Most luxury cars, including Mercedes, fail new Insurance Institute frontal crash test | Mail Online
What the tests videos - which are only of non-American non-luxury small cars - shows is that only the Mecedes driver/passenger compartment kept it's integrity. The door glass didn't even break. The doors on the others cars were obliterated. Mercedes disputed the result claiming that it is not a real-life accident senario - hitting a steel wall 18 inches into a car at 40 mph.
Who drives 40 mph on a country, state or Interstate highway? And hitting a pole, tree or parked car is a different dynamic than a steel and edged wall at 40 mph. What is very clear is that at real speeds of 60 to 70 mph, all drivers would have been crushed by their own car - the cabin crumbling and the front wheel assembly pressed into them - all but the person in the Mercedes.
The tests standards and set by and conducted by THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY. Their view of accident outcome hopes is different than for people in cars. For the insurance industry, it is about money, not people. In a major accident, the car is totalled no matter what, so they don't care about car-damage costs. They care about personal injury liabilities.
Here's what people don't understand about the goals of Insurance Industry crash standards. In an accident, the insurance industry wants 1 of 2 outcomes:
1. There are no or only minor injuries.
2. The people in the vehicle die.
What they do NOT want is for the driver/passengers to be seriously injured, but to survive. And for obvious reasons:
1. If the people in the car die, they aren't witnesses.
2. There is no pain and suffering, therapy, care and ongoing medical expenses for dead people.
3. A living but injured person invokes more sympathy than a non-present dead person.
4. If killed, the insurance company is working with heirs to the estate that want money fast, not the injuried person worrying of his future, wants pain and suffering money, wants future medical bills paid and will battle the insurance company in court for it. The only question of a dead person is how much money to give the heirs to just take some money fast and go away.
Plus heirs are less likely to hire and attorney and more like to just accept some fast money, particularly if they are poor. There may not even be any heirs or anyone that even makes a claim. And it is easier to get heirs to fast endorse a fast settlement check than it is someone in the hospital unsure of future medical and other expenses.
Thus, that is the quantry to Mercedes. Do they make their cars flimsier and more like to die in - by designing them to meet the low/mid-speed live or die standards of the American Insurance industry, which also reduces their costs to build a car? OR do they continue to make cars with heavy strong steel driver/passenger compartments that preserve the integrity of the driver/passenger compartment including in highway speed and severe impact crashes? It is not just an economic question, but also an question of integrity.
Porsche, which also makes extremely strong driver/passenger sections (which does add weight and costs) is also struggling with the same question. The top Covette now is down to 3100 pounds, will meet low/mid speed crash standards too, but you will die in it if you have a highway speed accident. Not in a Porsche, but they are topping 3500 pounds some of their models.
So... if you ARE in an accident, do you REALLY agree with the insurance industry standard that either you should not be serious injured OR you die?