Well thought-out: passive safety at its best
In line with the Mercedes-Benz brand philosophy, the new M-Class represents the embodiment of the Mercedes-Benz holistic safety concept of REAL LIFE SAFETY, which is derived primarily from what happens in real accident situations. The extremely robust occupant compartment of the M-Class, together with the front and rear deformation zones, forms an effective basis for the occupant protection systems.
The front end structure, with its high energy-absorption potential, is essentially made up of the firewall and two lines of longitudinal members, anchored at the A-pillars. Two vertical members link the longitudinal members, which further increase deformation resistance. The necessary rigidity and strength of the floor assembly is provided by a robust structure made up of a separate center tunnel plus separate longitudinal members along each side, attached to the side wall. These are supported by cross members anchored to the floor as well as by a connecting member to the B-pillar as support for the front structure. The extremely robust side wall assembly comprises, quite apart from the longitudinal members described above and the side roof frame, A-pillars in a dual-casing design, internally reinforced with high strength steel. In a side collision, the cross member beneath the cowl, the cross member between the longitudinal members underneath the pedal floor, the high-strength-steel cross member beneath the driver's seat and the magnesium-alloy cross member underneath the instrument panel, as well as the front roof frame, ensure the highest possible stability of the occupant cell. The positioning of the fuel tank in front of the rear axle and of the filler neck over the rear axle increases the available deformation distance, maximizing the level of energy absorption in the event of a rear-end collision. This is achieved, above all, through the boxshaped design of the rear longitudinal members.
The complex restraint system offers the highest possible protection. Nine standard airbags, which activate as they are needed, according to the type and severity of the accident, can reduce the stresses exerted on the occupants. The individual components in detail:
- Two-stage adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger
- Kneebag for the driver
- Sidebags for driver and front passenger (combined thorax/pelvis bags)
- Sidebags in the rear row of seats
- Windowbags across both rows of seats from the A to the C-pillar
- 3-point seat belts on all five seats
- Pyrotechnic reel tensioners and permanent belt force limiters as well as electrically reversible belt tensioners in the front, reel tensioners and single-stage force limiters for the outer seats in the rear
- ISOFIX child seat anchorage
- Belt height adjustment for driver and front passenger
- Weight recognition system with deactivation of the front passenger airbag if a special Mercedes-Benz child seat is used.
- In a rear-end collision, a passive head restraint system developed specifically for this purpose can reduce the forces exerted on occupants.
Complementing the active safety systems such as the standard Brake Assist (BAS) or the optional BAS PLUS, which can prevent an accident or reduce its severity, the passive measures that contribute to pedestrian safety have also been further improved in the 2012 M-Class.
Intelligent partner: protects its occupants as well as others
Both active safety and driver-fitness safety in the new M-Class are further improved by Assistance Systems that are already familiar, primarily from the S- and E-Class. Standard equipment includes the drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST, the anticipatory safety system PRE-SAFE® and a tire pressure loss warning system and Brake Assist (BAS). The following Assistance Systems, some of them active, are available as additional equipment options:
- Lighting Package with specific lighting functions
- Night View Assist Plus with pedestrian detection
- Lane Keeping Assist - active/passive
- Blind Spot Assist - active/passive
- DISTRONIC PLUS
- BAS PLUS (in conjunction with DISTRONIC PLUS)
- PRE-SAFE®Brake with autonomous emergency braking (in conjunction with DISTRONIC PLUS)
Active Park Assist and the reversing camera enhance both safety and convenience.