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Mercedes pile-up at safety demonstration

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The new Mercedes S class has a sophisticated radar-based braking system - when it works. A TV demonstration ended up in a 3-car pile-up when the S-class' safety radar failed.

A German television channel got a bigger scoop than they bargained for when Mercedes showed up with three of their flagship vehicles - only to crash them into each other when a safety demonstration failed.

Stern TV, who filmed the programme item slates the mistake, and compares it to the nasty falling-over tendency the early A-class Mercedes had.
Embarrassing mistake

In the programme, Mercedes drives 3 S-classes behind each other. The first car hits the brakes, and the two following cars brake down automatically, to avoid a crash. In theory. In practice, the first car braked, and the two others continued right into the back of each other, resulting in a 3-car pile-up at the test site.

According to a German news site, the blushing Mercedes security engineers soon discovered the problem: The test had been done in a hall which was made of steel. This confuses the radar, and the system doesn't work properly, causing more than £150,000 worth of cars to crumple into each other.

The system "works perfectly in all other circumstances", according to Mercedes. For now, though, it may be worth keeping your foot near the brake pedal.

The programme in question is showed on German RTL Television tonight.


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