Stuttgart/Germany, February 7, 2013
Five Stars for Mercedes-Benz
C-Class and M-Class get top marks in more stringent US crash test
Since the American crash test program US NCAP (US New Car Assessment Program) was made more stringent in 2010, only a few vehicles have achieved the highest assessment with five stars. These elite vehicles include the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. These both also achieved top marks in the European Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) rating and in the test by the American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), thereby confidently mastering three of the most challenging international safety ratings. This underlines Mercedes-Benz's exceptional position as a pioneer in safety and a technical trendsetter.
The manufacturer-independent US NCAP rating is similar to its European counterpart Euro NCAP in many regards. However, the US program significantly tightened up many of the requirements in 2010, also including additional tests in the rating. This resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of five-star results. The C-Class and M-Class are among the few vehicles to have achieved the top result of five stars according to the new criteria which are based on real-life accident scenarios.
Unlike the Euro NCAP, the updated US rating uses a significantly heavier deformable barrier (1368 kg compared with 950 kg) for the side collision in order to comply with the increased average weight of modern American vehicles. Another example: A rigid barrier is constructed for the frontal collision instead of a deformable barrier. The vehicle also hits the barrier with a full overlap (40 percent in Euro NCAP). The test program has also been expanded to include a lateral angled pole impact.
The assessment criteria have also been made significantly more stringent. The probability of serious injury to the head (head injury criterion) and the strain on the throat, chest and femur of the driver and front passenger are evaluated. In order to get five stars, the probability of serious injury must be under five percent.
As well as in the challenging new US NCAP rating, the C-Class and M-Class also achieved five-star results in the Euro NCAP, just like all Mercedes-Benz passenger cars have for many years. The American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a private organisation led by various commercial vehicle insurance companies, also declared both Mercedes-Benz model series to be "Top Safety Picks" thanks to their outstanding test results.
Mercedes-Benz believes these national and international safety ratings to be very sensible. However, the safety experts for the premium brand with the three-pointed star will not settle for merely achieving rating targets; instead they work constantly and intensively on achieving a level of safety that exceeds the standards required by all the legislation worldwide. Actual accident scenarios are therefore an important benchmark for their work. This is why they have been investigating thousands of specific accidents for several years. On this incorruptible basis, Mercedes-Benz has developed a safety concept which not only aims to prevent accidents but also minimize the consequences of them. The experts call the result of their work "Real Life Safety".