Laguna Hills, CA – October 31, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4Matic Coupe, C300 4Matic Cabrio, E300, E300 4Matic, C300, C300 4Matic, C300 Coupe and C300 Cabrio vehicles. A documentation error may have resulted in a potentially incorrect battery cover to be installed on the starter battery. This recall affects 4,073 vehicles.
According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, Daimler AG (“DAG”), the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, has determined that on certain 2018 C-Class (205 platform) and E-Class vehicles (213 platform) vehicles, an incorrect cover for the starter battery could have been installed. The incorrect cover may not have the required geometry to provide protection for live electrical components.
Since the cover for the starter battery may not cover the live positive electrical wire, in certain crashes, the vehicle’s strut brace may deform and short circuit the battery. If the battery is shorted, on-board electrical system might not be able to support post-crash functions (such as emergency door unlocking from the outside by an emergency responder, or activation of hazard warning lamps). Unlocking and opening of the doors from the inside is not affected. A short circuit could also lead to an increased risk of fire.
Timeline of Events
DAG’s initial investigations were based on a report from the production plant in September 2018, regarding the installation of wrong positive pole covers for the starter battery. In October 2017, a documentation error following a design change was identified as the root cause of the installation of an incorrect starter battery cover, and the range of potentially affected vehicles was identified by the end of 2018.
Multiple analyses were performed to evaluate possible consequences of the faulty installation, revealing that an incorrect battery cover might not provide the necessary covering for a live electrical cable on the battery. Several standard crash test scenarios were analyzed in detail, and it was determined that in specific crash situations with a heavy deformation of the brace strut, the strut might contact the electrical cable on the starter battery, increasing fire risk. The voluntary recall was ordered at in October 2018.
As a precautionary measure an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer will replace the positive pole cover on the affected vehicles, free of charge. MBUSA will notify owners by mail. The recall is expected to begin November 23, 2018. Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372. Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V- 725.