Last post on Nov 24, 2009 at 5:39 PM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz R-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz R-Class, Mercedes-Benz, Car Safety, Fuel System, Exhaust, Diesel, Wagon
#15 of 24 Conclusion: Forensics Report on Mercedes R320 Explosion
Mar 18, 2007 (5:52 pm)
#16 of 24 Conclusion: Forensics Report on Mercedes R320 Explosion
Mar 16, 2007 (2:43 pm)
The car was purchased new from Mercedes of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Pictures and complete forensic expert report: http://www.landxml.org/R320
A defective Mercedes "4Matic" system caused the rear tire to explode causing $25,000 in car damage and
$1500 damage to home. Mercedes and the dealer will not stand by the car and only tell us that it is an
insurance issue. Automotive warranty items, including factory defects are not covered by insurance - only
the resulting damage is.
To date, the dealer and Mercedes refuse to simply "undo the deal" giving us our money back and paying
actual out of pocket expenses related to the damage caused by the Mercedes factory defect.
#17 of 24 Driver error and negligence
Mar 18, 2007 (10:37 am)
Driver accellerated tire to extremely high speeds with minimal traction present causing high friction and heat in the tire resulting in failure of the tire.
The proper action to take when a tire is spinning due to lack of traction is to reduce throttle and/or change the conditions at the wheels to increase traction.
Unfortunately, people frequently lack the education or experience to make the correct decisions when driving.
Blaming Mercedes for a exploding tire is a just another example of a person failing to take responsibility for their actions in today's blame and litigation prone society.
Thankfully this incident did not result in any injuries.
#18 of 24 Re: Driver error and negligence [moparbad]
Mar 18, 2007 (12:02 pm)
This kind of uneducated, knee jerk reaction is shared by the Mercedes dealer.
Perhaps you did not read the forensic expert report posted on the web site. Read the engineering report and learn something about modern traction/stability control systems. You can look up his resume at www.robsonforensic.com; but he is far and away an unbiased expert on the subject.
The explosion occurred in 5-10 secs after applying positive throttle. This could have happened to anyone, including you. There was simply no time for a driver reaction.
The bottom line is the car was not moving because of a single high centered wheel. However the stability control module thought the car was traveling 20KPH (recorded in vehicle diagnostics log) so it inappropriately applied all engine torque the single, free-spinning wheel. Somewhere between speedometer indicated speeds of 35 and 50MPH (x4 = 140-200MPH), the 130MPH rated tire exploded from extreme centrifugal loading. The car should have applied the brakes to the wheel as soon as it's rotational speed was 3 MPH greater than the opposing wheel. This is according to Mercedes technical documents.
Had the car functioned as designed, the event would not have occurred.
Why is that so hard to understand?
#19 of 24 Re: Driver error and negligence [ncrews]
Mar 18, 2007 (5:51 pm)
Were the snow tires OEM from MB? If not have you asked Pirelli to compensate for a defective tire? I read the report and his conclusion. It is what I would expect if I paid such a company to investigate my claim. You have to remember that Mercedes probably have people that will write an equally compelling case against your claim. Because you have decided to carry it beyond just getting repaired, it will require a court of law to decide if your wife or the car was to blame. The risk there is you could end up spending more than what it would cost to buy a new and different vehicle.
Dec 18, 2008 (1:18 pm)
What ever happened with the R320? did m-b buy it back? did they settle out of court? who's fault was it? i have been trying to follow this story.
#21 of 24 Re: [zombiereef]
Dec 18, 2008 (3:09 pm)
That is a good question. I don't think they got the kind of sympathy they expected here and quit posting. They posted on every forum they could find. None seem to have a followup. The website they linked to is no longer available. Maybe they settled with MB and dropped the case.
Dec 18, 2008 (3:44 pm)
i am really curious because i have seen the car and wow! that is all i can say. it blew the curtain airbags, shredded the l/r fender, the front bumper is hanging off of it, the l/r door is mangled, l/r quarter panel is hit, sunroof panel broken, driver's door damaged and of course it has a spare where the aftermarket pirelli used to be. the tire wasnt factory. they put the pirelli scorpions on shortly after purchasing.
#23 of 24 Re: Conclusion: Driver Error [moparbad]
Nov 24, 2009 (2:42 pm)
I'm just in on this, but we own a 2007 R320, purchased in Colorado. This situation certainly seems extreme. That said, regardless of what the OEM tires are rated they are completely inadequate in the snow (this coming from someone who grew up driving in New England winters). Once you start sliding - even at extremely slow speeds, under 10 mph - it is unbelievably difficult to bring the car to a stop. After one winter, I replaced the original tires with real tires. Stunning to me that the car company that touts the safety of its vehicles would allow the tires to be sold on its vehicles.
#24 of 24 Re: Conclusion: Driver Error [dspicher]
Nov 24, 2009 (5:39 pm)
Even though i dont work for M-B anymore, I stand by their tire choice. They may not seem good to you now, but there are a lot of other tires out there that will work fine, but not give you the ride and comfort that the OEM ones do. In my personal opinion, the driver of the wrecked R320 did this, not the car. It is a fluke situation where there was a bad choice to overrev the engine to try and negotiate out of a large snow drift. I am sorry , but that doesnt work for any car/truck and i dont believe that Benz was in the wrong at all. There are mechanical limitations to any all wheel drive system and there will be times when there is a situation that it wont work perfectly everytime. As for stopping on ice; every car is still at the mercy of the laws of physics. If you cant stop on ice, you arent alone and blaming the car is laughable. Ask all the people driving their SUV's to the ski resorts every saturday morning. They are all the ones in the ditches scratching their heads.