"It is a misnomer that older somehow means safer. Technology has been the driver behind safety, not the "strength" of the structure. People believe falsely that cars that don't show signs of damage in collisions are safe, and ones that crumple up are not. Completely the opposite."
Hmm, true but, a truck is always a truck...
The issue on W124 versus W210 was a hot one back then, because the factory statement was that the W210 was a lot safer than required in the German tests. But the press revealed that in the same test the W124 was even safer. Not stronger, but on average safer for the "dummie" inside.
Another testimony to the quality of W124 is that Taxi drivers in many European citys kept their cars for many years after W210 arrived. Some are actually still driving these old reliable cars!
This is what happens when you produce too good cars, so I doubt that the manufacturers want their cars to last forever...