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Stuttgart, Germany - Mercedes-Benz reports that after extensive collision analysis, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has concluded that the E-Class offers the best occupant safety of all passenger cars registered in the United States.

Between 2000 and 2003, the IIHS examined how many drivers were killed in road collisions; the E-Class obtained the best results of all models examined, accounting for ten fatal collisions a year for every million vehicles registered. The comparable average figure for all passenger cars is almost nine times higher than the E-Class.

As well, the S-Class rated the safest car in the "Luxury Class, very large" category.

http://www.canadiandriver.com/news/050414-2.htm
 

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'02ML320
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since theyre talking about 2000-2003, they must be refering to the w210 chassis. safe? if they dont fall apart from all the rust underneath!
 

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2011 E63 AMG; 2011 E350 2005 E320 CDI; 1984 300 SD
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The 2003 e-class and on will probably be safer since they appear to spend a large amount of the time at the dealers and not on the road!

Sorry, I,ve vented, and will now be contructive somewhere else.
 

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300TE 4-Matic 300GD
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Hi zerg.

If that is so, I'm not surprised. The protection you get in a new E or S is very good. And it's getting even better. For some this may have a downside. In smaller impacts, the collateral (your own) damage will be greater than some of the other contestants.

When you look at the bumper ratings, you will notice that the E gets a "poor". That "poor" is very much connected to the "good" in life and injury saving features of the vehicle.

I think bumper ratings are revealing. For those who takes notice of them. The explaining text opens with ;"Bumpers should protect car bodies from damage in low-speed collisions, the kind that frequently occur in congested urban traffic." I strongly disagree. Bumpers should save personal injury. Period. If I bump into something hard in 4 mph, I would for sure expect some damage. And what if you hit something soft in that speed? That's why I think bumber ratings are misguiding ordinary consumers.

If you ask a guy, would you like to save a buck every time you hit something? He would probably say yes. But if he had to sacrifice a tooth in his childs mouth to get it, I'm not so sure.

That's why I always welcome a good crumble. When that occurs, you have got what you paid for.

The W140 and 220 is really great at keeping you safe and sound. But, boy do they seemingly crumble up even at pretty low speeds. That's a sign of strength, not weakness, in my humble opinion.

I googled for the source of the news, and found this.

http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/low_speed_lglux.htm

http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/0308.htm


Regards

Geir
 

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In the old days, the US goverment mandated 5 mph bumpers and side protection bars. The bumpers used bumper shocks that would effectively absorb the impact while cushioning the blow to the passengers at a cost of $0.

Mercedes used to build extremely expensive bumper assemblies that could hold up well to light impacts. The W126 US was interesting because the polyurethane bumper covers were already absorbant along with the bumper shocks efficiency.

All Mercedes uses now is STYROFOAM packs behind an impact strip. The frame is RIGHT THERE. NO PROTECTION other than a piece of rigid plastic and bicycle helmet stuffing!

Cars that crumple are FINE. It's just they shouldn't NEED to crumple from a light tap from a distracted fellow not paying attention in heavy traffic.
 

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2000 Designo SLK-05 C230WK-05 E320CDi-2010 GLK 350
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On lighter weight vehicles meeting both the modern crash standards and having 5 MPH bumpers is easier. The 98>04 North American version of the New Beetle has both Styrofoam pads and hydraulic dampers (non DOT versions have rigid brackets) in its bumpers and easily passes the old US DOT 5 MPH impact test while still being one of the highest rated small cars in the more stringent IIHS 40 MPH offset crash tests.

While backing out of the driveway in my Beetle with the wife nagging, I was distracted enough to hit a street light pole hard enough to make the light fixture fall. The pole was swaying for what seemed like a few minutes. The only damage to the car was a small blemish in the paint which polished out with a simple rubbing compound (toothpaste).

The difference in crash energy between 5 MPH and the US DOT 35 MPH flat barrier test or IIHS 40 MPH offset test is so great that building the surronding structure to pass the 5 MPH test and still provide an acceptable crumple zone for higher energy loads is not a big engineering problem. Building a damage free bumper for a car as heavy as a W211 and keeping the weight and sheer mass of the bumper system down IS a big problem.

The 5 MPH bumper standards were relaxed by Liz Dole at the request of GM when they stated their vehicles were becoming uncompetitive with imports because of the heavy bumpers required to pass the test. The logic of that argument would seem invalid because imports also had to pass the same law, but it became clearer what the actual problem was when the new GM full size chassis passed the 5 MPH test with no damage to the bumper but suffered a frame collapse over the rear axle spring perch causing any car hit above 5 MPH to develop a hunched back over the rear wheel arches.

The law was rewritten to allow a car to pass the bumper test if after a 2.5 MPH impact there was no damage sufficient to disable safety related systems. In other words, as long as there was no fuel leakage, the seat belts still worked, and the tail lights & brake lights still lighted it was considered a pass regardless of the amount of physical damage the test caused.

Since the "good bumper" discount offered by most insurance policies turned out to be a lie and the advantages of the relaxed bumper standards have resulted in lighter more aerodynamic and better handling cars I would think the benefits of the 2.5 MPH systems over the older 5 MPH requirement is great enough to accept it as being an overall improvement.

As long as some cars are built exceeding the 2.5 MPH requirement and some states like California require a statement on the window sticker stating which standard the cars bumper systems conform to, the better bumpers will remain a positive selling point and those cars that can be built with the better bumpers will continue to be built that way. Market forces will result in improvements as long as the incentive to improve remains a moving target. Mandating the older standard results in a minimum acceptable standard with no incentive to improve.
 

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I'm going to have to agree that I don't give a dam how well the bumper survives a 5MPH collision, so long as I can walk away from a 40MPH one.

But then again, I drive like an old man when I'm not at the race track, so any damage is going to be paid for by the other guy's insurance.
 

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I walk away from being rear ended by a truck doing 60MPHs that push me in to the rear end of a Jeep Grand Cherokee at a red light. Body shop told me that I was lucky because if I drove any other type of convertible, I would be in the hospital with serious bodily injuries. My little SLK320 took a lick and is all fix now.

I told my wife the 5 mph test means nothing and is crap. But the 60 mph test means something to me.
 

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I am always happy to know that Benz's have safety as one of their top priorities. Take as an alternative the common CVPI (Crown Victoria Police Intercepter) in a severe rear end crash. The fuel tank is between the rear crush zone and the rear axle just like the Pinto. In a severe crash the fuel tank gets pushed into the rear suspension and the mounting bolts for the shocks and suspension arms punch multiple holes in the tank resulting in massive quantities of fuel spraying over the hot exhasust componets. More police officers have been burned to death in their cars than lives ever lost in the Pinto fires of the past.

The NHTSA considers the CVPI a very safe vehicle and even rates it better than the "E Class" although rear impact studies will not be part of the official NHTSA tests until 2007. At that point the crash test speeds will be raised from 30 mph for rear impact to 50 mph. For the current rear crash test they accept documentation from the car builder but do not do any tests to verify the data they received.

Consider this finding as well:

NHTSA’s investigation found excellent crash performance of the Police Interceptor
in one of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies – California Highway
Patrol:
• CHP operates 2,700 Police Interceptors and averages 55 million highway miles
per year.
• On average, CHP experiences one rear collision every week in which a Police
Interceptor is totaled.
• Of those dozens of high-speed rear-impact collisions, only one resulted in a fire
and another in a fatality (a pedestrian).

This is a video of an aftermarket fire supression blanket in a test of a CVPI being hit by a Taurus at 79 mph. Both target cars have 18 gallons of fuel on board and have flashers on and engines at idle. One has the fire supression kit and the other does not.

http://www.firepanel.net/newvideo/SPLIT%20SCREEN%20SLOMO.wmv

DCM is offering a pursuit rated Charger to law enforcement for 2007. Most of the design of that car line except for the engines is adapted from the E class. I wonder if they will do better in the real world than the CVPI? The Federal crash test is at 30 mph. Ford designed the CVPI to pass at 50 mph and the real world data suggests they are safe until the impact exceeds 70 mph.
 

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I think that tests should be made "after" the thin gage material used has a good coat of rust. The front spring feel out of my 1998 E320 while it was sitting in my garage. In aircraft which uses designs similar to MB, they only allow 10% rust before the plane is grounded. MB used .045" material for the spring mount. 10% of that is only .0045". If you had some rust on both sides, it could be no more than the thickness of regular writing paper.
 
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