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New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!
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Posted 2/2/2007 2:18 PM
cmitch
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Ala-Tenn
Vehicle(s): 2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4Matic, 2010 F150 Super Crew
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New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

Check out this link. Awesome but humbling:http://www.landxml.org/R320/ http://www.landxml.org/R320/
#61559
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Posted 2/2/2007 7:27 PM
BenzDieselTuner

Date registered: Dec 1899
Location:
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RE: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

Mercedes R320 Explosion Event Statement



Persons involved: XXX

Vehicle involved: 2007 Mercedes-Benz R320

Event Date: January 20, 2007

Event location: driveway of private residence in Calhan, CO



Statement of event:



The event occurred Saturday, January 20, 2007 at approximately 6:00PM.



After grocery shopping at Safeway in Falcon, Colorado, I went to the Safeway gas station in Falcon, Co around 5PM. There were 4 of us in the car. Me, my 11 year old son (Eddy), my 9 year old daughter (India), and Eddy’s 11 year old friend (Jake Asbjouinson). The pump was going very slowly. When it suddenly sped up, I looked out the passenger rear view mirror and saw Diesel fuel spraying everywhere. At that point I jumped out of the car and shut off the pump as quickly as possible. My car was covered in Diesel. I went into the gas station store and told the clerks what had just happened. They gave me a car wash ticket for their best wash. I immediately proceeded to the carwash. This wash included the undercarriage wash. When the car wash was complete I drove home.



A strong snow storm had started while we were gone. When we arrived home, I began to back up to door on the north side of our house. A snow bank had built up that I was not aware of. I drove over it and got stuck. I got out and started shoveling snow on the passenger side of the car. The boys came out with shovels and also started to help. After shoveling enough to see around the car, the boys offered to try to push the car out. So I got in and put the car in Drive. They pushed, but it could not move. At that point I knew it was high centered. With the car in park, I pushed the button to raise the car. It did not work. (I did not know that you have to have the car in drive for it to rise. My husband told me that later. Our previous car had to be in park for it to rise.) I left the car running. I had heard in the past that if the car is running, then after while it will melt some of the snow underneath. So, we kept shoveling for at least 15 minutes.



Now the storm has pick up to a full blown blizzard. I sent the kids into the house because I did not want to take the chance of one of them hitting the car with a shovel, and it was getting very cold. They backed up, but hung around a little while longer while I shoveled.



After another 10 minutes or so, I heard the car doors lock. I looked up to see if the kids were playing with a key remote. They did not have one. At that point I looked down and saw the rear driver side tire rotating freely in reverse. It is important to know that the tire was not surrounded by snow. While there was snow under the car, the tire was free of obstruction. (Just a note: I know I did not leave that car in gear, and defiantly did not have it in reverse, because the boys were behind me trying to push me out. On top of that, the car would not rise when I tried earlier, so I know it was in park.) When I saw the tire I told to kids to go into the house immediately. I followed them in and we quickly checked 3 areas for the other set of keys. This only took a few seconds. I looked above the baskets in our foyer, Eddy ran down to his dad’s office and ran back up, and Jake looked in the kitchen. No keys. So I immediately called the Tel-Aid system for remote unlock.



I went through the automated system, but it did not work. I requested an operator. I told her what was happening and that we needed to unlock the doors as soon as possible. She had me hold the rear hatch door handle for 30 to 45 seconds. She stated that I should see the red “S.O.S” light flashing at the front of the car. It was not flashing. She had me wait a few more seconds. Still not flashing. At that point she told me to go up to the front of the car and look in. She said it was in the computer queue, so it should be unlocked. I went up on the passenger side. When I reached the front, the front passenger window went down. I reached in and unlocked the car. I jumped in and turned off the car. At that point I told the girl on the phone that the window went down so I was able to unlock the car and shut it off. She questioned me about the window being down, but the car not unlocking. I repeated that the window was down so I was able to reach in and unlock the car. She said the window should not have gone down. She said the car should have just unlocked. She mentioned that that was really strange.



After hanging up I decided that what happened with the car was too strange, so I would call a friend and see if her husband would be willing to come out in the morning and help me shovel the car out. I took the keys with me (I was not going to take any chances), and went into the house to call Gwen Listul. Her husband, Warren Listul, said that if he could get out of his own driveway in the morning, he would be here.



I needed to go out and unload groceries. Before opening the back to unload, I decided to try one more time to get the car out. I turned on the car, pushed the gas, and BOOM! My eyes went black; my hearing was gone for a few seconds. It all returned very quickly and I heard the Tel-aid system ringing. After 3 rings a representative introduced himself and stated that the car registered a collision and the airbags had deployed. They must have this entire conversation recorded.



I kept trying to tell him that there was no collision, the car was high centered. There was nothing for it to hit. I was extremely upset. I thought the car had just blown up with me in it. It was not just the airbags I heard. This was not just a loud pop. This was deafening, and terrifying. It is also important to note that it was instantaneous. While speaking to the representative my daughter came around the back of the car crying. I opened my door, told her everything was ok, and to go inside. As far as I was concerned, everything was not ok. A minute later, the boys came out to see what happened. They saw that I was fine and went back into the house.



After a few minutes, the roadside assistance rep came on also. He asked if I wanted the car towed. I didn’t know what to do so I said yes. They had both determined by my state of mind that they needed to contact my husband, Nathan Crews, in Florida. I gave them the number and they connected him in with the conversation. For a long time I could only tell him that I did not understand what happened, that the car just blew up. They believed I was in shock, and suggested several times to call the police. I finally agreed. They contacted the county sheriff’s office and were forwarded to the state police, where they were on hold for quite a while.



After finally able to calm down, I asked if I could go into the house and talk to India. I was also realizing that my feet and legs were soaked and that I was freezing. I told them that I would be back out in just a minute. I just needed to change my shoes and make sure that India was ok. They said that would be fine and that they would continue to speak with Nathan. I do not know what was said while I was gone. Again, I am sure that Tel-aid has this whole conversation recorded.



When I went into the house and found India, the first thing she said was “why did the car blow up?” I told her I don’t know what happened. I asked her if she heard it from inside the house, or if she was watching through a window? She said she was actually outside on the front porch when it happened. She had decided to come and help me even though we were in the middle of a blizzard. She had put on he dads warmest coat, picked up a shovel and was walking down the porch. When she reached the end of the porch, about 20 feet from the car, she saw the car blow up. She said there where red and orange flames, and sparks. She said it happened and then it was done, very fast. She also said it was very loud.



After making sure she was ok, I changed my pants, socks and shoes and went back out. I told them what she had just told me. The Tel-aid rep was still on hold for the police. I had a car full of produce that was going to freeze and go bad, along with 3 kids in the house by themselves. I told them that I really needed to go inside. The tel-aid rep suggested that I call 911, tell them about the car and ask for someone to go out. The road side assistance rep was still unable to find someone to come and tow the car. Nathan and I explained to him that it would not be possible for someone to come out that night because of the storm. He said he would keep trying to make arrangements, and would call me on our home phone to let me know what they would be. So, we all hung up, I unloaded groceries, and went inside.





At that point, I called 911. They sent out a Calhan deputy by the name of James Taunton. I took him out to take a look at the car and he said he had never seen anything like it. I told him the whole story. He was then concerned that their might be an electrical issue with the car. He asked if I would like to have the fire department come to cut the cables to the car battery. I called Nathan to have him speak to the officer and decide. Nathan said yes, so the officer called. Because of the storm, the fire department would not be able to come out unless the car was currently on fire. It was not. Another officer arrived. He too went out to look. He also stated he had never seen anything like that before. Unfortunately they would not be able to file a report on the incident because the car was on private property, and it was not in motion. He did call in notes that can be retrieved through the Colorado state police. He said that in his notes he stated that the car was not in motion, it was not a collision.



Nathan arrived home from Florida the next afternoon. The storm was still going, so he was not able to go out and really look at the car yet. Monday morning the storm was over. Nathan went out to look and found that something had punched a hole in the house 30 feet up. When he got a ladder and crawled up in the attic, he found a piece of the tire, and that the tire had not just gone through ¾ inch plywood and siding, but knocked out a beam in the attic.





While Mercedes would like to believe that I was running that tire fast enough and long enough to cause it to blow and beat up the car, that still does not explain the amount of damage done to not just the outside of the car, but the inside as well. Or the fact that part of the tire had the strength to break through the bumper and fly 30 feet up in the air while fighting blizzard condition winds and still have the force to break through the outside wall of my house and knock out a beam.



Several police officers have looked at the car and while having seen hundreds of tire blow outs between them, not one of them has ever done this kind of damage.



We later found out from the appraiser sent by our auto insurance company that it was not just the side curtain airbag on the opposite side of the car that deployed. The rear passenger seat on that side also deployed. This would only happen if the sensors in the car register they believe to be an impact on that side of the car. The force also caused various caps with the interior of the car to be forced out, and that the inside hard plastic liner is cracked.



In closing I would just like to point out that if India had run down that porch instead of walked, she would have reached the car when it blew. It would have killed her. If the car had blown when the boys were back there trying to push me out, it would have killed them. If it had blown when Warren Listul was back there trying to push me out, it would have killed him. If it had blown when I was back there trying to unlock the car, it would have killed me. If it had blown while I was driving myself and the three kids home, it may have killed us all, and injured or killed someone else on the road.




#61598 - in reply to #61559
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Posted 2/2/2007 7:27 PM
BenzDieselTuner

Date registered: Dec 1899
Location:
Vehicle(s):
Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

im sure glad my diesel cant blow up!!
#61599 - in reply to #61559
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Posted 2/6/2007 3:56 AM
Roch207
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Palmetto State
Vehicle(s): 2005 E320 CDI, 2010 Silverado 2500HD
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

I am sure that there is more to the story. Spinning wheels create heat, diesel impregnated rubber....kind of like those wierd circumstances where everything had to be just right. Can you say NASA o-rings?
#61928 - in reply to #61559
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Posted 2/6/2007 8:03 PM
AsianML

Date registered: Dec 1899
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

A LOT more to the story than what she's telling us.
#62045 - in reply to #61559
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Posted 2/7/2007 6:59 PM
DUTCH
Administrator Doppelgänger




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, GA, Atlanta
Vehicle(s): 2000 G500 NMLE,2015 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI,2018 Sprinter
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

Roch207 - 2/6/2007 3:56 AM

I am sure that there is more to the story. Spinning wheels create heat, diesel impregnated rubber....kind of like those wierd circumstances where everything had to be just right. Can you say NASA o-rings?


The diesel fill cap is on the other side of the vehicle from the tire that exploded. If the wheel was spinning, wanna bet she didn't set her parking brake and the vehicle was either in drive or in reverse. Let the ABS or 4-Matic take over to try to stop that wheel; and you have heat.
#62190 - in reply to #61928
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Posted 2/8/2007 9:31 PM
AsianML

Date registered: Dec 1899
Location:
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

I hope the woman gives us a follow up. It's been bothering me lately.
#62364 - in reply to #62190
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Posted 2/11/2007 7:41 PM
AsianML

Date registered: Dec 1899
Location:
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

Still no answer from her anywhere. I've also noticed there's no additional link to the story anymore from the picture page.
#63063 - in reply to #62364
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Posted 2/12/2007 7:31 AM
DUTCH
Administrator Doppelgänger




Date registered: Apr 2006
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

AsianML - 2/11/2007 7:41 PM

Still no answer from her anywhere. I've also noticed there's no additional link to the story anymore from the picture page.


Her attorney probably told her to take it down. It indicated that she might have made a couple of mistakes that could have contributed to the problem.
#63394 - in reply to #63063
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Posted 3/10/2007 10:03 PM
AsianML

Date registered: Dec 1899
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

I read in the manual for the ML that said the doors will lock if the left front wheel spins freely or something like that. They said this in the part about jacking up the car if you need to change a tire or something.
#66498 - in reply to #61559
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Posted 3/12/2007 6:40 AM
AsianML

Date registered: Dec 1899
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

Oooh, wait, does the W164 say ^^^ that in the manual too? I want to say if it says that in the W164 manual, it should say in the W251 as well.
#66666 - in reply to #66498
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Posted 3/17/2007 9:57 AM
cmitch
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Ala-Tenn
Vehicle(s): 2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4Matic, 2010 F150 Super Crew
Posts: 3412
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RE: Forensics Report: Mercedes was defective

Here is a link to the entire report. You be the jury.

 http://www.landxml.org/R320/Mercedes%20R320%20Tire%20Explosion%20Robson%20Forensic%20Report.pdf

#67216 - in reply to #61559
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Posted 3/17/2007 10:56 AM
Wolfgang

Date registered: Dec 1899
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RE: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

By the way, there is a simple way to spin the left rear wheel. Just leave the foot on the brake, which turns 4ETS off. Here's a picture from the supplier, showing how to do it.



Edited by Wolfgang 3/17/2007 10:57 AM
#67226 - in reply to #61559
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Posted 3/17/2007 11:24 AM
cmitch
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Ala-Tenn
Vehicle(s): 2002 ML320, 2005 S430 4Matic, 2010 F150 Super Crew
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RE: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

Wolfgang - 3/17/2007 9:56 AM By the way, there is a simple way to spin the left rear wheel. Just leave the foot on the brake, which turns 4ETS off. Here's a picture from the supplier, showing how to do it.

Could that cause the wheel to spin at 200 mph and explode?? The R's left rear wheel was off the ground. 

#67227 - in reply to #67226
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Posted 3/17/2007 12:08 PM
Wolfgang

Date registered: Dec 1899
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RE: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

cmitch - 3/17/2007 8:24 AM

Could that cause the wheel to spin at 200 mph and explode?? The R's left rear wheel was off the ground. 



I suppose it could. If one leaves one foot on the brake pedal and also presses down a lot on the gas pedal...

It should be in the owners manual.

#67230 - in reply to #67227
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Posted 3/17/2007 8:01 PM
storm

Date registered: Dec 1899
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Re: New R-Class Explodes in Driveway!

something is wrong here,.. doesn't sound right to me.... i think she floored the gas pedal.

Maybe it's the woman from the burger king drive through!
#67283 - in reply to #61559
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Posted 3/18/2007 1:00 PM
DUTCH
Administrator Doppelgänger




Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: US, GA, Atlanta
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RE: Forensics Report: Mercedes was defective

cmitch - 3/17/2007 9:57 AM

Here is a link to the entire report. You be the jury.

http://www.landxml.org/R320/Mercedes%20R320%20Tire%20Explosion%20Robson%20Forensic%20Report.pdf



Reading that report sounds like it was authored by a "Pay me and I'll say anything you want me to say" professional 'expert' witness hack. Kind of in the same family as an ambulance chaser.
#67340 - in reply to #67216
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