B-Class v Bus - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-14-2009, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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B-Class v Bus

Yesterday morning, my sister was driving her B-Class* when it collided head on with a bus. There was not much my sis could do to avoid the accident, but the saving grace is that she was largely unhurt, alone at the time, the bus was empty and no one was seriously hurt. My sis has seatbelt bruises from the force of the pretensioner, and some air bag abrasions on her arm (which will heal).

But she's ok, and feeling chipper. Shocked, for sure; after all, it's not everyday you're pootling along and bus decides to get matey-matey with your front end and then spread it across the ashphalt.

This is the second time a product from Mercedes has saved my sister from serious injury. For that, I can only tip my hat and to the safety engineers at Mercedes who work tirelessly to help provide as much safety in their cars as is practically possible.

*I'm not sure whether Mercedes sells this car to you guys in the States and Canada, but it's a mini MPV that uses the same spilt floor design as the smaller A-Class to shunt the engine under and away from the occupants in a collision. I must confess, I gently teased her about her buying such a boring car (and it is a boring car) but thanks to its safety features, she was largely unharmed.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 01:29 AM
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Hope she is fully recovered soon, coud have been nasty.

They do sell the B in Canada but not in the USA. Will she be buying another MB?

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for the praise of the B Class safety.... Thankfully no one was hurt.

Can you post a pic of the vehicles after the accident?
The B is highly praised for it's safety innovations and there are more than 10,000 of them in Canada alone.

No one in the B Class Forum feels that the B class is boring.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 09:17 PM
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Glad to hear the injuries were not serious, be safe.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 01:00 PM
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I love my B, and now one more reason to love it more.


PS You should post pics and/or story in the B-class forum.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2009, 05:21 PM
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Glad to hear your sister will be fine! Yes, if possible, please do post some pics of the car after the crash

I love the B-Class so much more than the A-Class. It just looks so much better.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your kind replies and feedback. My sis is fine and back on form now. Mercifully, it was the shock that lingered rather than any physical long term damage. But she's put the incident behind her now. In her mind, she's reflected on what happened, but life continues and now it's time to move on from the accident.

I have now seen three pics of the car, taken on a camera phone at the accident scene. Bear in mind the accident happened before sunrise, so the only useful light source comes from the camera phone's flash. The best way to describe what I can see in the pics, is that the B-Class' front end has folded-in in the same way that a front end folds in when a car is subjected to the 100% barrier test at 30mph. The other picture shows the B-Class' final resting place, buried firmly in the side of the bus. I'm not an accident expert and the pictures are next to useless, but based on my sister's account, the bus hit the B head on, but at an angle; not an offset-type impact, but more of an oblique angle. I guess that the B - being the lighter of the two vehicles - slew sideways a little post impact, and then came to pretty much a dead halt, while the bus' weight carried it a bit further down the road; I guess this would explain the photo that shows the B wedged against the side of the bus. Again, I stress, I'm not an expert in these matters.

My sister said that when the airbag deployed, there was a lot of smoke in the cabin (no surprises there) and like many people that aren't aware that the smoke is an after effect of the pyrotechnics that trigger the 'bag, she worried that the car was on fire, and so made a prompt exit. At no point has she said that she had to (for example) climb out of a passenger door; so, without actually asking her the question, this would suggest that the driver's door opened easily post-impact. Although the insurance assessor has yet to view the car, the rumblings from her Mercedes dealer is that it's highly probable the car will be written off.

So, to the next issue - will she buy another Mercedes? To understand why the answer is no, you need to understand why she bought the B in the first place. At the time, she had just become a mum, and needed a safe car with a huge boot for all baby-type bits, flexible seating (more for her work requirement than mum requirement, at the time); but the real bonus with the B, is that its elevated floor meant it was far more practical/comfortable to insert the childseat, and get my niece in and out of the car. In a nutshell, the B was less likely to be a back-breaker when ferrying my niece about. For almost three years, the B-Class served its practical purpose brilliantly; and, more critically, as it came to the end of its term, it demonstrated its best feature - its safety.

And that's underpinned the debate the has rumbled on between my sis and her hubby following the crash, and deciding what to get next. My niece is older now, and she can easily get into and out of her childseat and buckle-up without parental help. But although they might not need a B-Class anymore, it seems almost improper - if not rude - not to replace it with another when it has just saved her life. Other points they debated included the fact that in those three years, the Mercedes wasn't the most dependable car they owned; twice (IIRC) the crank/or crank shaft (?) sensor failed. Another time, the traction control played up, and sent the car into limp-home mode. The car was a regular visitor to Mercedes for a wind-noise problem that affected the B-pillar. I never tracked this problem so I don't know whether it's a B-Class flaw, or unique to my sister's car. Personally, I don't think these are huge problems...and neither did my sister, apart from the fact that Mercedes-Benz dealer service has plummeted from being exquisite, to now being similar to trying to negotiate basic consumer rights with a fly-by-night barrow boy at the local market.

'Underwhelming' probably best describes the driving experience too. But then, what can you expect? Hers was a 1.6 petrol engine, with a manual 'box. While it seems harsh to criticise it for not being a ball of fire (after all, what would you expect from that engine configuration?), I can understand why she now wants a bit more zip. Nor was the B particularly suited to the undulating country roads my sisters uses. Her car did - and I can vouch for this - lean a lot in corners. I thought it was fun; she wanted something that felt more planted.

So a decision has been made. My sister takes delivery of a new fully loaded MK6 VW Golf 2.0 diesel in three weeks.

Now, in light of the criticisms she made about the B-Class, you might say 'yeah, but VW dealers are useless, VW reliability isn't all it's cracked up to be, bla bla bla', and I'd agree with you 100%. But she's decided that the Golf suits her work and family needs more than a current offering from Mercedes.

Finally, I'd like to apologise for calling the B-Class boring. To explain where that comment came from, well, I'm still a hot hatch hooligan at heart. I like small cars with inappropriately large engines :-) So me calling the B-Class boring, probably says more about my narrow automotive view than it says about the B-Class. :-)

Last edited by Scudetto; 02-21-2009 at 10:09 AM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 10:51 AM
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Why don’t you post the pictures any way? Descriptive prose is worthless. The B is very new and we would all like to see how this car fared in such a crash.

BTW- I noticed that all your posts are in the Safety & Testimonials section…what’s up with the crash obsession?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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The pictures aren't mine to post.

I don't agree that descriptive prose is 'worthless' (not least because I spent the best part of twenty minutes typing to give you MB owners an update - I'm glad it was appreciated); I've described the (poor) pics I saw - the front of the MB is stoved in, much like it had hit a solid wall in the 30mph 100% wall test. It doesn't take a huge imagination to view what that looks like.

The pics I saw show the front from the side; they don't capture the safety cage area, so I cannot report on how that faired. I'm sorry if this isn't conclusive enough for you, but I'm only relaying the (lousy) pics I saw.

You are correct in observing that all my posts on this forum relate to MB safety. I'm a huge car fan (Alfas are my favourite) but for many years, I have admired MB's safety measures, and pioneering features, as they set MB apart. But I feel it's a safety lead that's gradually being eroded as other manufacturers catch up; it might be true that 20 years ago a collision with a Mercedes and, say, a Toyota Tercel might have been 'cheers, thanks and good night' to the Toyota's occupants. But today, that's not necessarily the case; Mercedes' safety USP is slowly being eroded as other car companies catch up. I post in the safety forum because there is - dare I say it - an assumption from some MB drivers that other cars are inferior safety-wise to an MB, and that an MB stands alone in protecting its occupants. Twenty, thirty or forty years ago, maybe that was true; it isn't true now. That's why I post in this section, as a gentle reminder that yes, an MB is safe...but don't get complacent/arrogant about its level of safety. No car can offer 100% safety, so don't use up the extra margin that an MB gives you. Or...my sis was observing the law, when the bus and B-Class crashed. The extra margin of safety saved her. Had she used up that extra margin by driving faster, then the impact would have had far dire consequences. I guess that's the point I'm trying to make - just drive carefully, and not more recklessly, because you're in what's perceived to be a 'safer' car.

So I'm sorry if you thought my post was 'worthless'.

Last edited by Scudetto; 02-21-2009 at 02:16 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for all of the input. Positive and negative ........we need it all.

I've driven VW products all of my(driving) life and have had a lot of praise for them and still do.

That Golf should be a blast!!....just make sure that she doesn't hit another bus because the outcome could very well be different.

We sure would like to see those pics if ever possible. Wish her good luck(and the munchkins) from all of us.

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