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Old 12-03-2003, 06:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 70
Question C320 Airbag Deployment Question

My Mom and younger brother were involved in a head-on accident in her 2001 C320 going about 40 mph - she was driving and didn't have her seatbelt on (why I don't know) but my brother did (passenger seat). Thank God they're both ok. For some reason NONE of the airbags deployed. I don't know anything about the new C class MB (neither does she). Does the fact that she wasn't wearing her seatbelt have anything to do with the airbags not deploying? I thought it would at least deploy on the passenger side, but didn't. Anyone have any answers? The cops and paramedics at the scene were shocked that the airbags didn't pop. An older Toyota Corolla full of teenage girls weren't paying attention and drifted into my mom's lane at hit them head-on. Their airbags did deploy and burned the skin on their faces and arms pretty bad.

Cars can be deadly weapons - obviously I'm mad that my mom wasn't wearing her seatbelt, mad the airbags didn't deploy, etc.

Thanks for any info.

Mark E.
Miami, FL
Mark E.
Miami, FL
2 X 1997 C280
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Old 12-03-2003, 10:55 PM
DR.DIESEL's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Puget Sound, Washington St.
Posts: 522
Well, If the drivers airbag had deployed without your mom wearing her seatbelt, she would have injured or killed.
In a MB, if the belts are not buckled, there will be no SRS deployment from the front. If you hit the steering wheel because
you were not buckled, you do not want to meet a hot airbag coming out at 200mph. Yowch!
Most modern MB's like the 01+ C class have realy neat front
crash boxes. These absorb a whole bunch of energy and make repairs easier than cutting on the frame. This usually will cause
even a severe wreck to not need SRS deployment.
That is most likely why your brother's air bag didn't pop either.
The car did such a good job protecting your family, SRS wasn't even needed.
One of my clients was driving his 2004 E320 when some drunk
crossed the centerline and hit him head on. The impact was a combined 80-90 mph off set. The other driver was killed and the
client had only his seatbelt tension up. He walked away un-injured. We checked the data from the black box to see if there
was a fault. Nope, the car never reached the air bag deployment threshold. The cars are that good at protecting occupants.
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Old 12-03-2003, 11:13 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 70
Thanks Dr. D. Yep, Mom and Brother walked away a little sore and shaken, but that's it. The other party had to go to the hospital. The entire front end of the MB is squished, so I'm curious what the MB body shop will say repair-wise.


Mark E.
Miami, FL
2 X 1997 C280
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