Mercedes E320 Sportline Convertible - safety

jtalfour

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I need some help....please !!

I recently bought a E320 Sportline convertible (1994) and am having problems with my ex-wife. She is refusing to allow my children (12 & 8) to come in the car because she says its not safe!

Apparently someone from a Mercedes dealer said that the pop up (steel?) headrests do not necessarily prevent rear passenger heads coming into contact with the ground and that these headrests were replaced by a roll bar in later models as they didn't meet safety requirements.....

can anyone help me prove to her that she is being entirely unreasonable as at the moment I can't take my children away from her house as she is refusing to allow them to come in it

Many thanks
 

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chriswt

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Surely for a drive into town or normal everyday driving its perfectly safe unless you drive like a mad-man around sharp bends!

I would have thought that rolling a car is very difficult indeed and an unlikely outcome in most traffic accidents.

What car does your ex wife drive if you don't mind me asking?
 
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jtalfour

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I know!! the fact an unblemished driving record etc doesn't count - they aren't exactly high off the ground - unlike her tinny Nissan X-Trail!!
 

dougal74

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Rubbish, Volvo used the same technology only difference being theirs extended 20" as opposed to MB's 10". You would need to have a very tall kid to extend 10" above the rear deck of a 124.

If you would like to swap yours for a "safer" 124 coupe I would be happy to oblige!;)

Here is a link from the fire service who cut people out of wrecks (might not want to send this on though!).

http://forums.firehouse.com/archive/index.php/t-19705.html

If you can manually raise yours then do this, parked safely on her drive, and show how much clearance there would be for the kids in the extremely likely (!) event of a horrific rollover accident from your 124 Convertible. If she doesn't agree go out and buy an old shape Range Rover or Discovery, which are very very "safe" and rollover all the damn time!
 
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jtalfour

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as do VW, Audi, BMW etc..... - I just despair.

I can manually raise them although frankly driving with them up is less safe as you get zero rear visibility. Part of the problem will be that she will have convinced the children that it's unsafe and even if she does relent I will have difficulty winning them over. Sadly it's all part of her bullying/controlling technique but the ones who are most affected are my two children who won't get to spend time with their father. I don't even think the issue is the car,it's that she is hell bent on making my life as difficult as she can. But any help, advice, technical support for my case much appreciated.
 

BTB 500

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To be honest being 13 years old is more of an issue than being a convertible. Modern cars are simply safer (e.g. the small modern hatchback versus older large Volvo crash test done on TV recently). But that doesn't make a W124 "unsafe", IMO.

Regarding raising the head restraints manually, what does the handbook say about this? On the R129 you must manually raise the rollbar when the rear seats are in use. Yes, this does unfortunately affect rear visibility.
 

chriswt

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This doens't happen to affect her car does it:

Nissan wants to inspect 27,869 X-Trail 4x4s built between June 2000 and November 2004. There is a chance that the fuel tank filler tube could rust and create leaks as owners fill up.

Surely a mother can't stop a father seeing his children just because she believes his car isn't safe enough.

When its you're turn to see your kids I would just hire a rental car for the day/weekend. If she's going to be difficult you might as well make it as hard as possible for her to come up with reasons for the little'ns not to see you.
 

Sp!ke

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I dont think the problem is the car here... other than perhaps a touch of the green eyed monster.

Your children are mere pawns in this sorry saga. :(
 

gbjeppm

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Have a look at this
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/28002-rollover-accidents-explained.htm

The most likely roll overs are in SUVS, the additional weight and low centre of gravity of your E cabriolet make it very unlikely to roll anyway.

Then the technology of the anti roll bars will take over.

I would suggest that your car is probably much safer than the X Trail, but logic might not win this argument:D
 

kikkthecat

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I'm with Sp!ke on this one, it has nothing at all to do with the safety of the car or the children..
Here's the problem.

am having problems with my ex-wife. She is refusing to allow
I've never heard of an accident that involves what your wife describes and you would have to do something pretty stupid to turn one over anyway.
 

recycled

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I am sure if she is given a nice clk she will not hesitate to put the top down and the kids in the back.
 

grober

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Got to disagree here sorry. The problem with open cars with rollover protection is that it works well on a level solid surface but if the car was go off the road and roll into field below road level for example there is the chance that either the roll bars will dig into a soft surface ( Richard Hammonds accident illustrates the effect well) or something like a wall, fence post, tree, road sign will intrude into the "safe space" theoreticaly provided by the roll bar+windscreen surround. Her misgivings may well be over-amplified by the breakdown in your relationship but they are not without some justification. If on the other hand she is merely attempting to restrict your access to your kids why not hire/borrow a small " SAFE" saloon for the weekend and turn up in that. You should find out pretty quickly whether her fears are genuinely felt or she is merely being difficult. This should help ease the situation for everyone and take any pressure off the children to "take sides" in the affair.
 
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Juddian

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Hi mate feel for you been there T shirt etc, i have to agree with some of the others this is spite and its possible your kids have been waxing lyrical about dads tasteful and desirable car and can't wait to go in it.

As the lads have said you'd be hard pushed to turn one of these over and 5th gear dodgy crash tests or not i'd rather my kids in a 124 merc than most modern junk, outhouses brick etc.

Hope you find a solution think it may be a legal one though..good luck
 

Ian B Walker

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Out of the thousands of Mercedes convertibles built over the years I wonder how many owners have come to a sticky end. Very few I would suspect. 124's. Built to a standard not a price.
 

gbjeppm

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The other good thing about a convertible of course, is that its much easier to get out of if you drive it into a river:D
 

big x

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Out of the thousands of Mercedes convertibles built over the years I wonder how many owners have come to a sticky end. Very few I would suspect. 124's. Built to a standard not a price.
I believe MB Germany do indeed have this figure.They used to send out an investigator to every fatal accident in Germany.
By today's standards the 124 weakness is side impact protection and the lack of high strength steels in the A-pillar design.
To be honest you would be far better off in a Golf than a 124 in a crash but then again how many of us are ever in a major shunt.


adam
 
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jtalfour

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Got to disagree here sorry. The problem with open cars with rollover protection is that it works well on a level solid surface but if the car was go off the road and roll into field below road level for example there is the chance that either the roll bars will dig into a soft surface ( Richard Hammonds accident illustrates the effect well) or something like a wall, fence post, tree, road sign will intrude into the "safe space" theoreticaly provided by the roll bar+windscreen surround. Her misgivings may well be over-amplified by the breakdown in your relationship but they are not without some justification. If on the other hand she is merely attempting to restrict your access to your kids why not hire/borrow a small " SAFE" saloon for the weekend and turn up in that. You should find out pretty quickly whether her fears are genuinely felt or she is merely being difficult. This should help ease the situation for everyone and take any pressure off the children to "take sides" in the affair.

Thanks to you all for your support.

In terms of the above I don't totally disagree with your view but I don't think this is what she is getting at. 2 years ago she activley encouraged me to get a convertible and I very near got a Audi Cabriolet - not once was saftey mentioned by her so as you might suspect I believe her motives are spite rather than any real safety concerns.

I do have another car I can use (although due to be sold to pay for the Merc) but that is missing the point of the control that she is trying to exert over me and my relationship with my lovely children.
 

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