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Safety question after an accident

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Safety question after an accident

 
Old 05-01-2014, 08:59 PM
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Safety question after an accident

Ok so...

Today I was involved in an accident. Oh car, 2010 E350, 4matic. I was hit really hard from behind by a Ford Expedition. The impact sent me into the car I was stopped behind, which sent them into the mini van in front of them.

My son & I were in the front seat, with my driving & both wearing our seatbelts.

OK quite a bit of rear damage and quite a bit of front damage but I was able to drive the car home until I can get it into the shop tomorrow.

However...The seatbelts are sort of "locked" in the positions they were in when the impact happened. No airbags deployed at all. The headrests are separated from the frame area that holds them to the seat and the backs came off both of the front seats, just the little plastic cover things over the back of the seats.

But, I have a light notice on, that there is an SRS Failure on Right Front, Left Front, Right Rear & Left Rear and each warning shows a picture of the Airbag.

Now I know they will tell me what is up, or I guess at the very least "fix" it when they fix the car, but my question is...did the airbags fail to deploy due to the malfunction? or was the impact, which was MOST forceful from the rear, not strong enough that the car detected that they were needed?

Any thoughts at all on this situation, or just hold tight until I have it looked at? I am taking it to the body shop first, which isn't part of the Mercedes dealership. but I know at some point they will send it there for the mechanical repairs...

Thanks so much for any replies about it...
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:05 PM
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Glad to hear you and your son are ok.

Tell me this.. Would you have been better off if the airbags went off?
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:10 PM
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Oh no, I really don't think so at all. And my son was already scared out of his wits, if that would have happened, I think he would have pooped himself... It was the first time he has been in an accident and it was just kinda nasty with how hard we were hit. I have been in a car where they DID deploy and it's unsettling at first with the "dust" or whatever, your first thought is that there's a fire in the car.

I will admit too, it has crossed my mind, if they are malfunctioning, I don't want a severely delayed reaction and them BAM in the morning when I am driving down the road lol.

ETA: I am in no way trying to point some finger at MB over them not opening or whatever. This is my 5th? Mercedes I think. I've driven one since I was 18, and I am 45 now. I am all about their safety and I have my 16 year old daughter in one for the safety as well. This was just something that made me curious with the warning lights.

Last edited by Juliana; 05-01-2014 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:17 PM
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Front airbags don't help in a rear impact (they are designed for forward deceleration) and thus they shouldn't have gone off. NECK PRO does help in a rear impact to minimize whiplash injuries which is why your headrests and the seatbacks are detached. It sounds like the seatbelt pre-tensioners also fired, which would explain the seat belt issue. All in all, it sounds like the car acted as designed and a qualified MB repair center will know what to do to make the car safe again.

Glad you are ok!

Last edited by YYZ-E55; 05-01-2014 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:22 PM
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Ok thank you SO much for the responses. That is what I was wondering. This is WHY I drive this car. It doesn't hurt that it's also SO PURDY!!! Or it was, and will be again!
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by YYZ-E55 View Post
Front airbags don't help in a rear impact (they are designed for forward deceleration) and thus they shouldn't have gone off. NECK PRO does help in a rear impact to minimize whiplash injuries which is why your headrests and the seatbacks are detached. It sounds like the seatbelt pre-tensioners also fired, which would explain the seat belt issue. All in all, it sounds like the car acted as designed and a qualified MB repair center will know what to do to make the car safe again.

Glad you are ok!
Exactly like YYZ stated. My GF was rear ended in her Mercury SUV 2 weeks ago and the front air bags did not deploy. We asked the reapir shop if they malfunctioned and they said same as YYZ. This was news to me as well. The technology is truly amazing.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:46 PM
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I would advise that you have the car evaluated by a mercedes certified body shop -- having had benz work done myself that involved electrical repair.

Glad you're both ok -- glad you were in a benz.

The airbag sensors in the front bumper detect several variables, as I understand, before they deploy -- probably someone else on this forum is a way better expert on this than me (I don't at all claim to be) -- I'm not sure if you just didn't meet all the binary data required for the airbags to go off, i.e. your car wasn't moving fast enough to begin with.

cars can be fixed, people cannot always be fixed -- a doctor friend of mine says that a lot as he sees lots of car accidents at his workplace.

Good luck and take some tylenol for that whiplash, LOL
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PeterUbers View Post
I would advise that you have the car evaluated by a mercedes certified body shop -- having had benz work done myself that involved electrical repair.

Glad you're both ok -- glad you were in a benz.

The airbag sensors in the front bumper detect several variables, as I understand, before they deploy -- probably someone else on this forum is a way better expert on this than me (I don't at all claim to be) -- I'm not sure if you just didn't meet all the binary data required for the airbags to go off, i.e. your car wasn't moving fast enough to begin with.

cars can be fixed, people cannot always be fixed -- a doctor friend of mine says that a lot as he sees lots of car accidents at his workplace.

Good luck and take some tylenol for that whiplash, LOL
The OP says the hit in the back of his car was so powerful it sent him in the rear of the car in front of him with such force that this car hit a minivan in front of it. In my opinion this hit had to be hard enough for the airbags to deploy.

If it was me I would demand a detailed explanation from MB why the bags did not fire.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:49 PM
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Airbags are potentially lethal devices. They are deployed only under the most severe circumstances. It's a matter of the cure potentially being worse than the disease.

With no injuries in this case, I'd say the airbags worked as designed.

Regards,
Don
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:32 AM
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Glad you walked away unscathed and everyone is OK
Judging by the number of vehicles ,it must be kinda big accident not a simple one or chain of event following by
If you drove a would-be eco friendly world saver eco "fresh air guzzler " box results could be different
I wish you have many trouble drama free driving for your upcoming days
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by PeterUbers View Post
The airbag sensors in the front bumper detect several variables
Current generation front airbags use a deceleration sensor, not an impact sensor. If the forward deceleration is rapid enough that the occupant would benefit from the front airbag deploying, it will do so.
Originally Posted by Arrie View Post
The OP says the hit in the back of his car was so powerful it sent him in the rear of the car in front of him with such force that this car hit a minivan in front of it. In my opinion this hit had to be hard enough for the airbags to deploy.

If it was me I would demand a detailed explanation from MB why the bags did not fire.
In this instance, the forward acceleration caused by the rear impact was not sufficient to create a rapid enough forward deceleration as a result of the subsequent frontal impact to necessitate the front airbags deploying. The OP stated that s/he drove home - there is no way the car would be driveable if the rear or frontal impact was severe! Clearly this accident didn't even puncture the radiator.

Airbags are designed to deploy only in circumstances where they would provide a safety benefit. Have you ever been in an accident with an airbag? It's not like a nice soft pillow that comes to give you a comforting hug; it's more like running into a burlap sack filled with rice at full speed.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by YYZ-E55 View Post
Current generation front airbags use a deceleration sensor, not an impact sensor. If the forward deceleration is rapid enough that the occupant would benefit from the front airbag deploying, it will do so.

In this instance, the forward acceleration caused by the rear impact was not sufficient to create a rapid enough forward deceleration as a result of the subsequent frontal impact to necessitate the front airbags deploying. The OP stated that s/he drove home - there is no way the car would be driveable if the rear or frontal impact was severe! Clearly this accident didn't even puncture the radiator.

Airbags are designed to deploy only in circumstances where they would provide a safety benefit. Have you ever been in an accident with an airbag? It's not like a nice soft pillow that comes to give you a comforting hug; it's more like running into a burlap sack filled with rice at full speed.
^Yes. Glad everyone is okay. You don't want the air bag deploying unnecessarily as your ears will be ringing forever. The MB did its job.
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:54 PM
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Another member mentioned this also, use a MB certified body shop. There are listings under MBUSA I believe. Every MB dealer is associated with a MB certified body shop in the listing. You do not want someone unfamiliar with the car or a shop cutting corners. All of the safety systems have to be restored.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:56 AM
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Thank you so much to everyone that has responded. There has been some informative answers here that I really wasn't aware of.

Originally Posted by RSIKR View Post
Another member mentioned this also, use a MB certified body shop. There are listings under MBUSA I believe. Every MB dealer is associated with a MB certified body shop in the listing. You do not want someone unfamiliar with the car or a shop cutting corners. All of the safety systems have to be restored.
This is the fun part... I have insurance through AAA, which I am having to make a claim on, because the kid who hit me, has a $25,000 limit on all property damage total. All three other vehicles involved have to split that 25k. Based on the visual inspection they think mine is going to take a good portion of that and they wont be able to cover all of it, so I made the claim on mine.

The MB Cert Collision repair center isn't listed in the AAA Certified Collision Repair list. So now it is at the Toyota Collision Center that IS certified through AAA. Luckily my dad knows the manager of the shop and he is the one handling my car. I did tell him when I dropped it off, that I wouldn't sign off on the final insurance papers until it had been taken to the MB Service Dept and completely evaluated by them on the entire safety system. So they were ok with that.

It may all be for nothing, from his first look he said it is possible they will total the car. UGH! I will know for sure Monday when he gets back with me.

Again, thanks SO much to everyone here, you have been most helpful and informative.

All this time, I thought I was crazy for Mercedes cars, you guys are a little crazy about your cars!! (haha)
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