Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help



Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Tech Information and Support > Tech Help

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-31-2006, 07:27 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 46
Wink Airbag deployed for no reason..

Monday 5/29/06..I was driving on the interstate and heard noises I thought were coming from the blower motor , A/C was running.
My driver airbag deployed for NO REASON.. Wow what an experience, pretty freaky and the bag bruised up the inside of my left arm pretty bad. The bag deploying was LOUD.
Yes , I pulled onto the shoulder of the interstate , turned off the car and had to sit to catch my bearings.
I was wearing my seat belt and now the belt tensioners are frozen on both sides.
I called MB USA and filed a complaint said they get back w/ me , also filed a complaint w/ the NHTSA.
When I called a local MB dealer about replacement ..the service mgr stated .."nothing they can do"... wait to hear from MB USA
My main safety concern are the seat belts... I'm driving around w/ no protection now. I'll keep you guys posted with updates.


**Here's an update*** 5/31/06...MB USA and the Benz dealer here locally called me today and I bought my Benz in to get checked out. I bought the car 2 yrs ago, so don't know if the orginial owner replaced the airbag.
They also gave me a rental car free of charge. So glad to see they were quick to act on this serious matter even w/ my 19 yr old Benz.

__________________
1993 Lexus SC300
1987 Mercedes 300E ..totaled out..
1991 Saab 900Convertible ..gave away..

Last edited by cangold; 06-01-2006 at 07:31 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-31-2006, 07:51 PM
Rahulio1989300E's Avatar
V10s & V8s FTW!
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,141
Was your SRS light flashing on or off at anytime in the past years by any chance? Cause now you have me worried! (My SRS light is not ever on except at start up...)

I dont wanna drive! :-(
__________________
2006 BMW M5 "Heidi" @ 96,000 miles
2005 MBZ C55 AMG "Lorelai" @ 120,000 miles
1990 MBZ 500SL "Shoshanna" @ 118,000 miles
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-31-2006, 08:11 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 46
Yes, I have to admit , the SRS was flashing , but not all the time..
I've read other posts where as the bag should be OK anywhere from 10 to 20 yrs..
I will post update tomorrow when the dealer calls me.
__________________
1993 Lexus SC300
1987 Mercedes 300E ..totaled out..
1991 Saab 900Convertible ..gave away..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-31-2006, 08:27 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 13
Wow dude, you could have lost control of your car on the highway. Glad you're ok. I've heard alot about airbags and the thought of one going off in my face makes me **** my pants. They've got explosives in them, so it must feel like a gun going off in your face.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-31-2006, 08:48 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,743
It's my understanding that the reason for replacing the airbags when they reach a certain age is because they may FAIL to deploy when needed.

At my dealership I get a handful of "accidental" air bag deployments every year. I've ALWAYS found underbody damage to be the cause. In each case the owner had no idea they hit anything, most likely because the airbag deploys just milliseconds after striking an object. I'm not saying it can't happen, but I've NEVER seen an MB airbag deploy for no reason. I'm guessing your dealer has had similar experience. They'll give the car a good going-over, and it won't surprise me if they find the cause relatively quickly. Let us know what they do.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-31-2006, 10:55 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
A broken from flex disc can cause the bag to deploy. When it suffers a catastrphic failure the driveshaft will hit the tunnel and the crash sensor is mounted to the top of the tunnel (up behind and under the stereo). Have also heard that a disintegrating flex disc can shed pieces with enough force to activate the crash sensor when chunkc hit the tunnel just right.

Since the bag and ETR's deployed I am fairly certain your sensor took some sort of hit.
__________________
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-01-2006, 01:15 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 783
Thats one of the reasons I am really glad to be airbag free in my w-126. The 126 was pretty much "state of the art" and the first test run of the airbag systems in the wild. A 24 year old airbag would make me nervous for exactly those reasons.

Good to hear your ok. Good thing you kept your mind on the task at hand driving the car.

I think you will probably be pleasantly surprised at what MBUSA will probably do for this one. They probably want to see "why" this happened and use your situation to add to their knowledgebase so they can avoid the problem in the future. In the interest of PR and because of your willingness to let them have a look at your car they may work a deal with you on the repairs. Keep in mind your car is well outside of its warranty and no other car maker in the world would even talk to you at this point other than MB.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-01-2006, 02:16 AM
Strife's Avatar
General Purpose Geek
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: KY USA
Posts: 2,238
Hmmm...after reading this, I'm wondering how good my 20-year old flex disks are; if they are in similar condition to my old subframe mounts, I need to think about replacing them. I looked at them, and they seemed OK (no visible cracking) but who knows?

I would in the strongest possible terms advise against removing or disabling an airbag (I've read that some people have done this). It is a lot more likely to save your face and brain than to go off unexpectedly. In the above case, it did exactly what it was supposed to do even though it was old; the other parts of the car failed and caused it to activate. I don't even want to think about what might happen legally if someone removed an airbag and then got in an accident; some states have contributory negligence, for example, in Illinois, not wearing a seat belt will get you up to and including exactly nothing for pain and suffering, even if an accident was 100% not your fault, no matter what kind of lawyer you have (I was never in this situation, but I actually tend to agree).

If you permanently disable an airbag and then sell the car...the liability exposure would be an absolute unknown. You would have to junk the car.
__________________
86 560SL
With homebrew first gear start!
85 380SL
Daily Driver Project

http://juliepalooza.8m.com/sl/mercedes.htm
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-01-2006, 04:07 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 783
I think the thing to do is to expect the unexpected. It could be your airbags deploying or it could be a tire blowing out randomly when your in the middle of an 80mph high speed pass. Theres really nothing that you can do to prevent those little surprises when you drive other than know exactly how you will react when you are presented with that kind of an emergency.

Since you can't predict the future changing your car won't help you much. Imagine disconnecting your airbag only to get into a high energy crash with a large truck where the airbag would have helped if it went off.

While Im glad my 126 does not have airbags because I would question their operation or unintended operation I would not disable them if the car was equipped with them. An unpleasant surprise is much more easy to deal with than being killed or injured more in an accident where the airbag would have provided benefit.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-01-2006, 07:22 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTangas
A broken from flex disc can cause the bag to deploy. When it suffers a catastrphic failure the driveshaft will hit the tunnel and the crash sensor is mounted to the top of the tunnel (up behind and under the stereo). Have also heard that a disintegrating flex disc can shed pieces with enough force to activate the crash sensor when chunkc hit the tunnel just right.

Since the bag and ETR's deployed I am fairly certain your sensor took some sort of hit.

Yes, I recently had the front flex disc replaced about 3-4 months ago..
Also thinking this might of had a factor...
I'll keep youi updated, when I hear from the MB dealer.
__________________
1993 Lexus SC300
1987 Mercedes 300E ..totaled out..
1991 Saab 900Convertible ..gave away..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-01-2006, 08:49 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cross Roads, PA
Posts: 324
Interesting, on my way home there has been a 300E sitting on the side of a back road here in Southern York County PA with a deployed airbag. I noticed it on Tuesday. It does look like there is front end damage from a while back, they had yellow plastic for a turn signal on the passenger side front. I guess the owner just left it there.
__________________
Dennis
2006 E320 CDI Black/Black Leather. Nav, HTD Seats HK stereo 32000 miles.
2000 VW Passat 1.8t 300,000 miles as of Dec 09, 2009 original owner
1997 E300d Silver 300,000 miles As of Jan 05, 2010
3rd owner SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-01-2006, 12:16 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,743
I spoke with an MB Technical Specialist this morning regarding airbag replacement due to old age. According to MB, the reason old airbags need to be replaced has nothing to do with possible inadvertant deployment. Anyone who has seen an actual airbag deployment undoubtedly noticed lots of smoke and haze too. The hazy stuff is some kind of powder. MB airbags are coated with this stuff to keep the bag flexible. After many years, MB feels that the powder has reached the end of it's useful life and can no longer do it's job. I guess the air bag would turn into confetti upon deployment if it were hard and rigid. Makes sense to me.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-01-2006, 12:26 PM
MrCjames's Avatar
California Dreaming
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 599
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILUVMILS
It's my understanding that the reason for replacing the airbags when they reach a certain age is because they may FAIL to deploy when needed.

At my dealership I get a handful of "accidental" air bag deployments every year. I've ALWAYS found underbody damage to be the cause. In each case the owner had no idea they hit anything, most likely because the airbag deploys just milliseconds after striking an object. I'm not saying it can't happen, but I've NEVER seen an MB airbag deploy for no reason. I'm guessing your dealer has had similar experience. They'll give the car a good going-over, and it won't surprise me if they find the cause relatively quickly. Let us know what they do.
I would have to agree with you, I have yet to see an unintended/false deployment of the SRS system in an MB car without a reasonable explanation. With 20+ years of exposure to the product I would tend to think the reason for the unexplained deployment might be the result of:
  • A sudden impact to the transmission tunnel
  • An inappropriate electrical repair/installation
A severely worn flex disc, more often than not, can be the most common cause for the SRS system to suddenly "Deploy." It would stand to reason that a driver would be in a state of shock and not realize that something had struck the underside of the vehicle. More so if the stereos volume was in an elevated state at the time of the impact.

Just my .02
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-01-2006, 10:50 PM
86560SEL's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: east Tennessee (southeast USA)
Posts: 3,015
Yeah, I am glad too that my 85' W126 lacks this option in a way. I have heard that the early airbag systems had high force, as opposed to the "softer" bags on later models.

Many people think that Mercedes was the first to have airbags, but it was actually General Motors that was the first to offer them as optional in a production car. From 1974-1976, GM offered them optional in the following models: Oldsmobile 88-98-Toronado, Buick LeSabre-Electra-Riviera and Cadillac Calais-DeVille-Fleetwood and Eldorado. Only 10,000 however were ordered with this option, so it is rare. My grandmothers old 1974 Oldsmobile Toronado had the dual airbag option. Back then, it was referred to as "air cushion restraint system". About two years ago, I almost bought a 1974 Buick Electra 225 with the dual airbag (air cushion) system.

Also too, Chevrolet had placed them in 1000 Impalas for the 1973 model year. Oddly, these were fitted with Oldsmobile iunstrument panels.

Here is a link to one that was on E-Bay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1,1&item=4641801892&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT


Quote:
Originally Posted by rchase
Thats one of the reasons I am really glad to be airbag free in my w-126. The 126 was pretty much "state of the art" and the first test run of the airbag systems in the wild. A 24 year old airbag would make me nervous for exactly those reasons.

Good to hear your ok. Good thing you kept your mind on the task at hand driving the car.

I think you will probably be pleasantly surprised at what MBUSA will probably do for this one. They probably want to see "why" this happened and use your situation to add to their knowledgebase so they can avoid the problem in the future. In the interest of PR and because of your willingness to let them have a look at your car they may work a deal with you on the repairs. Keep in mind your car is well outside of its warranty and no other car maker in the world would even talk to you at this point other than MB.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-02-2006, 01:13 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 783
Quote:
Originally Posted by 86560SEL

Many people think that Mercedes was the first to have airbags, but it was actually General Motors that was the first to offer them as optional in a production car. From 1974-1976, GM offered them optional in the following models: Oldsmobile 88-98-Toronado, Buick LeSabre-Electra-Riviera and Cadillac Calais-DeVille-Fleetwood and Eldorado. Only 10,000 however were ordered with this option, so it is rare. My grandmothers old 1974 Oldsmobile Toronado had the dual airbag option. Back then, it was referred to as "air cushion restraint system". About two years ago, I almost bought a 1974 Buick Electra 225 with the dual airbag (air cushion) system.
Very interesting. I was under the impression that most of these vehicles were leased like the EV1's were and subsequentially destroyed.... The auction that you show and its documentation obviously show differently.....

After GM's test project they were one of the biggest opponents of the legislation making passive restraints a standard feature in their cars..... Kind of interesting none the less....

Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page