This paper re-evaluates recently published quasi-static tests on laser-welded thin-walled steel structures in order to discuss the fundamental challenges in collision simulations based on finite element analysis. Clamped square panels were considered, with spherical indenter positioned at the mid-span of the stiffeners and moved along this centerline in order to change the load-carrying mechanism of the panels. Furthermore, the use of panels with single-sided flat bar stiffening and web-core sandwich panels enabled the investigation of the effect of structural topology on structural behavior and strength. The changes in loading position and panel topology resulted in different loading, structural and material gradients. In web-core panels, these three gradients occur at the same locations making the panel global responses sensitive for statistical variations and the failure process time-dependent. In stiffened panel with reduced structural gradient, this sensitivity and time-dependency in failure process is not observed. These observations set challenges to numerical simulations due to spatial and temporal discretization as well as the observed microrotation, which is beyond the currently used assumptions of classical continuum mechanics. Therefore, finally, we discuss the potential of non-classical continuum mechanics as remedy to deal with these phenomena and provide a base for necessary development for future.