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Bottom line: don’t open your car door when the car is still moving. I know, I know… who would do that on purpose. So here’s what I noticed this morning. I work in a highly secure place where everyone who enters has to show their badge. When I say show I don’t mean just waive it so the guard can see it through the window and then they just waived you on. I mean we have to stop, roll down the window, and hand the badge to the guard where he inspects it to make sure it’s real and check the expiration date. So this morning I tried to roll down the window as I’m approaching the guard shack as I usually do so the window is open by the time I get to the shack hand the guard my badge but this morning the window was frozen shut and I couldn’t open it. We had a lot of rain last night and then the temperature dropped to below freezing so the moisture trapped in the window froze up. Not unusual as it has happened with my other cars many times. So unable to open the window to hand over my badge I decided to open the door to hand over my badge as I had done in the past in similar situations. By the time I opened the door I was within a foot of where I wanted to stop and the car was still moving at the time but was very slow (1 or 2 mph). So when I opened the door while the car was still slowly moving the car came to a complete stop and the wheels were locked and I can hear the tires slide a bit on the road. After I got the OK to proceed I closed the door and go to step on the gas and I wasn’t moving. I thought I had stalled out but the engine was still on. Then I noticed that I was in Park. I know I didn’t hit the park button by accident because my movements wouldn’t have gotten me anywhere near the Park button. So I proceeded to put it in Drive and it was business as usual. As I’m driving to my building I got to think about what just happened and wondered if the car will automatically go into Park when the door is open. Naturally I wasn’t going to try it while I was driving in fear of messing up the transmission and sending myself through the windshield. So when I got to my building and stopping in my spot I did a little test. Before shutting the car off and still in Drive with my foot on the brake and not moving, I opened the door. Sure enough the car went right to Park. This is a surprise safety feature to me and I don’t remember reading it in the owner’s manual. So naturally that leads to other questions that can only be answered by conducting experiments that I’m not willing to do in fear of ruining the car and possibly causing injuries to myself and others. Since the car automatically locks all door at ~8 mph and above, I’m wondering if I’m even able open a door while the door is locked and going over 8 mph (I know when the car is stopped and the key is out of the ignition and the doors are still locked I can open the driver side door and it will automatically unlock all doors). I wonder if this is true for passenger doors as well. If I get in a head on collision with the doors locked, will it automatically unlock for easier access to helpers and first responders or will they remain in the locked position? Anyone else aware of this feature?
 
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Sounds like the usual driver protection stuff. To be honest I'm not a big fan of it, but I can understand why it would do something like that to protect children or potential Darwin Award recipients. I would just be careful. Some of that stuff is usually safe to have in most situations but in some can be quite dangerous (like airbags in the rare bad situation). I have a friend that has a car (not CLA) that has the tailgating protection, the one that slows your car if it senses the one in front is too close or you're approaching it too quickly. He was going to cut into a gap to get out from behind a truck and the system either sensed he was too close to the truck or was approaching it too quick and his car slowed down as he was accelerating into the gap. It almost caused a crash. (Note, I wasn't there so I can't say for sure he had enough of a gap and it was a good idea and all that). That's one reason I did not check off all those safety options in my CLA.

I would think that if the car crashed there's probably an active signal to keep the door locked and once it lost power (after the crash or sensing the crash was over) the lock would disengage (i.e. the lock would only work as long as a signal was continuously sent). Also, they'd just break the window or get the jaws of life.
 

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I experienced this, but as a very good thing.

I got home, a few days after purchasing the CLA, to find that the dogs were outside. I stopped in our long drive way and jumped out of the car to greet them, so that they wouldn't jump up at the car (scratching it) to see me.

Well, having driven a manual transmission for my entire life, I didn't even think about the car being in gear, usually it's out of gear in neutral at this point and the parking brake engaged (and if I had forgotten it would stall). But in the CLA I still hadn't got used to the changes so I couldn't remember where the P-brake was quickly, and I had no rote pattern to fall back on. I forgot that the car would remain in gear and be just fine crawling forward on its own.

Fortunately some German was up all night worrying about this situation and decided that if the door opens the car goes into park.
 

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Mercedes will go into park when you open door or hit park button at less than 4 MPH, next time you get in your car look at the park indicator there will be an arrow by the P as you slowly go forward you will see the arrow disappear at 4 MPH after this if you can hit park button on accident and it will go into neutral and not park. If you open door over 4 MPH nothing will happen and the car will stay in drive.
 
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