Mercedes Safety

I am very satisfied with my '04 E500. One of the reasons I have always selected Mercedes is build quality and safety. I am not an engineer but one can see how massive the pillars and roof rails are. I was T-boned in a 560
SEL in the '80's (not a scratch - insurance company held other driver responsible for running red light and t-boning me). The Mercedes dealership body shop (factory owned) thought a had truck hit my car. I saw the car after it was stripped down and was even more surprised to see how really deep the rocker beams are as well as seeing the asphalt flooring which was hidden under the carpets and padding.
A friend of mine just acquired a 2004 BMW530. He and I have always had our respective motoring allegiance. He boasted that he spoke to a mechanic who services German cars and was told that since the Chrysler merger MB build quality and safety have declined but that the BMW's quality and safety have not.
I personally do not buy this. I know that MB claims to have increased the amount of HSLA steel used in new models. The gas tank was moved to below the rear seat in my model (for years it was directly above the rear axle between the trunk and passenger compartments - I'm not sure if the move was dictated by safety of more trunk space). If I am not mistaken MB offers a full cadre of front, side and curtain airbags as standard equipment on all models (excluding convertibles). last I checked, rear side and head protection were an option on many Bimmers.
What I am very curious about is whether any mechanics or body repair folks, after having seen and worked some post collision versions of the new C, CLK and E-class, had any opinion of the new models structural strength and how they compare with earlier MB models (or BMW's for that matter).
Thanks,
Claude
--
Bestswimwear.com
http://www.bestswimwear.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, men fall into two camps... - some shave wet, some shave dry - some hang left, some hang right - some buy BMW, some buy Merc...
:-) DAS
--
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Though I doubt that MB has compromised on safety in recent years. Any longtime multiple generation Mercedes owner will likely testify that build quality has come a long way downhill, especially in the last decade. Personally I think the slippage started long before the Chrysler merger and each successive model appears worse than the last to me.
I don't know about yours but the '04 E I test drove had an uneven gap between the rear light clusters and the body that I would have a hard time accepting on a used GM truck, much less a new $50,000+ Mercedes. Which is a shame because it's such a beautiful car, much classier than the W210. I thought it might have been an anomaly but I noticed that all the W211s in my garage at work have the same inconsistent shutline and panel fit. When I was shopping for a (used) W124 almost 10 years ago, such gaps were a sure sign of accident repair.
And I haven't even started on the interiors yet... ...or the ML (the ultimate degradation of old MB brand values) ...or the spotty reliability.
The best of 6 Mercedes that I have owned was a 1974 240D. It was the most unique, the classiest, the best built, the most reliable, and I never should have sold it. It wasn't the most fun to drive. Those honors go to the 1987 190E 2.3-16 (with an EVO I suspension), and I've been smart enough not to sell that one.
Unless things turn around quickly I think I've bought my last MB, unless I decide to go for the '99 S500 or 600 which are looking VERY cheap these days.
On the other hand, BMW seems to have been on the consistent up tick. My wife's father is a BMW guy and each new generation he gets is better built. Though the new M5 is mighty appealing, it'll likely be beyond the reach of my wallet.
So here's to hoping that MB remembers soon that there should be more to a Mercedes than a three pointed star.
On 8/26/04 12:39 AM, in article 6QdXc.12370$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr29.news.prodigy.com, "Claude"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Claude wrote:

Trunk versatility: Located below the rear set allows the rear bench to be folded down.
In the old days the fuel tanks were made out of steel and thus the modern shapes allowed by the plastic material were not possible so they could not be located under the rear seats - this location requires a very _chaotic_ shape to make a large trunk fit, possible not with steel but only plastics. Besides that plastics has other advantages like being rust-proof and lighter.
IIRC first MBs with tanks above the rear axle were S-Class W116 in 1972 and W123 middle-class in 1976 (and R/C 107 from 1971?) - BMW still had the steel tanks located under the trunk and between the rear axle and the bumper until only some years (10?) ago - clear safety disadvantage!
Juergen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Claude wrote:

Trunk versatility: Located below the rear set allows the rear bench to be folded down.
In the old days the fuel tanks were made out of steel and thus the modern shapes allowed by the plastic material were not possible so they could not be located under the rear seats - this location requires a very _chaotic_ shape to make a large trunk fit, possible not with steel but only plastics. Besides that plastics has other advantages like being rust-proof and lighter.
IIRC first MBs with tanks above the rear axle were S-Class W116 in 1972 and W123 middle-class in 1976 (and R/C 107 from 1971?) - BMW still had the steel tanks located under the trunk and between the rear axle and the bumper until only some years (10?) ago - a clear safety disadvantage in rear accidents!
Juergen
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.