can be very expensive. I think she should just be grateful that nobody was hurt, and the only damage was to a car and to her house, both which are repairable.

I still think that forensics report is BS, and littered with innacuracies and non-essiential information, especially like the wagon example.
yes it really is an insurance issue at this point... while i would agree that any sort of situation like this has potential liability implications for MB, this particular situation is more of a rarity as far as the probability of having this sort of situation duplicate itself. the big question is whether the driver was spinning the tires like crazy or not.... initially the posts indicated that she was attempting to spin the tires a few times to get the vehicle out when the tire finally exploded. the most recent post now is alleging that the (maybe) the tire failure was caused by an uncontrolled spin up due to some sort of crazy failure with ESP, resulting in catastrophic failure of the tire in 5 seconds.

now whether of not that is true or even possible is another story but the forensic report produces absolutely no evidence to support such a conclusion. in fact the report produces no evidence at all, merely stating that the data supports the conclusion yet we never see the data. i guess its a bit harsh to say that the forensics report is "BS" because it has not been proven blatently false but rather is wholly imcomplete, non standard and full of suppositions. the examiner *could* always properly amend the report by adding about 100 pages actually detailing the actual operation of the vehicle, showing proof through test cases and submitting ALL relevant data good or bad in a manner that can be verified.

as to whether this will happen is not likely. the problem is that proving non-standard operation of an embedded computer system is *alot* different than proving something like tire failure due to a non standard condition or materials failure. tires for example are well understood from their construction to their testing. there are literaly thousands of pages of reference material that detail everything about tires. on the other hand, vehicle computer systems are by nature proprietary and closed systems. mercedes does not disclose their operation outside of the very basic operating principal (e.g. anti lock brakes stop the vehicle by modulating braking force on a slipping tire.) we know what it does but the detail of how and under what exact conditions are kept secret. mercedes has no obligation to release this information; it is by nature trade secret and the result of *billions* of dollars of and years of research and development. the only way to understand these sorts of systems then can only be done via reverse engineering (which is what my job is). RE is an profession that is practiced by a a very small subset of engineers who have to be very good at what they do. even then it requires *alot* of work to learn the inner workings of a closed system, taking months and sometimes even years. for an examiner to know or understand a failure mode of a particular system requires that the system is fully understood. since complete unaided reverse engineering is often impractical due to time or budgetary constraints what happens is that a case will proceed to court where the systems designer will be asked to disclose things like system firmware during discovery which is then protected under seal. (if they then are granted access to this information) this allows the RE to more quickly understand the system and then possibly prove a failure mode and possibly prove legal liability on the manufacturers part.

the problem is that all of this costs money... *alot* of money... more money than regualr people could ever possibly afford and thus its left to the law firm to decide if they want to finance a particular case against the possibility of a big dollar settlement. this is why these sorts of things are only done when large possible settlements are involved such as in class action suits or in things like aviation disasters where there is tremendous loss of life. this is one of those cases where its just not going to happen... at least not that i can see and certainly not for a $25K settlement.
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2007, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Wolfgang
4ETS will not spin the wheel when one is in the air, as long as the driver allows it to work with the foot on the gas pedal. It will maintain small wheel speed differences of 3 MPH. That's how the 4MATIC works.

But when the driver places the foot on the brake pedal the system switches off. Like the picture you posted from the demo shows.

It should be covered in the owner's manual. More info is here:

R-Class Interactive Owner's Manual [Start]
http://www.4x4abc.com
Wolfgang's ML Page: 4x4/ASR/ETS/4MATIC
Thanks for the clarity. I still think it is quite odd that the wheel can spin with the foot on the brake.

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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2007, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie4203
In which case, it is the insurance company who should pay,then go after the manufacturer, if they think it was some sort of engineering issue. That is what you pay your premium for.

I don't agree that with what you said that it does not matter what she did to precipitate the situation, just so long as it can be proven that the car malfunctioned. I think that her hand in this matter the most. Regardless of her intent, she made some VERY poor decisions once her car became stuck, which caused the "malfunctions" and catastropic tire failure.

Life lessons can be very expensive. I think she should just be grateful that nobody was hurt, and the only damage was to a car and to her house, both which are repairable.

I still think that forensics report is BS, and littered with innacuracies and non-essiential information, especially like the wagon example.
We can both agree they've been hung out by their insurance. Insurance should have stepped up to the plate but, in this case, I think they're dodging responsibility.

I think you have misunderstood what I meant by my statement. Good lawyers have made a living for years proving 'original fault'. It is a very likely outcome, in this case, because while it is true that she's most likely 'negligent' per se, that does not always release the manufacturer of liabilty for a product that may not have performed as designed, in the eyes of the jury. All it takes, in cases such as this, is a majority of jurors (6 of 11) to determine MB is at fault. It wouldn't take a good law team long to cloud the facts enough to 'prove' it. All they have to do is claim that her actions may have revealed a fault that otherwise, may have gone unnoticed until death or serious injury occurs. This tactic leads the jury to think that they are there for the sake of present and future owners instead of the real reason at hand.

Many manufacturers of products choose to leave off potentially life saving or injury saving devices because of liability they assume if said safety devices were to fail when needed. Kind of like the 'air bag that didn't deploy' scenario that has happened to many automakers in the past resulting in expensive suits and settlements due to serious injury or death that resulted from it. You get the drift.

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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rob13572468
its a misnomer... GPS is a satellite technology. it is one way down to the receiver which allows anythign connected to it to determine position in 3D and over time to determine velocity and acceleration; of course only assuming that the data is constant and uninterrupted (e.g. good reception). since GPS receivers often lose signal lock on the GPS sats most nav systems use wheel speed and inertail accelerometers to help verify any changes in movement.

the teleaid module, which is the only other module that has a GPS connection uses it for position fix in case of an accident or stolen vehicle for location. none of this data is relayed to any other parts of the vehicle. in fact the teleaid module does not even connect directly to the main vehicle CAN network but rather only to the diagnostic network ( the same as on the OBD connector). this is used so that the teleaid module can be used to pull diagnostic messaging remotely.

the only real data then that is available to the various traction and braking systems is the wheel speed sensor (WSS) and the engine speed (TACH) as well as various other parameters such as steering angle, etc. all of these *are* available on the vehicle CAN network and can be accessed by any of the other modules.
+1
I agree with this statement. Very Good Explanation.

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