WHAT A GREAT DISCUSSION
AMG Engineer's haven't made any statements yet (to clarify). And Daimler AG will most like do all they can to prevent them from ever getting involved.
We either misunderstand each others and/or disagree on "it's faster so it needs to be safer" and "it needs to be as safe as the government dictates". I'm saying the occupant restraint systems didn't perform as intended and the automatic downshift feature made the vehicle uncontrollable while exiting a curve. I don't care what caused these systems to not perform but of course we all know it comes down to the single common denominator of acceleration. The government's guidelines are just that and do not need to dictate an airbag should deploy before an occupant reaches the dashboard, and the seatback should prevent an occupant from reaching the dashboard.
I was just reffering to your repeated statements expressing frustration with the fact that in your eyes MB was negiligent or irresponsible for retaining the standard CL's safety / restraint systems, while doubling the power. It seemed to me as if you were trying to somehow infer that since they doubled the power, they were under some sort of obligation (or should be) to make the car safer than a conventional non AMG CL.
Unfortunately, federal law dictates that cars have to meet one fixed set of saftey criteria regardless of the level of power or potential performance they have. I agree that there is still a full obligation to ensure that the included systems function properly.
Yes, my seatback bent forward during the impact leaving me against the dashboard with so little restraint, I was confused for 2-years as to how that happened if I was belted. A notable shoulder injury before breaking numerous bones against the dashboard would be acceptable and should not be the difference between a B-pillar mounted shoulder harness and integrated seatbelt. As of the driver, if Daimler AG wishes to claim he "broke thru the airbag" as a follow-up to their claim the rear seat passenger imposed the rear-head injuries to both front seat occupants, then the rear seat passenger's autopsy report would need to support that with matching injuries which just don't exist. Plus the rear seat passenger was removed from over the center console with his skull fractured against the windshield so there was no "bouncing around", only "spearing forward" for him.
YOUR SEATBACK THEORY IS 99% RIGHT ON. I cannot tell if you believe the hinge-point failed or the seatback failed. To clarify we were in a CL (not CLS although you described a CL anyway), and the hinge point was never "loose". I believe the seatback is the only structure that failed based on the photos although the hinge "area" could have incurred some bending/damage. Just not a clean breaking at any given point. No emergency personnel removed anybody from the vehicle (we were all already out by others). And nobody bent my seatback forward for any other reason (we already deposed the detectives, PO's and witnesses who were there). In fact one detective who photographed the rear seat indicated he may have hinged forward my seat for that one photograph. Thus, the seatback is the key problem. In the '90's Daimler AG used Magnesium and other exotics before sticking with steal in the 2000's for these seatbacks.
I believe it was a combination of BOTH actually. I think the G forces of the impact may have been enough to overcome the inertia lock on the hinge, thus allowng the front seat to fold forwards, and the G forces you placed upon it bent / distorted it. Notice it's bent in an angle which almost almost exactly matches the direction of travel at impact of the vehicle? (This is of course assuming that NO rear displacement actually took place, which I think may have at SOME point, once you found something solid enough in the limo).
The big difference in having the seat belt mounted to the B pillar and not the seat is the fact that all the forces placed upon the belt are transfered through the seat, and not to the B Pillar. The B pillar is strong enough to keep you in place, and will break your shoulder etc. No questions / doubts about that.
I too believe the seatbelt worked and the seatback failed (key argument as Daimler AG attempts to hide behind FMVSS 208 relative to the seatbelt). From your posts, how in the world can the seat belt function (i.e. tension up tight enough for me to bend the seatback forward), while the airbags didn't deploy if both systems use the same SRS system? Are they based on different algorithms? I'm trying to retain this information but so far Daimler AG is doing everything they can to not cooperate with comparisons to "computer source codes" and "valuable trade secrets" "not relative to this matter".
GM and Ford would sure love the results of taking an AMG into a frontal barrier at 30mph at maximum acceleration. GM's exec. dir. of safety doesn't believe in utilizing integrated seatbelts in sedans (he acknowledges they offer no safety advantages).
See I don't think the airbag fired LATE.
I think you got to the dash EARLY Or at all because the seat failed. You should have NEVER come that close to the dash, or been directly on top of the bag.
You didn't fare much better than your friend as far as hitting the dash despite the fact that you were unbelted...
I too don't believe that integrated belt systems are as safe as B pillar mounted ones. But the whole point in the CL/SL is the fact that they dont HAVE a B pillar.
I've also had reputable product liability attorneys claim I have a case, and reputable reconstruction engineers claim this will lead to a design change, yet without the vehicle, they didn't wish to get involved. The attorney wouldn't even do so if I performed a crash test of a CL55 at 30mph at max accel. to demonstrate my experience.
Speaking of acceleration, there is a difference between accelerating into a collision, entering a collision at constant velocity, and entering a collision under heavy breaking. Acceleration results in a vector that translates to a force separate from that of velocity (from Tipler Physics). Unfortunately the additional force on paper is a fraction of that from velocity but that doesn't justify neglecting it. Furthermore, the dynamics of acceleration (affects on crash sensors, 2nd collisions, seatbacks, etc) is not to be ignored either. Otherwise NHRA would not care to increase safety requirements with high accelerating drag cars and all drag strip crashes would be caused by velocity, not acceleration (which is just not true).
Picture yourself as the piece of metal under the front bumper that houses the two front accelerometers. If you hit a wall at 30mph at max acceleration you may crumple while the metal behind you is still gaining velocity. I believe those two front accelerometers were sheared off before the SRS algorithm registered enough decceleration differences to trigger airbag deployment. And by the time the interior decelerometers registered enough deceleration, all that was crumpled, already crumpled (verification of how substantial accelerations' affect on a crash pulse/damage really is). As a passenger I know my flight was progressive. The rear passenger was passing me when I started to move with crumpling well under way. Under brakes or even constant velocity I don't believe that would be possible. On this note, the vehicles front ends didn't plant as their rears swung around (like jambing on the brakes with a trailer hitched on - trailer goes side to side looking to transmit brake energies). Which would have happened at higher velocity. Acceleration caused the rears of both vehicles to plant themselves as the front ends raised and displaced sideways by up to 8' only pivoting on the rear axles. For Daimler AG to claim that acceleration has no affect 'whatsoever' on accelerometers' ability to sense deceleration and a crash pulse is just an exercise of a neanderthal swinging their PP. Acceleration extends crash pulses by magnitudes of time and works as a force opposite to the very systems meant to protect passengers (deccelerometers timely deploying airbags).
I hope I survive this. Attorneys would rather see this problem grow for lucrative class actions before solving it now. Daimler AG is ran by attorneys, not engineers and that is a toxic recipe for intentionally knowingly negligent design-by-law, not-by-logic practices. Daimler AG isn't all about "German Engineering" anymore, this is "Legal Engineering" now.
If Daimler AG allows this matter to go before a jury, I believe a jury will be sick of large corporate wolves' nonsense, and I'd be sick enough to make every effort to publish Daimler AG's unethical technical and legal culture. For Daimler AG will appeal and appeal and appeal whatever a jury awards.
Daimler AG's reaction will become the primary story. For my experience is as simple as it gets (rear head injuries imposed by airbags to BOTH front seat occupants after they BOTH incurred critical frontal bodily injuries during a simple 2-car head-on collision). Nobody will care about the automatic downshift that caused the entire scene when dealing with Daimler AG trying to claim they saved my life against all logic. And if I could predict their airbags wouldn't deploy within 2-seconds of considering how airbag systems function (I'm the only occupant with broken limbs), at least one of Daimler AG's 256,000 employees should have.
One more thing here.... First, the decelerometers DID fire. the internal ones are separate. They are for the SIDE airbags. I.E. if the car get T-Boned.
You didn't tear the front crash sensors off, and then get lucky later with a set of backup ones. You just weren't restrained in your seat (either was your friend) and got really friendly with the airbag.