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Discussion Starter #1
I wish I knew the answer to this question. In the past, I have seen various posts talking about how they don't believe the crash test results, because these are different then real world accidents. I was hoping to find a factual answer to this question when I went to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety web site and read their report on the number of deaths occurring from actual accidents. The report looked at model year vehicles 1999 - 2002 that were driven and had accidents in 2000 - 2003. Here is what I found:

The Toyota 4Runner and Lexus RX300 are the safest SUVs and among the safest of all vehicles (cars, SUVs, Vans). In the U.S., these vehicles experienced 12 and 17 deaths per million registered vehicle years. Only the Mercedes E-Class was lower at 10 deaths. Interestingly, the Mercedes S-Class had 25 deaths and the Volvo S80 had 45 deaths.

The BMW X5 had 33 deaths
The Acura MDX had 36 deaths
The Jeep Grand Cherokee had 55 deaths
The Land Rover Discovery Series II had 119 deaths

Unfortunately, I could not find the ML referenced anywhere in the report.

So, my conclusion is.......I have no idea if the ML is safer than the Toyota/Lexus, but the Mercedes E-Class is looking pretty darn good! [:D]

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hwysafety.org to see the report.
 

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I'm not sure what "million registered vehicle years" means, but there have not been one million Ml's built yet to my knowledge. Something like 660,000? Maybe that's why there was no report. I'm on my second ML and for my money they're a very safe unit!![8D]
 

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Discussion Starter #3
dakat - 3/17/2005 12:50 AM

I'm not sure what "million registered vehicle years" means, [8D]
Here is what the report said:

"Each model's rate represents the reported number of driver deaths divided by the model's number of registered years."

They talk some more about how they adjusted the rates for male vs. female drivers, etc... I am no statistics expert, but from what I read, the report seemed like a legitimate tool.
 

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98 ML320 / 06 S2000 / 12 E350 BTC
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one thing for sure ... with the X5 and M-Class traction control and the ATE ABS system. I am sure it will maneuver out of bad situation. I know the RX300 just understeers into an accdient and so does the MDX skinny tires.

I just think (or at least it feels that way to me) the ABS system of the Germans pumps faster per second when compared to the Japanese system, so the car has better control.


Denis.
 

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99ML320 (retired) C230 530xi 911-C4
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RickT - 3/17/2005 12:42 AM

I wish I knew the answer to this question. In the past, I have seen various posts talking about how they don't believe the crash test results, because these are different then real world accidents. I was hoping to find a factual answer to this question when I went to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety web site and read their report on the number of deaths occurring from actual accidents. The report looked at model year vehicles 1999 - 2002 that were driven and had accidents in 2000 - 2003. Here is what I found:

The Toyota 4Runner and Lexus RX300 are the safest SUVs and among the safest of all vehicles (cars, SUVs, Vans). In the U.S., these vehicles experienced 12 and 17 deaths per million registered vehicle years. Only the Mercedes E-Class was lower at 10 deaths. Interestingly, the Mercedes S-Class had 25 deaths and the Volvo S80 had 45 deaths.

The BMW X5 had 33 deaths
The Acura MDX had 36 deaths
The Jeep Grand Cherokee had 55 deaths
The Land Rover Discovery Series II had 119 deaths

Unfortunately, I could not find the ML referenced anywhere in the report.

So, my conclusion is.......I have no idea if the ML is safer than the Toyota/Lexus, but the Mercedes E-Class is looking pretty darn good! [:D]

========
hwysafety.org to see the report.

Much of these statistics can be greatly skewed because it doesn't factor in the demographics of the person purchasing and driving the vehicle.

For example, the RX300 is a tin can. No, I mean really, it is. But who drives RX300's? It is considered by and large a "woman's" car amongst where I live. Women are generally slower more careful drivers who are certainly less aggressive on the road than men.

So of course it's going to have lower accident rates.

As with many things in statistics, it's an imperfect science.
 

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RickT - 3/16/2005 9:42 PM
Unfortunately, I could not find the ML referenced anywhere in the report.
Rick, they used the latest version of the vehicles within the 1999 to 2002 model years. Since the M-class was redesigned starting with the 2002 model year, they would only look at the 2002 model year. But this didn't provide enough data to make the 120,000 cut. That's probably why it was not included. Here's an overview of the current data. If you want the safest, trade for a MY2000 to 2002 W210 E-Class. [:)]




 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550 FORMER: C300, ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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I seem to recall back in 1998 or 1999, the ML was dubbed "the safest vehicle on the road - period" based on various crash testing results. IIRC, it was reported this way in Consumer Reports and some of the automotive rags. I seem to recall MBZ using this in some marketing material as well. In evaluating a vehicle’s safety, I think I would consider both crash test and "deaths per million" data. In that case, I believe you will find the ML to be very near the top of the heap.

- RODNEY
 

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Here are the injury loss rates, listed in the first column, from the IIHS covering the years 1997 to 1999 since Rick has a 99 ML320. The ML comes out on top with a loss rate of 55. [:)]

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wolfgang, as usual, great info. I enjoy my 99 and have always felt safe in it.

A few comments regarding other posts:

Roadsession – the article indicated that they already adjusted the rates to minimize any differences between men vs. women drivers. The article did suggest that there are additional factors that might also influence the rates, but that overall, the most significant factor is vehicle design. As Wolfgang and Rudeney pointed out, there are several other factors that should probably be considered to give one an overall picture of safety.

Rudeney – I do recall that Consumer Reports article. It was one of the reasons that I purchased the ML. The article praises the ML because it is crash friendly to other cars by having lower impact zones that will contact a CAR at the appropriate point. The article also noted that MLs made prior to April 99 had a lower crash rating. I believe that MB corrected this in about March/April 99.

What surprised me was that the Volvo flagship sedan was not better. While is was below the average, it was not even in the top 20 safest vehicles. I was also surprised that the Lexus RX performed so well after all of the assertions that they are tin cans. Most importantly, I was pleased that many of the Mercedes vehicles included in the report did very well, including having the number one safest vehicle (the E-class). This was reassuring, even though the ML was not included in the study.
 

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I was also surprised that the Lexus RX performed so well after all of the assertions that they are tin cans.
What’s interesting is the difference between the RX300 4WD vs. 2WD (the 4WD loss rate is lower). In fact, for most of the SUV’s listed, the 4WD version seem to be safer (as indicated by lower loss rates). It makes me wonder if the 4WD system makes it safer, or if maybe the drivers of 4WD models are simply safer. I am guessing it has less to do with the vehicle than the driver because many of those listed (Jeep, 4Runner, Explorer) would primarily use part-time systems, so it’s unlikely they are being drive around in 4WD mode.

- RODNEY
 

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u can watch some crash test videos there:

http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_seiten/crashtest/schweregelaendewagen/mklassedetail.htm

http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_seiten/crashtest/schweregelaendewagen/ncapgessgel.htm

the ML gets a 4star rating (X5,XC90 get 5 stars)
because the ML ist not a uniframe it seems to be more difficult to get a 5star rating

the e-class seems to be safer than the m-class (cars are difficult to compare because weight and height play a major role)

i know a mercedes engineer who asserts that many companies construct their cars for crashtest compatibility and that internal standards at mercedes
are higher than NCAP demands.
what he says is that the picture would look totally different if the cars were tested with only 15miles per hour more and that mercedes offers protection even if you crash with 120 mph on the autobahn - obviously you cant use that fact for promotion
 

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bmw x5's dsc is known to be uneffecetive and not as responsive as mercedes' esp/bas. well, most bmw drivers turn off their dsc upon startup anyway
 
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