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2007 R320 Explodes during blizzard

ncrewsncrews Posts: 6
edited March 25 in Mercedes-Benz
Fully loaded, 2 month old R320 explodes suddenly in our driveway during a Colorado blizzard.

See the complete story and pictures at http://www.landxml.org/R320.

Comments

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    The R320 did not explode, the tire exploded.

    It exploded due to excessive heat from friction.

    There are certainly a significant portion of the story that attempts to mislead the reader to a false conclusion.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 795
    Here's what happened:

    The tire came apart due to excessive centrifugal force. This was likely caused by the engine being floored in an attempt to get the car out. Remember if one tire is not moving, the other tire on the axle would be traveling at TWICE the speed indicated on the speedometer. It would be easy to exceed 200 mph tire speed!

    Word to the wise!

    Be careful when trying to extract a car from a snow drift. Excessive wheel speed can cause a tire to come apart. DO NOT stand behind a spinning tire!!
  • Traction control doesn't work without traction. Snow tires and chains are still necessary in some situations....
  • Cars don't just explode like that. It takes a "genius" between the seat and the steering wheel to cause such damage.
  • I don't pity the driver for the damage done to the vehicle and the house, but for her stupidity.

    "2007 R320 Explodes during blizzard"

    That headline, if you can call it that, further demonstrates the lack of intelligence.

    Ha, it was good for a laugh at the least.

    -Ryan
  • nextnext Posts: 6
    Give her a break...I live in Colorado and during this past winter I've seen hundreds of people get stuck. I was stuck for a while in my Nissan Armada. When there is so much snow, especially with blowing wind, you simply can't see the drifts.
    An inexperienced driver can easily spin a tire too fast and cause overheating, but blowing up a tire is extremely uncommon.

    btw...an R class lease is one of the best deals going.
  • I understand the OP posted her story for us all to read and comment on but please stay to the topic of the car and tire explosion.

    Thank you.
  • erikerik Posts: 21
    Sorry about the harsh remarks. Yes, Colorado got a ton of snow this year. Just because a SUV has AWD doesnt mean it can go through snowdrifts as depicted on TV.

    BTW. The attic of the house needs some more insulation to brave the cold winters. FYI
  • Ah yes if only we could do ALL the things depicted on TV;)
  • ncrewsncrews Posts: 6
    This was not the drivers fault at all (thanks for the intelligence slurs and for the record she is a beautiful blonde ;)

    Pictures and complete forensic expert report: http://www.landxml.org/R320

    Summary:
    The car was purchased new from Mercedes of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    A defective Mercedes "4Matic" system caused the rear tire to explode causing $25,000 in car damage and $1500 damage to home. Mercedes and the dealer will not stand by the car and only tell us that it is an insurance issue. Automotive warranty items, including factory defects are not covered by insurance - only the resulting damage is.
    To date, the dealer and Mercedes refuse to simply "undo the deal" giving us our money back and paying actual out of pocket expenses related to the damage caused by the Mercedes factory defect.

    IF you own a 2007 Mercedes with "4Matic", just get the car towed out if you ever get stuck or this can happen to you.

    I am going back to Acura...
  • ncrewsncrews Posts: 6
    The car was purchased new from Mercedes of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    Pictures and complete forensic expert report: http://www.landxml.org/R320

    Summary:
    A defective Mercedes "4Matic" system caused the rear tire to explode causing $25,000 in car damage and

    $1500 damage to home. Mercedes and the dealer will not stand by the car and only tell us that it is an

    insurance issue. Automotive warranty items, including factory defects are not covered by insurance - only

    the resulting damage is.
    To date, the dealer and Mercedes refuse to simply "undo the deal" giving us our money back and paying

    actual out of pocket expenses related to the damage caused by the Mercedes factory defect.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    It is not the drivers fault that they accelerated the rear wheel to a speed of 200 mph? :surprise:

    Gee, simply taking foot off the pedal would have prevented this problem.

    Blame the vehicle. :cry:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Are those Pirellis rated as snow tires? I think you have an uphill battle with MB over this one. If you over rev your engine trying to get unstuck and blow up the engine, you are on your own. I do not know of a manufacturer that will warrant abuse to a car. Many cars with traction control are not very good in snow or on ice. I cannot say I understand what all happened to your car. It does seem that there was some high revving of the engine to get that kind of speed out of a tire. Hopefully your insurance will cover the damage under comprehensive.

    PS
    An Acura MDX would not have gotten out of that snow drift.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Driver accellerated tire to extremely high speeds with minimal traction present causing high friction and heat in the tire resulting in failure of the tire.

    The proper action to take when a tire is spinning due to lack of traction is to reduce throttle and/or change the conditions at the wheels to increase traction.

    Unfortunately, people frequently lack the education or experience to make the correct decisions when driving.

    Blaming Mercedes for a exploding tire is a just another example of a person failing to take responsibility for their actions in today's blame and litigation prone society.

    Thankfully this incident did not result in any injuries.
  • ncrewsncrews Posts: 6
    This kind of uneducated, knee jerk reaction is shared by the Mercedes dealer.

    Perhaps you did not read the forensic expert report posted on the web site. Read the engineering report and learn something about modern traction/stability control systems. You can look up his resume at www.robsonforensic.com; but he is far and away an unbiased expert on the subject.

    The explosion occurred in 5-10 secs after applying positive throttle. This could have happened to anyone, including you. There was simply no time for a driver reaction.

    The bottom line is the car was not moving because of a single high centered wheel. However the stability control module thought the car was traveling 20KPH (recorded in vehicle diagnostics log) so it inappropriately applied all engine torque the single, free-spinning wheel. Somewhere between speedometer indicated speeds of 35 and 50MPH (x4 = 140-200MPH), the 130MPH rated tire exploded from extreme centrifugal loading. The car should have applied the brakes to the wheel as soon as it's rotational speed was 3 MPH greater than the opposing wheel. This is according to Mercedes technical documents.

    Had the car functioned as designed, the event would not have occurred.

    Why is that so hard to understand?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Were the snow tires OEM from MB? If not have you asked Pirelli to compensate for a defective tire? I read the report and his conclusion. It is what I would expect if I paid such a company to investigate my claim. You have to remember that Mercedes probably have people that will write an equally compelling case against your claim. Because you have decided to carry it beyond just getting repaired, it will require a court of law to decide if your wife or the car was to blame. The risk there is you could end up spending more than what it would cost to buy a new and different vehicle.
  • What ever happened with the R320? did m-b buy it back? did they settle out of court? who's fault was it? i have been trying to follow this story.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    That is a good question. I don't think they got the kind of sympathy they expected here and quit posting. They posted on every forum they could find. None seem to have a followup. The website they linked to is no longer available. Maybe they settled with MB and dropped the case.
  • i am really curious because i have seen the car and wow! that is all i can say. it blew the curtain airbags, shredded the l/r fender, the front bumper is hanging off of it, the l/r door is mangled, l/r quarter panel is hit, sunroof panel broken, driver's door damaged and of course it has a spare where the aftermarket pirelli used to be. the tire wasnt factory. they put the pirelli scorpions on shortly after purchasing.
  • I'm just in on this, but we own a 2007 R320, purchased in Colorado. This situation certainly seems extreme. That said, regardless of what the OEM tires are rated they are completely inadequate in the snow (this coming from someone who grew up driving in New England winters). Once you start sliding - even at extremely slow speeds, under 10 mph - it is unbelievably difficult to bring the car to a stop. After one winter, I replaced the original tires with real tires. Stunning to me that the car company that touts the safety of its vehicles would allow the tires to be sold on its vehicles.
  • Even though i dont work for M-B anymore, I stand by their tire choice. They may not seem good to you now, but there are a lot of other tires out there that will work fine, but not give you the ride and comfort that the OEM ones do. In my personal opinion, the driver of the wrecked R320 did this, not the car. It is a fluke situation where there was a bad choice to overrev the engine to try and negotiate out of a large snow drift. I am sorry , but that doesnt work for any car/truck and i dont believe that Benz was in the wrong at all. There are mechanical limitations to any all wheel drive system and there will be times when there is a situation that it wont work perfectly everytime. As for stopping on ice; every car is still at the mercy of the laws of physics. If you cant stop on ice, you arent alone and blaming the car is laughable. Ask all the people driving their SUV's to the ski resorts every saturday morning. They are all the ones in the ditches scratching their heads.
This discussion has been closed.