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 |  Dec 10 2012, 2:02 PM

1992 Mercedes-Benz S-Class W140

Volvo is best known as a champion of safety, but the Swedish automaker is not the only company dedicated to protecting drivers and passengers. Mercedes-Benz has had more than its share of life-saving advances.

After seat belts, one of the most significant automotive safety technologies is electronic stability control. ESC builds on the benefits of other systems including anti-lock brakes and traction control. It’s particularly effective on top-heavy vehicles like trucks and SUVs. Over the years it has saved many lives and prevented countless crashes.

While the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is hardly an obscure vehicle it has been a pioneer in many areas. In fact, the W140 model of the mid 1990s was the world’s first car fitted with ESC.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated ESC on all new passenger vehicles sold after September 1, 2011, but most manufacturers beat that deadline by years.

As for the benefits of stability control, NHTSA estimates that if the nation’s entire vehicle fleet were equipped with the technology up to 8,200 lives could be spared every year. But given how many older cars are on the road the adoption rate will never hit 100 percent. Additionally, NHTSA figures that ESC alone saved more than 2,200 lives between 2008 and 2010.

  • Tomst37

    I loved this. It was really interesting and informative.

    Thanks

  • Greenjeep1998

    Don’t know if you knew this Craig, but the Eagles and Cherokees were sold side by side for a short period of time since AMC owned Jeep for the last 20 years before being bought by Chrysler for the Jeep brand. IIRC, Chrysler’s Turbine program was started shortly after WW2 and died right around the time they went bankrupt the first time. Even though the turbine engine has yet to make it into a regular production vehicle, Chrysler had some ownership in the manufacturer of the Abrams tanks and I’ve often wondered how much of their turbine tech went into the Abrams instead.

    BTW, the Turbine Cars weren’t the only Mopars capable of burning whiskey……..their 2.7l and Pentastar V-6′s as well as the 4.7l V-8 are all built to be capable of burning corn whiskey. The Pentastar is quite fond of the stuff and my 4.0l I-6 Jeep don’t seem to mind a couple gallons being splash blended every once in a while too :D

  • Craig Cole

    No, I had no idea!  That’s really interesting but not as interesting as Chrysler helping build tank engines.  That’s really cool.  You must be a Pentastar Historian.