Malice4you

so, my trip to the range didn't go so well...

42 posts in this topic

It is a beautiful day out, so I decided to go to the range - get some use outta my hunting license. Drive over to Clinton WMA.

At the exit for the service road on 78W, there is a massive, sudden vibration in the car. "That's not good" pops into my head. The next thing to pop was the airbags a split second later.

I was doing 50-55 when 7 outta 9 of my airbags blew. Only ones that didn't pop were front passenger bag and front passenger door bag.  Steering wheel, driver door, driver side curtain, rear driver side door, passenger curtain, and rear passenger side door all deployed. Hadn't hit anyone or anything.

No idea what the hell happened. I am guessing transmission fragged itself since I can't really get it into park and it did not like coming down off the flatbed, but no idea beyond that. Had no warning.

I am OK*, but car is done.

On a list of things not to want to experience again, random airbag deployment at highway speeds ranks pretty high, I gotta say.

 

*Scrapes and lotta red marks on my arm, plus hearing in left ear is screwed up, from airbag deployment...

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6 minutes ago, Malice4you said:

*Scrapes and lotta red marks on my arm, plus hearing in left ear is screwed up, from airbag deployment...

You forgot to mention the new change of underwear. 

I thought airbag activation had two triggers: a sizable acceleration/deceleration as well as actual crumple sensors. I’m not a car guy but I can’t think of a scenario that would cause the systemic activation like that. 

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It’s obvious it happened because there was a gun in the car. Murphy says guns cause bad things. Once all guns are banned the roads will be a lot safer. Next time Uber your guns ahead. 

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mercedes_airbags.jpg

airbags_arm.jpg

 

Car is a 2000 Mercedes E320 4matic wagon, with around 150,400 on it.  Transmission had not been acting up prior to today, so really no clue, if it even was the trans.  At first, I thought I had either a tire blowout or a rim had come apart, but all 4 are intact and holding air.  I suppose it's possible a diff went, I know too little about cars to guess much beyond that.  No fluids anywhere though.  I had it towed home instead of a shop - no reason since I'm considering it a total loss.

 

Scary - yeah, that's an understatement.  I'm glad more than anything that the airbags didn't knock me out....going 55 with no driver and no airbags to go off again would be...unpleasant....  It is also difficult to see out of the now much smaller viewing areas...I was glad i was already safely changing lanes when it happened.

 

Amazingly, no new underwear needed.

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Wow that is a shocker, glad you are ok and survived that - could have been a heck of a lot worse.  Never heard of one going off at highway speed without hitting something.  Sort of reminds me of a Ford Sierra that I had rented in the UK years ago that every once in a while would stall at 140-150 mph (not kph).  That was scary, but yours was even worse.

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1 hour ago, silverado427 said:

Glad your OK. What did you do with your firearms  after you pulled over. Did the police stop by or did a flat bed pick up your vehicle. 

I did not see (notice) a single police vehicle the entire 45 minutes I was on the side of 78.  As it is a wagon, everything is visible inside it, though the curtain airbags do significantly impact side visibility, both in and out, I will say.

It was flat bedded home.  Driver said in 21 years, he had not seen an example of spontaneous airbag deployment.

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So the passenger side ones probably didn’t trip because they should be tied to an ass sensor in the passenger seat. No ass, no poof. 

As for the others, it could be that the airbag control module took a hit in such a way activated all the airbags. 

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Holy crap that's crazy.  Glad you're ok.  I got into an accident last year and my car was totaled - airbags blew - even the side ones.  Definitely saved me from a lot of injury - I only had a scrape on my arm.

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Mercedes had a recent recall for newer vehicles for sudden airbag deployment

 

https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2018/mercedes-benz-airbag-lawsuit.shtml

 

And it has happened to others with your vehicle year.

 

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/mb-safety-testimonials/1405299-mb-airbag-deployment.html

 

That is scary glad you are ok. I would get on the phone with Mercedes and get something out of it.

 

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2 minutes ago, capt14k said:

Mercedes had a recent recall for newer vehicles for sudden airbag deployment

https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2018/mercedes-benz-airbag-lawsuit.shtml


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Oldest cars in that link are far newer than mine was, but thanks for the link - " Mercedes told affected owners and lessees the airbags could suddenly deploy if insufficiently grounded components were exposed to an electrostatic discharge at the same time the steering column module clock spring was broken (due to wear). " - I wonder if the massive sudden vibration caused a similar problem with a ground somewhere...  Didn't even really think about that til now. 

It wasn't just a vibration, it really felt like a rim had come completely apart and I was driving on 5 spokes....violent and loud...more like if rt78 suddenly had some huge speed bumps spaced only a few feet apart and you were going over them at speed.

I forgot to mention that the trim around the gear shifter came off, which I can't explain, unless the steering wheel bag expands enough to violently knock the hell outta the gearshift knob while leaving the car in gear.  I was still in drive until I stopped, and couldn't put the car into park.

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Oldest cars in that link are far newer than mine was, but thanks for the link - " Mercedes told affected owners and lessees the airbags could suddenly deploy if insufficiently grounded components were exposed to an electrostatic discharge at the same time the steering column module clock spring was broken (due to wear). " - I wonder if the massive sudden vibration caused a similar problem with a ground somewhere...  Didn't even really think about that til now. 
It wasn't just a vibration, it really felt like a rim had come completely apart and I was driving on 5 spokes....violent and loud...more like if rt78 suddenly had some huge speed bumps spaced only a few feet apart and you were going over them at speed.
I forgot to mention that the trim around the gear shifter came off, which I can't explain, unless the steering wheel bag expands enough to violently knock the hell outta the gearshift knob while leaving the car in gear.  I was still in drive until I stopped, and couldn't put the car into park.


In the second link guy talks about his sister's 2000.


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15 minutes ago, Malice4you said:

It wasn't just a vibration, it really felt like a rim had come completely apart and I was driving on 5 spokes....violent and loud...more like if rt78 suddenly had some huge speed bumps spaced only a few feet apart and you were going over them at speed.

Any chance you ran over something that you didn't see, like a alligator from a truck? Something like that could have hit somewhere in the front to set off the bags.

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24 minutes ago, Sniper22 said:

Any chance you ran over something that you didn't see, like a alligator from a truck? Something like that could have hit somewhere in the front to set off the bags.

Entirely possible that I missed something due to lane change and looking elsewhere, but I tend to be very mindful of road hazards as I run soft, easily bubbled/easily punctured high performance tires and pay attention far ahead so I can slowly react instead of jerking the wheel around.  Exterior of the car has no new dents.

1 hour ago, capt14k said:

And it has happened to others with your vehicle year.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/mb-safety-testimonials/1405299-mb-airbag-deployment.html

That is scary glad you are ok. I would get on the phone with Mercedes and get something out of it.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

If you didn't edit your post and add this later, I'm sorry I missed the second bit.  Interesting discussion there, and I guess tomorrow will be a fun day on the phone with the insurance company and Mercedes...

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If you didn't edit your post and add this later, I'm sorry I missed the second bit.  Interesting discussion there, and I guess tomorrow will be a fun day on the phone with the insurance company and Mercedes...
I did add the second link, but a couple minutes before your reply came through on my end. I guess the posts got crossed in cyberspace. No need for apologies. Hopefully that forum can be off some help.

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Oh, i want to hear about the follow up with this.

I immediately want to say something like the motor lunched itself and shot pieces in the right directions, but that would be pretty obvious I'd think.

Although, "sudden shaking" could be the motor not running right, which could be a grounding issue, which could relate to the recall MB has.

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I'd have that car towed to the closest MB dealer for analysis.  Sudden airbag deployment is one of those things thats never supposed to happen.  I'd bet MB-USA would want that car to examine, if for no other reason to verify they don;t have a bigger legal exposure than what's already out there.

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1 minute ago, Old Glock guy said:

Holy crap, I never even knew that could happen!  Glad you're OK.

And you didn't even get to shoot!

I know! And after yesterday, I really need a long range session...

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5 hours ago, djg0770 said:

Vibration at speed with no obvious flat could be axle shaft failure. Not sure how that would result in air bag deployment though. This will be interesting to follow.

Being a 4wd wagon, it could very well be an drive shaft or CV-joint. 

I had a CV joint go on my car and it had similar results, minus the airbag deployment.

Airbags deploy based on force, and is usually based on an algorithm with speed factored. So the vibrations could have effected the sensor readings. 

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