Passive safety: Prevention and early detection

Sep 18, 2012
With nine airbags as standard, belt tensioners and belt force limiters also in the rear and crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints for driver and front passenger, the CLS Shooting Brake offers a comprehensive scope of safety equipment. The PRE-SAFE® preventive occupant protection system, which is able to reduce the forces acting on occupants in an accident by up to 40 percent, also comes as standard.
The airbags, which can deploy in a matter of milliseconds in the event of an accident, include two adaptive airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag for the driver, two sidebags in the front-seat backrests and two large windowbags which extend from the A-pillar to the C-pillar during side impact. In addition, pelvisbags are included as standard for front-seat passengers, which in the event of a side collision can help to reduce loads in the pelvic area. Sidebags are also available for the rear as an optional extra, resulting in a total of eleven airbags.
Three-point automatic safety belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters are fitted as standard for the driver, front passenger and rear passengers. Mercedes-Benz is offering adaptive belt force limiters for the outer rear seats as an option (as part of the Rear Seat Safety package together with the two sidebags in the rear). These adapt to the size of passengers automatically. The system detects whether the rear seat passenger is large or small as soon as the seat belt is put on, based on the length of the pulled-out seat belt, and can adapt its protective effect accordingly. The maximum belt force is activated immediately if the rear passenger is large in size, while in the case of smaller occupants the force exerted by the belt is initially set to a lower level.
The three saddle-type head restraints on the rear seats barely affect the view towards the rear, and can be lowered at the touch of a button by the driver.
For toddlers on board, the Shooting Brake is equipped as standard with ISOFIX, the international standard securing system for child seats. The standard-fit mechanism is installed on the outer rear seats and comprises two retaining brackets in each rear seat position, in the gap between the back rest and seat cushion, as well as an additional third anchor point, the so-called top tether. The ACSR automatic child seat recognition system is optionally available for the front passenger seat.
NECK-PRO is the name Mercedes-Benz has given to a crash-responsive head restraint whose development, like that of PRE-SAFE® and other Mercedes-Benz innovations, is based on analyses of real accidents. NECK-PRO is an effective means of reducing the risk of whiplash injuries during a rear-end collision. If the sensor system detects a rear-end collision with a defined impact severity, it releases pre-tensioned springs inside the head restraints, causing the head restraints to move forward by about 40 millimetres and upwards by 30 millimetres within a matter of milliseconds. This means that the heads of the driver and front passenger can be supported at an early stage.
The CLS Shooting Brake is also equipped as standard with the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system. This Mercedes-Benz innovation uses the time between detection of a potential accident situation and a possible collision to initiate preventive protective measures, thus reducing the loads exerted on the occupants in the event of a crash by up to 40 percent. The PRE-SAFE® system consists of reversible belt tensioners for the front seats, a closing function for power windows, and automatic positioning for the front passenger seat. Depending on the equipment variant, the system may also include a closing function for the electric sliding sunroof and adjustment of the seat contours on the driver's and the front passenger's side.
When installed in combination with DISTRONIC PLUS, PRE-SAFE® also uses the information provided by the short-range radar sensors in the front bumper to tension the front seat belts at the very last moment before an unavoidable collision, thus reducing the forces exerted on the driver and front passenger during the crash.