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[HR][/HR]I was thinking seriously of buying a new Mercedes Metris van. It looks the right size, I have enjoyed Mercedes in the past, and it is affordable.
It looked really attractive, until I learned about a couple of new (to me) innovations.
Well the Mercedes is off my shopping list.
I got the technical details of the van and didn't like what I found. They have gone too far in their technology. Their vans have two features I won't tolerate. One is a lane tracking feature and the other is a cross wind control device. They function by automatically applying brake pressure to individual wheels to control direction in crosswinds. I suspect that the lane following device works the same system.
I may sound like a luddite but I won't buy a vehicle so equipt and after talking with the Mercedes folks I find I cannot buy one without it or have it turned off.
It may sound silly but since I spend a lot of time going down roads in a wheelchair, I have a lot of understanding of steering a straight line in a cross wind and on a cambered road. It is done by applying brake pressure to the upwind or up hill wheel. This means more power needs to be applied to the other wheel just to go forward. Sometimes the road camber is so bad that even when going down hill I have to apply forward power to the off wheel just to keep forward motion. Down hill! What this means in the Mercedes is that the brakes won't last as long as they would in a vehicle not so equipt. In addition, the extra power that must be applied to the wheel on the other side will mean less gas milage. It is a device meant to make it easier for an inattentive person to drive at the expense of fuel and brake life. For me this is a deal breaker, I won't buy a vehicle so equipt.
 

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Well that didn't work too well. I'll try it again.
I have been thinking of buying a new Mercedes Metris van.
Well the Mercedes is off my shopping list. I got the technical details of the van and didn't like what I found. They have gone too far in their technology. Their vans have two features I won't tolerate. One is a lane tracking feature and the other is a cross wind control device. They function by automatically applying brake pressure to individual wheels to control direction in crosswinds. I suspect that the lane following device works the same system.
I may sound like a luddite but I won't buy a vehicle so equipt and after talking with the Mercedes folks I find I cannot buy one without it or have it turned off.
It may sound silly but since I spend a lot of time going down roads in a wheelchair, I have a lot of understanding of steering a straight line in a cross wind and on a cambered road. It is done by applying brake pressure to the upwind or up hill wheel. This means more power needs to be applied to the other wheel just to go forward. Sometimes the road camber is so bad that even when going down hill I have to apply forward power to the off wheel just to keep forward motion. Down hill! What this mean in the Mercedes is that the brakes won't last as long as they would in a vehicle not so equipt. In addition, the extra power that must be applied to the wheel on the other side will mean less gas milage. It is a device meant to make it easier for an inattentive person to drive at the expense of fuel and brake life. For me this is a deal breaker, I won't buy a vehicle so equipt.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was afraid that might be so. I will have to be careful what I buy.
I prefer to drive my vehicles my self without computer assist other than cruise control.
 

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Hurry Bra! Even now you'll be har d pressed to find a car without antilock brakes and traction control. Soon every car will h ave such standard.
Right on it's heels will be self driving cars. Hard to swallow but the truth is such devices work. Most vehicular accidents are caused by operator error. Anything to reduce that is a plus for society. One has to either accept reality or live in the past. Everyone despises change. So hurry and buy van now.
Suerly there's still cheaper units out there without added safety devices. I used to think I could control motorcycle braking better than a computer. Then I owned a modern bike with ABS. Now I would hesitate to own a road bike without ABS. Stuff works and improves safety. I would advise to maybe check out the units fuel Econ in crosswinds and what kind of warranty is on the brakes. Them engineers at MBZ think these things through so results might surprise you. Will you be driving in lots of high crosswinds? I ramble. Do what makes u happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Of course I drive in crosswinds. I live on the big island of Hawaii. However I generally stay with or very close to the posted speed limits and nowhere is the limit posted above 55 MPH
with most places lower. Crosswinds can be a bitch here on motorcycles but My P/U does just fine, and on the rare day when it is too strong, I just slow down as do most intelligent people.
 

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When I lived on the big island I found myself astounded at how bad the traffic was. Seemed like the masses of Southern Californiaians who moved there brought their car and an extra with them. Then forgot how to drive. I don't remember major wind events but I'm sure they happen. My thought was that in places like Kansas you get those crosswinds that blow semi trucks over pretty regular. In short, perhaps the factory wind control might not be activated all that much in Hi and thus its effects would be quite negligible. I would think that important factors for the big island would be crash protection and anti theft. Well and rust prevention. Well and of course , how well the unit performed in heavy rain which I saw plenty of when there. From my experience I didn't observe too many intelligent drivers while driving in Hawaii. Lots of clueless howlies and disgruntled natives wondering why they couldn't afford to live on their own island.
 

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Maybe consider something in a Ford Transit Van. Better fuel mileage ( est.29mpg) plus you don't have to buy premium fuel. images.jpeg
 

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The M-B Sprinter and "Mattress" avoid the 25% duty, or "Chicken Tax", imposed by LBJ in the 1960s on all light truck imports by being partially disassembled in Dusseldorf, Germany and then shipped here in pieces. They are then re-assembled in Ladson, South Carolina. Now magically "american assemblies" they thus avoid the chicken tax. At least they get american sourced battery acid.
"The chicken tax traces back to an early 1960s trade dispute with several European nations. They accused the United States of dumping chicken in their markets for less than the cost to produce them. Tariffs on chicken imports were imposed, and President Lyndon Johnson retaliated by imposing a 25 percent tariff on potato starch, dextrin, brandy and light trucks that went into effect 50 years ago. Eventually, the tariffs were lifted on all the items except light trucks."
 

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"GRAY MARKET TRACTORS. ... A simple definition is a trademarked product originally designed and manufactured for use in a foreign market that is imported for resale in the United States without the consent of the owner of the trademark." - this usually refers to the importation and re-sale of used tractors like Yanmar and Kabota models made for Asian markets. Just like their automotive equivalent the dealers offer little support and parts availability.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have been had! I said that I wouldn't buy a vehicle with the automatic brake mechanism that is call stability control.
One of you said that I should hurry and buy because it is being put on many models. Well I am too late. They snuck in and put it on the truck I already have.
I chose this truck because it was as simple a truck as I could find. And now I find, yes it already has that feature.
I mean to say it's impossible to be a luddite anymore. It's just not fair.
 

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phelonius, maybe time to go forward into the past by re-building a simple old truck with slightly more modern and reliable drivetrain. Something honestly simple like this old panel delivery. Want to open the hood? Just reach into a nostril and pull! Running boards to help crawl into the cab, secure storage in rear for wheelchair or maybe Rokon? IMG_0018.jpg
 
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