This type of suspension was considered better than the more typical solid axle for two reasons:
However, there are a number of shortcomings to this arrangement:
Mercedes-Benz addressed the inherent handling issues by producing swing axles with a single-pivot point located under the differential, and thus well below the axle. This configuration markedly reduced the tendency to "jack-up" and the later low pivot swing-axle equipped cars were praised in contemporary publications for their handling. The low-pivot swing-axle remained in production with Mercedes-Benz W108 280SE and 300SEL until 1972. It was fitted to the 300SEL 6.3, which was during the early 70s the worlds fastest production sedan. AMG modified 6.3 were also raced with the stock swing axle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-XjbQCR_l0
Swing axles were supplanted by deDion axles in the late 1960s, though live axles remained the most common. Most rear suspensions have been replaced by more modern independent suspensions in recent years, and both swing and deDion types are virtually unused today.
The first production (1960–1964) Chevrolet Corvair used this design. The alleged unsafe behaviour of the Corvair was described in detail by Ralph Nader in his book Unsafe at Any Speed. Second Production Corvairs (1965–1969) used a true independent rear suspension system.
Another use of the swing axle concept is Ford's "Twin I-Beam" front suspension for trucks. This has solid axles (so they do not transmit power). Though it is touted as an independent suspension system in that each tire rises and falls without affecting the position of the other, the parallelogram action of the A-arm suspension system is not present. Each tire in fact moves with a similar camber change to that of the powered swing axles for the rear wheels listed above. But the pivot point of the axles is located not in the middle of the car but nearly on the other beam of the chassis, so the effect is far less and quite safe.