The Mercedes Benz A-Class has scored the best result in itS-Class for the European NCAP standard (New Car Assessment Programme) and has been awarded five stars. The A-Class also excelled in child protection achieving an outstanding four-star rating.
With this excellent result, the patented sandwich-floor safety concept of the A-Class has now also proved its effectiveness in this rating test. In a severe frontal impact, this design causes the engine and transmission to slide downwards and out of the way, rather than being pushed into the car's interior. This means that a larger front crumple zone is available than on other cars in its category. In addition, the sandwich design is also advantageous in the event of a side impact because the occupants sit higher up than in a conventional compact car.
The occupant safety package is rounded off by adaptive front airbags which deploy in two stages, depending on the severity of the accident, plus newly developed head/thorax bags. The latter help to protect both the head and upper torso of those in the front seats in the event of a lateral collision. A belt status indicator in the instrument cluster tells the driver if the occupants are wearing their seatbelts or not.
The exemplary levels of safety in the A-Class are derived from analyses of real-life accidents. The Mercedes approach defines vehicle safety as an all-encompassing task that covers everything from accident prevention by means of electronic support systems such as ESP and Brake Assist, through to occupant protection tailored to the severity of the actual accident itself, and on to the fastest possible rescue of the people in the car after a collision has happened.
The A-Class not only has significant occupant protection but thanks to electronic safety systems, it is involved in fewer road traffic accidents.
Detailed analysis of over 1.5-million accidents in 2002 reveals a direct link between ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) and the reduction in accidents. Since the introduction of ESP across the entire range, accidents involving Mercedes Benz have fallen by a massive 30 per cent.
Car-safety organisation Euro NCAP has today (28th June) issued a strong recommendation that motorists ensure their next car is fitted with a Stability Control system.
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