The Flying Engine

Imagine a brand new Mercedes C250 that hits a palm tree somewhere in Los Angeles. Would you consider it likely that the engine of the car would fly “50 to 60 yards“ from the car down the street after the impact took place? I’ve asked Daimler in Stuttgart, Germany some questions with respect to the fatal car crash of US journalist Michael Hastings. Mercedes Benz USA says it has „no information to provide because we have very little information on this tragedy.“ UPDATE: Mercedes Benz USA seems to have a „Sprachregelung“ related to Michael Hastings car crash.

By Lars Schall

Imagine a brand new Mercedes C250 that hits a palm tree somewhere in Hollywood, Los Angeles with high speed at 4:25 in the morning. Would you consider it likely that the engine of the car would fly “50 to 60 yards“ from the car down the street after the impact took place? (1)

Well, that is, among other things, what allegedly happened with regards to the single-vehicle accident that ended the life of Polk Award-winning journalist and book author Michael Hastings on June 18 (see here).

Even though the Los Angeles Police Department stated officially that “no foul play“ was involved in the accident, such a thing (an engine many meters from the rest of the car) was a bit too much for my imagination (the vehicles built by Mercedes Benz belong supposedly to the safest and best in the world, right?). Therefore, I wrote the following media request to the global press office of Daimler ( in Stuttgart, Germany last weekend:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

my name is Lars Schall, I am a freelance journalist.

Related to the recent car crash that killed investigative journalist Michael Hastings in L.A.:,

I would like to know how you comment on the fact that witness Gary Grossman stated on record that the engine of the car (a new Mercedes) flew “50 to 60 yards” away from the car after it hit a palm tree (see video above)? Is this really possible?

I should add that the Los Angeles Police Department said that “no foul play“ was involved in the accident:,0,7630869.story.

So do you believe that the disconnection of the engine from the rest of the car is attributable to shortcomings caused by your company? What’s your explanation? Did anything like that happen before? Moreover, will you establish contact with the LAPD related to its investigations? And what do you think about the statement by witness Gary Grossman that he “couldn’t have written a scene like this for a movie“?

Kind regards,
Lars Schall.

What said Daimler to all of this? After I had made some additional phone calls with Daimler’s press office in Stuttgart, I received this message from Mercedes Benz USA on June 28:

Dear Herr Schall,

Your inquiry below has been forwarded to me.

Unfortunately we have no information to provide at this time because we have very little information on this tragedy.  As any engineer would tell you, virtually every crash is different and we would need to know details that the police haven’t released yet.  Therefore anything we told you would be speculative rather than fact-based.  We hope you understand our reluctance to speculate during the course of an ongoing police investigation.  When and if the police ask for our assistance, we’ll know more.

I’m sorry we can’t be more helpful at the moment.


Donna Boland

Manager, Corporate Communications

Mercedes Benz USA, LLC

The next media request went via e-mail to the LAPD ( It said:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

my name is Lars Schall, I am a freelance journalist from Germany.

According to information that I received from Mercedes Benz USA, so far the company wasn’t ask by you for assistance related to the ongoing investigation dedicated to the fatal car crash of Michael Hastings on June 18. Do you intend to ask Mercedes Benz / Daimler to participate in the investigation in any way — for example to exclude a massive design flaw? Do you believe that the disconnection of the engine from the rest of the car (circa “50 to 60 yards”) is attributable to shortcomings caused by Mercedes Benz / Daimler?

Below follows the information provided to me by Mercedes Benz.

Kind regards,

Lars Schall.

UPDATE JULY 10, 2013:

While the LAPD didn’t respond to yours truly, I received another e-mail from Mercedes Benz USA on July 3rd. It said:
Dear Lars Schall:

Our parent company, Daimler AG in Germany, forwarded your e-mails to Mercedes-Benz USA for response.

Unfortunately, we cannot answer these questions because virtually every accident is inherently different. Being that we have not been informed of details of the incident by the involved local authorities, any statement we would make at this point would be speculative, and not based on fact. We are reluctant to speculate on this topic during the course of an ongoing police investigation.

Thank you again for contacting Mercedes-Benz.


Romy P.
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC

I replied by showing to Romy P the information I had received from Donna Boland (to whom I copied the e-mail) on behalf of Mercedes Benz USA on June 30. Afterwards, I asked:

Question: comparing both responses with each other and seeing the similarities between them, is this the official “Sprachregelung” of Mercedes Benz related to this case?

Moreover, is it in general possible to do with your cars what Richard Clarke stated? I don’t think you have to speculate about this — is it possible, yes or no?

Richard Clarke, a former State Department official and adviser to several United States presidents, said the crash that killed the Rolling Stone journalist appeared to be consistent with what he called a ‘car cyberattack.’ …

Clarke said the crash could have been orchestrated by a computer hacker able to gain access to the car’s controls.

“’What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it’s relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, to launch an air bag,’ Clarke told The Huffington Post. “’You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard.’”

Kind regards,
Lars Schall.

I didn’t get answers to my two questions. The only thing I received was a “Costumer Satisfaction Survey”, which said:
Dear Lars Schall,
We are interested in learning more about your experience with our Customer Assistance Center on 06/27/2013.
We value your opinion and your time. To help us understand your experience, please take a few moments to complete this brief survey. Your feedback will be used to improve the quality of service we provide.

Therefore, I wrote today to Romy P and Donna Boland:


Instead of sending me this nonsense (see below), could you answer my two questions, please? I am not a customer of yours, I am a journalist.

Kind regards,

Lars Schall.


UPDATE JULY 26, 2013:

While I received on July 19 from the Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, Customer Assistance Center once more a “Costumer Satisfaction Survey” e-mail but no e-mail from the Mercedes Benz USA press office concerning my questions, I did get the following information from the LAPD:
Thank you for writing to the Los Angeles Police Department, Due to a high volume of emails received we have not been able to respond in a timely fashion. We do apologize for the inconvenience.
The county coroner’s office and our detectives are continuing to investigate the Hastings incident. Up to this point, no foul play has been detected. However, since the investigation is ongoing, we are not able to answer specific questions pertaining to investigative tactics, theories or findings at this time.

The Los Angeles Police Department
LAPDonline Unit
That’s of course pretty much in tune with this news item: Michael Hastings Crash Investigation Heats Up, Police and Fire Told Not to comment.
In the meantime, “Michael Hastings’ body was returned to Vermont in an urn,” although, inter alia, it wasn’t appearently the request of his family that he would be cremated.
This may provoke a certain quote – the Fourth Amendment, United States Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized…
Moreover, related to my last e-mail to Mercedes Benz USA, this may interest you, too…


(1) 1 yard equals 0,9144 meters.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses to “The Flying Engine”

  1. daddy warbucks sagt:

    Hopefully your good work will result in exposing the truth, accountability and justice served.

    Unfortunately for your past excellent article about 9/11 shown in part below, the real perpetrators remain at large:

    Source: 9/11 Was A Fantastically Profitable Covert Operation
    September 3rd, 2011 Kommentare deaktiviert
    By Lars Schall

    „if you really want to produce evidence of insider trading, you need the subpoena powers of the SEC, and of course we know that they haven’t exercised them. If anything, right after 9/11, the government settled a significant amount of cases I presume because a lot of the documents were destroyed by the destruction of WTC building number 7, where the SEC offices and other governmental investigation offices were.“

    „the largest broker of government bonds, Cantor Fitzgerald, was destroyed, and there was a great deal of money missing from the federal government in the prior four or five years. If you look at the amount of funds involved, it is hard to come to a conclusion other than massive securities fraud was involved,“

    „In addition, the federal government took the position that they couldn’t produce audited financial statements after 9/11, because they said the office at the Pentagon that produced financial statements was destroyed.“

    „So if you’re just looking at the financial fraud angle, there were a lot of parties that benefitted from 9/11. But then of course what 9/11 did, it staged the passage of the Patriot Act and a whole series of laws and regulations that I collectively refer to as “The Control on Concentration of Cash Flow Act.“ It gave incredible powers to centralize.“

    „9/11 was the first time that this kind of violence became overt. Basically, we killed 3000 plus middle and upper-middle class office workers and did it in broad daylight.“

  2. jerome van stam sagt:

    I was told at about 1995/6 (by an engineer unrelated to Mercedes)
    that Mercedes is designed to protect its occupants in a frontal accident
    by means of letting the engine jump out and that it was facilitated
    by means of the elasticity of the massive chassis beams which carry
    the engine. This is unlike the conventional method
    whereby the engine block drops under the front
    of the passenger compartment, by means of the beams carrying the engine sheering (’snapping off‘) under the impact of the frontal accident,
    i.e. they form a mechanical fuse. But then in the EURONCAP crash tests
    no engine is reported to have jumped away – although in them the crash
    speed is far lower than that reported at the Hastings crash case.
    One solution would be to ask an independent Laboratory to crash-test
    such a car in such a speed.

  3. The Beat sagt:


    Your intentions are good and honest. I can help you with the very few mistakes you make in English business writing. I hope you get results from this investigation, but one thing is certain, you are asking the right questions to the right people. You are following protocol. You are definitely doing your due diligence with regard to the investigation. Good job.

  4. Lmo sagt:

    Unless you have seen the VIN number on that Mercedes that is a burned out wreck I would not rule out that it IS NOT Hastings vehicle.

  5. Johnny Dangereaux sagt:

    Great work.
    You might contact these people.
    They crash cars all the time!

Subscribe to RSS Feed Lars Schall auf Twitter folgen

Bei weiterer Nutzung dieser Webseite, stimmen Sie der Verwendung von Cookies zu. Mehr Infos

Die Cookie-Einstellungen auf dieser Website sind auf "Cookies zulassen" eingestellt, um das beste Surferlebnis zu ermöglichen. Wenn du diese Website ohne Änderung der Cookie-Einstellungen verwendest oder auf "Akzeptieren" klickst, erklärst du sich damit einverstanden.