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    Default It took a hit, but didn't go off!!

    A Posting from Forum Moderator Ron Moore

    Mercedes E-420 hard impact, T-bone collision on passenger's side.

    Occupied by driver only. Transported with injuries.

    Interesting aspect of the Mercedes safety system; an airbag deployment failure.

    Here's a side view.....
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    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    In this image, you can see the amount of intrusion to the passenger's side of the vehicle.

    This driver made a left turn directly into the path of a full size sedan. the event happened so fast, the other driver never had time to hit his brakes.
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    The teaching point here is to never assume anything when it comes to airbag systems.

    This interior view shows the massive crushing of the empty passenger's seat. The child's backpack is so tightly wedged into the footwell area, it could not be pulled free.

    The loaded airbag is clearly visible along the door panel.

    Just think. If there were a front seat passenger at the time of impact, rescue crews would have had to deal with forcibly opening this jammed door. There's a perfect example of why we need to train on jammed door and loaded airbag procedures.

    A good time to consider attacking the door at the hinges first. Cutting would be preferred over spreading. If you are going to spread, the 'vertical crush' protocol would be the best choice.

    By the way... the battery on this vehicle is under the rear seat cushion on the passenger's side. It was very difficult to access for battery shutdown due to the severe crushing of the entire side of the Mercedes that jammed the seat cushion. We actually tore the rear seat cushion apart to get to the battery.
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    Two questions, Ron (or whoever):

    1) Where's the loaded airbag in the picture?

    2) If we had a front seat passenger, why cut rather than spread?
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Is this vehicle fitted with the sensors that determine that there is or isn't a person sitting in the seat?

    If so, that would determine whether or not the bag will deploy...
    Luke

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    I emailed this to our friend Jorg Heck, earlier this morning, and this is his reply:

    Oh nice! I'll send it to a MercedesBenz technican, so he parhaps can say us if the "failure" has something to do with the occupant detection system.
    It'll be interesting to see what Mercedes say about this....
    Luke

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    In the third image(the close-up of the interior), the two undeployed airbags are both visible. The passenger frontal airbag is beneath the flat panel on the dashboard, above the glove compartment at the bottom edge of the windshield. This bag didn't deploy because the SMART airbag system knew that the passenger front seat was empty. In addition, the crash was a side impact and not a frontal one anyway.

    The airbag of concern is the door-mounted side-impact airbag. It is visible along the inside of the door panel, above the armrest, towards the latch end of the door. The large "SRS" airbag ID button is visible as well.

    The thought has always been that the empty passenger front seat would 'deactivate' the frontal airbag. If in fact an empty front seat also 'deactivates' the side-impact airbag, then that is something entirely knew to all of us.

    Let's see what the Mercedes 'insider' can find out.

    The reason that a cutter may be a better attack when forcibly opening this door is because of the tendency of a spreader to push a door inward, especially if the door has already been crushed inward due to a collision such as this.

    Best use of a spreader on this passenger front door is the vertical crush attack.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
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    Thanks, Ron. I misunderstood. I though there was some damage to the interior that exposed the undeployed airbag on the door. Didn't see it, that's why I was confused.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    According to the Mercedes Benz Guidelines For Rescue Services book that I have, the E420 has the following:

    * Airbag Identifiers-
    SRS/Airbag SRS on Steering Wheel
    SRS/Airbag SRS on Front Door Trims
    Warning Lamp on Instrument Cluster
    SRS/Airbag Passenger Side Dashboard

    * Airbag Type-
    Cartegory 1 Pyrothechnic
    Electric with External Sensor

    * Airbag Deactivation Period-
    0 Seconds

    * Airbag Deactivation Methods-
    Ignition Swithc to "OFF" Position
    Remove NEGATIVE Battery Lead and Insulate

    * Seatbelt Pretensioner Fitted-
    Front Seat Only

    * Pretensioner Type-
    Category 1 Pyrotechnic Cable Actuated

    * Pretensioner Location-
    Integral to Seat Belt Unit/Reel End

    * Pretensioner Deactivation Method-
    As Per SRS/Airbag

    * Other Information-
    Seatbelts fitted with pretensioner system denoted by RS on the belt buckle latch
    Vehicle type denoted by first 3 digits of the V.I.N.
    Passenger seat occupant recognition sensor fitted as of 6/97


    Ron, I was always taught that a SMART sensor deactivates all bags around that seat, that is why I posted my original comments:
    Is this vehicle fitted with the sensors that determine that there is or isn't a person sitting in the seat?
    Luke

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    Default Answer from DC

    Hello!

    I got the answer from DC today. We were right that the door mounted side impact airbag did not deploy because the occupant detection system did not detect a passenger on the seat.

    If the car had been equippted with a windows airbag (head airbag) this system would have been deployed because there is no occupant detection for the backseat passengers and the curtain style airbag could also protect them. If there had been a door mounted side impact airbag in the back door it would have been fired also!
    Last edited by JoergHeck; 09-23-2002 at 09:02 AM.
    Jorg Heck
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    http://airbag.feuerwehr.org

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    Thanks for confirming that Joerg- it's just as I suspected....
    Luke

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    Ron,I'm going to second Bryan's query.Why cut rather than spread the hinges?Are you concerned about the airbags deploying or are you got another thought process happening that I'm not following(Not that that is an isolated concept)T.C.

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    Never mind!Just reread the post all the way thru,I'm going to try the spreader on duplicate damage next drill just to confirm a suspicion.T.C.

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    As always, nice scenario Ron, and thanks for sharing. Interesting thoughts about the air bag system, I was not aware of the "smart system", so that was worth the reading right there.

    One point that was made and is very important, was about the battery location. I am a previous owner to two Audi 5000S sedans. Both cars were of two different years in manufacture, but they shared a commanality on construction: the battery is located under the DRIVER'S side, passenger seat. I don't know about all European makes, but I think Volkswagon also follows this design. For some reason the Germans seem to be particularily fond of this feature. Joerg, do you have anything further on that?
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Question Battery locations

    Finding the batterie(s)of a vehicle after an accident is a great problem. Ron wrote several articles on this topic und I thin you could find them in the U of E archive. I think that there are several situations in which it is impossible to disconnect the battery cables because the patient is in the way or the car itsself blocks the way to the battery (landed on the roof)

    I dont't think you could say where the battery is locatet only because of the brand. For example I will give you some battery locations from the Rescue Manual from Mercedes Benz (2002). I don't know which of the cars is sold in the USA. If you look at the locations I think they have the biggest number of different locations.

    The MB station wagons (t-model, from different series) also have differnet locations , near the motor under the hood, unter der rear seat on the passengers side and on the left side of the trunk. The old MB SL and the old S-class has the battery located also in the right side of the trunk. In the M-class you could find it unter the hood. In the A-class and in the Vaneo (don't know if sold in the USA) it's unter the passengers feet (unter floor). The G-model has it on the drivers side of the trunk. The V-class (Vito, don't know if sold in the USA) has the batterie under the drivers seat. The old C-class and the S-class coupé has it in the trunk, the C-class coupé, the new C-class and the CLK Cabrio has it under the hood and so on. The new SL has two batteries, one in the trunk and one under the hood.
    Jorg Heck
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    Sorry, don't have pictures and working on exact model, but we just had a Subaru 4WD t-bone a BMW on the passenger side. BMW had passenger air bag inflate and passenger side air bag inflate from the roof line. The entire passenger side was pushed in about 6 inches. Only occupant in car was driver. As for the Subaru, the impact pushed the radiator in, forced the front doors out of alignment, yet no airbag inflation at all. That vehicle had driver and 2 children in back in child seats. I would think this much damage on the subaru would be enough to inflate the drivers bag. Any thoughts?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I don't know either, Bones. Do you know what year the BMW was? Are they even putting 'smart' systems in the BMWs, or is it just offered on Mercedes?

    Does anybody why auto makers are locating the batteries under the seats? The only thing I can think of is balance.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Bones, the only thing I can think of, regarding the Subaru, was it a direct hit on the front end of the Subaru or off centre? If it's off centre, it may not have been in line to set the sensors off, dependant on how these ones are activated.

    If anyone hasn't already, contact the Mercedes Benz head office in your country- they have a training course with manuals and lots of hands on stuff, specifically for Emergency Services and how to cope with their cars in accidents. I've done one here in Australia- it's well worth it to see all the stuff that Joerg and others are talking about...
    Luke

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    Unhappy HOLY LOST BATTERY BATMAN!!!!

    Thanks Joerg, I didn't realize that there could be so many different locations for a battery box in just one type of vehicle. Nothing like standardization for locations eh.

    You are correct, we do not have the Vito or Vaneo (I haven't seen them anyway) here in North America, but they may be sold under a different model name. But that is a nasty bit of information on having the battery under the driver or in the trunk: unless you have specific information on the vehicle type, you could be looking for hours before finding it.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

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    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    FYI: BMW battery's can be either under the rear seat, in the trunk on the passenger side (most common), or under the hood. On the X5 model (the SUV... or SAV as BMW calls it), they are in the rear hatch area underneath the spare tire. As for why they put them in different places other than just under the hood, I don't know. It could be a number of reasons; from weight distribution to safety (battery is less likely to get crushed or leak if it's under the rear seat).

    As for the airbag systems, newer model BMW's do have seat occupancy mats in both front seats, but I'm not sure as to whether or not that will deactivate an airbag if no one is in that seat. I'm an apprentice BMW tech, so I'm still learning all the functionality of these cars... I'll have to look into that.

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    Exclamation Dual Stage Airbags

    I believe that Mercedes (and more and more other brands) has dual stage frontal impact airbags on both driver's and passenger sides. Even if the bag was inflated it still may have an active gas generator in it just waiting for an EMT to lean over the patient.

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