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  #1  
Old 04-19-2006, 11:10 PM
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Why does MB recommend airbag replacement

Hi folks,

Just bought an '87 300e. There is a sticker on the glovebox door that says the airbag should be replaced in 1997. Considering what these things cost does anyone know why MB does this since I haven't seen this on any other car?

Thanks,

Bob

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  #2  
Old 04-19-2006, 11:17 PM
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Can you say LIABILITY ?
If an airbag-equipped vehicle was involved in an accident & the bag did not deploy as it is supposed to, it would ( possibly ) leave the OEM wide open to a lawsuit.
Consider this basically a " legal disclaimer ".
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2006, 11:39 PM
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That initial ten year replacement period was extended to fifteen years, but that still means it is past the recommended time for your '87. Don't know if the fifteen year interval was extended or not.

Len
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  #4  
Old 04-20-2006, 12:06 AM
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So does anyone replace these? Where do you get a new airbag for a 19 year old car. I've seen a bunch of what appear to be used bags on e-bay, but I wouldn't mind finding one from someone who actually knows what they're selling.

Thanks,

Bob
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2006, 12:23 AM
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Cost

I would not worry about it. The cost of a new airbag unit could easily surpass the value of your car. While airbags are really nice your seatbelt does most of the protection in the event of an accident.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2006, 12:38 AM
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Bob,

I've thought about this too... but I don't see any used one as being more pristine than the one on my garage kept car. Besides,how much new would the used one be?
What's list price these day 2100?


Michael
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2006, 03:41 AM
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Think Insurance Value

Ok,

So you have a perfectly maintained 300E with brand new airbags at how much ever you paid per bag and someone pulls out in front of you and you hit them. Both bags deploy (just like the old ones would have) and your car is total loss. How easy do you think it will be to get the other guy's insurance company to pay you the $10K or so you think your car is worth because of all the new parts you have on it? While some people do succeed in doing this you would have to present a very well documented case on how your 300E was in such better condition than all the others on the road. The insurance company would still probably fight and use the "We can only pay market rate and are not responsible for reimbursing for repairs" route.

Front Airbags provide some additional crash protection but their help is limited in comparison to the seatbelts in most crashes. The more helpful airbags in my opinion are the side impact airbags because there is no latteral protection for the driver or passenger in a side impact. Side curtain airbags are great also for preventing cuts from broken glass and keeping your head from impacting the center pillar. But these airbags are only in recent cars.

Because Frontal bags provide some minimal protection and their cost would be astronomical I personally would be willing to risk the odds of the bag working after its intended lifespan. The 126 is the first "production" car in the world to offer an airbag. Recently Mercedes bought one of these cars from its original owner that was equipped with one of the optional airbags and crash tested it. The car and airbag were 24-25 years old and the whole car functioned perfectly in the accident as it was designed to.

On an older airbag the only thing I would be worried about is unintended deployment due to an electrical fault.

I have to go with the liability issue with the reason like someone else suggested. Even the used airbag market is kind of touchy. Paypal the online payment provider for the Ebay auction site does not want their service used to purchase used airbags. In our litigate first have common sense later society companies have to protect themselves. Lawsuits have affected many industries. One only has to look at the personal aircraft industry to see what the effects of lawsuits can do.

Last edited by rchase; 04-20-2006 at 04:33 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2006, 08:57 AM
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Wow folks,

Thanks for all of the input. The cover on my bag is split at the seams and so I do want to get another bag for the car. It seems to me that I'll have to purchase a used one from e-bay or somewhere else to do that and take my chances. I know in aviation just about everything gets rebuilt, or at least like a parachute - inspected and repacked. Is there anyone that does an inspection and repack on these bags?

Thanks again,

Bob
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2006, 10:51 AM
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Used or new

Dont know of any airbag refurbishers other than the sleazy car rebuilders that sell cars with "empty" airbags. They obviously get their covers from somewhere. I personally would not be comfortable cracking the seal on one to put another cover on it for the saftey end of things (exploding airbag) and for the liability aspect (if you ever sell your car). A used bag from the most recent compatible model would be the best bet.

If your brave you could test fire the old bag to see if it still works. I would suggest extreme caution doing such because they put out a lot of force. Long wires and a safe distance would be reccomended for such a risky but fun thing. Im sure the resounding explosion sound would put your mind at rest over the 15 year replacement term
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2006, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rchase
The cost of a new airbag unit could easily surpass the value of your car.
Part number 124 460 03 98 is $1170 MSRP, $877.50 here
http://www.trademotion.com/partlocator/index.cfm?siteid=213951
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2006, 10:21 PM
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Protection from lawsuits. Heck I bet if you even tried to have the dealer change it they would make you sign a waiver.

Actually MB isn't the only maker to do this, Toyota does as well. My Camry said right in the manual that at the 10 year mark the system should be inspected by the dealer. Dealer said as long as it ain't throwing codes drive it.
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2006, 11:38 PM
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Aside from liability, the older bag compmnents degrade with time. Airbags

I kept the old bag, replaced the seat belts, which also degrade with time, and are more important than airbags as far as restraint goes, IMHO.
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  #13  
Old 04-21-2006, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris
Part number 124 460 03 98 is $1170 MSRP, $877.50 here
http://www.trademotion.com/partlocator/index.cfm?siteid=213951
Probably pretty close to the initial offer on a wrecked 87 300E from an insurance company. Keep in mind Insurance Adjusters start negotiating at wholesale value. They don't care how much it costs to replace the car.
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  #14  
Old 04-21-2006, 02:23 AM
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I've got to beleive that the time limit was "liability cutoff attempt" as well as a concern over the potential deterioration of the bag itself. I read an article about a switch company that was sued (and settled out of court) when a 20+ year old safety interlock switch they made was used in a product, it was broken from physical abuse/damage, people kept using the machine anyway, and someone eventually got hurt. This is why any switch for a piece of insustrial equipment costs 20 times what it should...
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  #15  
Old 04-21-2006, 09:05 AM
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Evidence?

rchase- you made the statement:

"Frontal bags provide some minimal protection"

Do you have some documentable evidence of this statement, or is it just your opinion?

Thanks

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