A fatal wreck near Stuttgart involving a camouflaged 2012 Mercedes ML and a stranded Mazda — the latest in a line of similar accidents — has German authorities lashing out at "Rambo" test drivers treating German roads like "the Nürburgring."
This most recent incident occurred late Friday night when a camo'd Mercedes ML with a test driver slammed into a Mazda stranded on the side of the road because of a prior accident. The driver of the Mazda was killed and the test driver was seriously wounded after the ML rolled for nearly 800 feet down the road.
This was the third fatal crash involving a Mercedes test driver in Europe. In July 2003, a driver crashed into a car with a mother and young daughter, killing both. In February 2005, a test car in Sweden spun out-of-control killing a woman. Last year a test driver died after crashing a 911 prototype.
German Federal Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer complained to the German newspaper Bild saying:
"Test pilots are professional drivers. You must not behave like Rambos, but must still drive as good as any other and respect the traffic regulations. German roads are not the Nürburgring! I appeal to the auto companies to adopt a test driver for a specific code of conduct with strict rules. "
In defense of test drivers, it used to be there was time to test on the Nürburgring before it became clogged with American SUVs and Japanese mid-size sedans. (H/t to m2m!)