Three new model series from Mercedes-Benz have passed crash tests based on the European NCAP procedure (New Car Assessment Programme) with flying colours. The B-Class, M-Class as the best in each of their vehicle classes, and the C-Class Coupé consequently get the top rating of five stars for outstanding occupant protection. In addition, Mercedes-Benz receives several Euro NCAP Advanced prizes for safety innovations including PRE-SAFE® and the radar-based collision warning system COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST in the B-Class.

“The Euro NCAP awards are a striking recognition of the safety level of our vehicles, and we’re very happy about them,” stated Ulrich Mellinghoff, Head of Mercedes Safety Development. “But the standardised crash tests cover only a small part of the real course of events leading up to and during road accidents. For this reason Mercedes-Benz designs all model series employing some 40 different accident constellations, most of which we define based on the experience of our in-house accident research. Additionally, focusing on anticipatory systems and accident avoidance we equip our vehicles with systems which are not even taken into account in the rating.” 

These systems include the PRE-SAFE® safety system, available in all the tested vehicles as standard equipment (M-Class) or as option (B-/C-Class), as well as the collision-avoiding or impact severity reducing systems PRE-SAFE® Brake and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist. Mellinghoff: “We are particularly pleased that Euro NCAP has gone a step further and awarded innovation prizes for these systems, which follow our real-life safety philosophy.”

This innovation prize is called Euro NCAP Advanced. It was introduced a year ago to supplement the familiar five-star rating system. The independent European safety association Euro NCAP presents it for systems with “scientifically proven safety benefits” which are not taken into account in the current evaluation system. That includes, for example, PRE-SAFE®, which becomes active in critical situations and uses the time before a possible accident to initiate preventive measures. If a rear-end crash threatens, the PRE-SAFE® Brake can become active, warn the driver and, if the driver fails to react, reduce the severity of the impact through autonomous braking. These two systems already were awarded prizes in 2010 and are now available also in the M and C-Class (PRE-SAFE® and PRE-SAFE® Brake) as well as the B-Class (PRE-SAFE®). 

Now further assistance systems of the company which can help avoid an accident or reduce its severity have won the distinction. They include the standard-fitted radar-based collision warning system COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist in the B-Class. As a world first in the compact segment, the B-Class is provided at the factory with this assistance system, which clearly lowers the risk of rear-end collisions. COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST gives a visual and acoustic warning to alert a possibly distracted driver to identified obstacles, prepares the vehicle to brake, and assists the driver during braking in keeping with the situation.

Another Euro NCAP Advanced award was given to Mercedes-Benz for the drowsy driving detection system ATTENTION ASSIST. ATTENTION ASSIST analyses driver behaviour by means of sensors and recognises when the style of driving changes due to drowsiness. The driver is then reminded to take a break.

Innovative safety features like COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST even have immediate positive financial effects for Mercedes customers. A number of leading international insurance companies grant special discounts for the B