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I found the following quote on the Euro NCAP website relating to the BMW 5-series (e39). It seems that the car performed well, but that one of the weak areas was the protection for the driver's knees, upper legs and pelvis. These tests were done on a European e39 with the slim European dash. The US e39 dash is padded significantly more than the European e39 dash.

Think about it, there could very well be a good reason behind the US mandating the additional dash padding for the e39. Which would imply that the European dash conversion that several M5 owners have done, may not be promoting their safety.



Here is the quote:

"Frontal Impact - After the impact, the door aperture was little deformed and the body structure was stable. The left front wheel crushed the driver's footwell, causing a body seam to burst and expose the wheel arch liner. The driver and passenger airbags worked well and the load limiting belts reduced chest injury risks from those seen in the first test. The knee impact areas included hard contact points which could injure the driver's knees, upper legs and pelvis."



Here is the link:

http://www.euroncap.com/content/safety_ratings/details.php?id1=4&id2=49

Cheers, Daniel.
 

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Interesting post Daniel. I think you could be right on the money wiht regards to why the US mandated the extra kneee padding. Makes me think twice about converting to the Euro dash even though it looks better and allows more leg room.
 

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Think about it, there could very well be a good reason behind the US mandating the additional dash padding for the e39. Which would imply that the European dash conversion that several M5 owners have done, may not be promoting their safety.
There was a reason, although I'm not sure how "good" it was. It was based on the assumption that Americans don't wear seatbelts. While the vast majority of adults wear seatbelts, drivers between the age of 16-24 do not. Last year, 28 percent in that age group did NOT use seatbelts, which is an improvement over 2002 when 35 percent did not. Most new BMW drivers are above that age group and seat belt usage is much higher.

The purpose of the bolstering was to prevent submarining of an unbelted 170 pound male crash test dummy during a frontal collision. This was a USA-only test administered by the NHTSA and the intial results of the early E39 were not promising. As a "patch" BMW added the unsightly bolstering and installed the bloated glove box door on the American models. This would allow the unbelted crash dummy to be trapped by the knees and prevented from sliding under the dash, instead pivoting around his shattered knees into the airbag.

The additional bolstering of the lower dash on the North American version of the E39 has nothing to do with protecting knees or pevis. In fact, the first two years of manufacturing (1996/1997) of the E39 for the USA market was done with a metal cage covered by a skin of grained plastic. I certainly wouldn't refer to it as "additional dash padding". It wasn't until 1998 that BMW switched to high density foam to support the driver's side bolstering. One could argue that the 1997 & early 1998 E39 models were more dangerous than the European models because of this metal cage beneath the skin of the lower dash.

I have always said that if you do not wear your setbelts, you should not consider the Eurodash conversion. But if you are smart enough to buckle up, then there's no advantage to the loss of 6" of knee room. I don't think you are putting yourself at risk by doing a Eurodash conversion.
 

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Why would you not wear a seatbelt? That is so idiotic. I cant beleive 28% does not wear it in the USA. In the Nordic countries its above 95% all ages. I think I would have been dead long ago if I would not have weared my seatbelt.
 

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Its an US thing Gustav, don't let it stress you. It appears to have been ingrained for a very long time, and so there will be natural sociological barriers to educating people otherwise.<O:p</O:p

<O:p
Perhaps someone can help ? Is the freedom to not ware seatbelts coming from the same place as the freedom (obsession) with carrying guns ? :p

<V:p
 

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Top reasons NOT to wear a seatbelt (from a 17 year old):

1) My shirt will get all wrinkled
2) The belt pulls on my shoulder
3) I'm only driving like two blocks
4) They are so uncomfortable to wear
5) I forgot
6) If I get in a wreck, I want to be able to get out quickly
7) Nobody else does
8) It's so NOT cool
9) They don't really save lives anyways
10) I can't reach out the back window to get my beer

We've got people who ride motorcycles without helmets, too :confused3

Thanks for the interesting article Daniel...
:cheers:
 

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stumbo said:
Its an US thing Gustav, don't let it stress you. It appears to have been ingrained for a very long time, and so there will be natural sociological barriers to educating people otherwise.<O:p</O:p

<O:p
Perhaps someone can help ? Is the freedom to not ware seatbelts coming from the same place as the freedom (obsession) with carrying guns ? :p

<V:p
No... guns are for safety reasons, just like seatbelts. Perhaps if you lived in a major U.S. city you would realize that.

If you were a victim of a violent crime perhaps you wouldn't be such a typical European pacifist liberal.
 

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Hamann7 said:
No... guns are for safety reasons, just like seatbelts. Perhaps if you lived in a major U.S. city you would realize that.

If you were a victim of a violent crime perhaps you wouldn't be such a typical European pacifist liberal.
In a major City? Are you qualifying Malibu as such? You make it sound like it's the big bad dangerous city. I live in Chicago (Logan Square for those who know the city) and certainly wouldn't delude myself into thinking that I'm safer with a gun. Unless you are going to adopt the same shoot first ask questions later as the lowest common denominator on the street you are only likely to incur more harm than help. Funny to see European, pacifist and liberal all spat out as though they were the worst things you could call someone.

Ben
 

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Wow, what a first post..LOL. Somethings need to be said, and I'm glad you are not ashamed.
I just purchased a gun, but I dont want to get into that debate, so I'll stick to the current topic of DASHBOARDS.
I think the euro dashboards are better looking, and as someone who always wears their seatbelt I think it would be a mod I would look into. I didnt mind the dash in my E39, but having more room would allow a better bias between front and rear legroom. Heck, didnt Gustav get into a pretty nasty head on accident in an E39 and walk away?
My old GTI had the ugly tacked un bumpers under the glove box, and the seatbelts that were attached to the door etc. Rather than have auto manufacturers spend money modifying dashes and belts, spend money to educate people to wear the belts in the first place. I still rag on my dad to wear his, but after twenty some odd years of me doing it I think he is getting the point.
:cheers:
 
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DZeckhausen said:
There was a reason, although I'm not sure how "good" it was. It was based on the assumption that Americans don't wear seatbelts. While the vast majority of adults wear seatbelts, drivers between the age of 16-24 do not. Last year, 28 percent in that age group did NOT use seatbelts, which is an improvement over 2002 when 35 percent did not. Most new BMW drivers are above that age group and seat belt usage is much higher.

The purpose of the bolstering was to prevent submarining of an unbelted 170 pound male crash test dummy during a frontal collision. This was a USA-only test administered by the NHTSA and the intial results of the early E39 were not promising. As a "patch" BMW added the unsightly bolstering and installed the bloated glove box door on the American models. This would allow the unbelted crash dummy to be trapped by the knees and prevented from sliding under the dash, instead pivoting around his shattered knees into the airbag.

The additional bolstering of the lower dash on the North American version of the E39 has nothing to do with protecting knees or pevis. In fact, the first two years of manufacturing (1996/1997) of the E39 for the USA market was done with a metal cage covered by a skin of grained plastic. I certainly wouldn't refer to it as "additional dash padding". It wasn't until 1998 that BMW switched to high density foam to support the driver's side bolstering. One could argue that the 1997 & early 1998 E39 models were more dangerous than the European models because of this metal cage beneath the skin of the lower dash.

I have always said that if you do not wear your setbelts, you should not consider the Eurodash conversion. But if you are smart enough to buckle up, then there's no advantage to the loss of 6" of knee room. I don't think you are putting yourself at risk by doing a Eurodash conversion.
Good information, but I personally like the idea of having more padding than less padding, as the European e39 did not do as well as it might have, if it would have had the US dash. I know that there is no proof that the e39 would have done better in the Euro NCAP test with the US dash, but I prefer to be cautious if possible.

Cheers, Daniel.
 

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BmwNut said:
Wow, what a first post..LOL. Somethings need to be said, and I'm glad you are not ashamed.
I just purchased a gun, but I dont want to get into that debate, so I'll stick to the current topic of DASHBOARDS.
I think the euro dashboards are better looking, and as someone who always wears their seatbelt I think it would be a mod I would look into. I didnt mind the dash in my E39, but having more room would allow a better bias between front and rear legroom. Heck, didnt Gustav get into a pretty nasty head on accident in an E39 and walk away?
My old GTI had the ugly tacked un bumpers under the glove box, and the seatbelts that were attached to the door etc. Rather than have auto manufacturers spend money modifying dashes and belts, spend money to educate people to wear the belts in the first place. I still rag on my dad to wear his, but after twenty some odd years of me doing it I think he is getting the point.
:cheers:
Yeah, I guess I did kind of jump in with both feet, huh? I'm generally more of a lurker, but I figured nobody was going to speak up and it's not like I've got a reputation to worry about sullying.

Moving beyond all of that, I'm certainly inclined to agree with the notion that a little more legroom would be highly welcomed. If the modifications are truly aimed solely at the unbelted passenger then I'm even more inclined to think it's unnecessary. But I guess that's the downside of engineering for the lowest common denominator.

Oh well. I've said enough
Ben
'02 Carbon Black / Carmel
 

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Oops,

I dont know how using seatbetls or not cam into "European, pacifist and liberal" spitting. Let's keep it on topic and use our seatbelts :)
 

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How quickly politics can sour a discussion :crying:
 

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This thread had me paying attention to the space in my car, with eurodash, while driving home from my office yesterday. In my normal driving position, i have at least 4" between my knee and the dash. Assuming my belts and pretensioners work, i can't see another 1.5" of heavy foam padding in the US dash making much difference, if I were in a collision of the magnitude required to move the dash back 3"+, not to mention where my feet and lower legs would go!
Mike
 
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