Potential Air Bag Tear Raises Red Flag For Mercedes-Benz

Laguna Hills, CA – Aug. 29, 2019 – Mercedes-Benz is recalling hundreds of its sports cars due to the potential of the front passenger side air bag tearing upon deployment. Such a scenario could increase the risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. This 2018-2019 Mercedes-Benz air bag recall action is slated to begin in early fall, when the luxury automaker will officially alert owners of this safety issue. Motorists can take their vehicles to an area dealership so the problem can be addressed at no cost to them. 

The Defect

According to official paperwork filed through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mercedes Benz is pulling approximately 457 of its sports cars from circulation over the possibility that some of the installed air bags are flawed. At some point during the manufacturing or installation process, the problematic air bags may have been improperly sewn along the seams, which increases the risk that they may be unable to inflate once triggered in a collision. Here are the vehicles involved, each of which have model years between 2018 and 2019:

  • Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG SL65
  • Mercedes-Benz SL450
  • Mercedes-Benz SL550

Of the 457 vehicles whose passenger-side air bags may be defective, the lion’s share – 232 – are SL450s. However, all the automobiles were built within the same time frame, stretching between March 20 and Nov. 22 of 2018.

Timeline of Events

The luxury automaker’s air bag supplier reached out to Mercedes-Benz in Sept. 2018 to alert the company that during testing of passenger side air bags, one broke apart. This led to a follow-up investigation a couple of months later to determine if this development was isolated or systemic. The inquiry ultimately concluded that “the potential for impaired air bag function could not be ruled out,” even though testing proved that the restraint function would not be fundamentally altered if a tear did occur.

The Solution

Mercedes-Benz plans on informing owners of this problem by first-class mail starting Oct. 1. Recipients of the notifications are asked to take their motor vehicle to an area dealership so a replacement bag can be installed as a precaution.

For more information on this recall or others involving Mercedes-Benz, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesPotential Air Bag Tear Raises Red Flag For Mercedes-Benz

Daimler Orders Recall For Certain Cars Containing Wrong Manual

Laguna Hills, CA – Aug. 21, 2019 – Daimler Vans USA seeks to recall a limited number of Mercedes-Benz Metris vehicles due to the fact that some of the 2019 models were sold without the correct operator’s manual. These booklets contain key vehicle performance and functionality instructions, which if not followed may ultimately risk drivers’ or passengers’ safety should they encounter a crash.

Unlike other recalls, which usually entails a repair of some kind, the those receiving notifications for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris recall can simply stop by their local dealership to pick up the correct manual.

The Defect

Daimler Vans is recalling two 2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris vans over concerns the automobiles were sent to dealerships sans the proper manual that details the various care instructions, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Daimler Vans produces several different truck nameplates aside from luxury brand, including FUSO Freightliner, Western Start and BharatBenz. The Mercedes-Benz Metris has a booklet, but the company determined that a select number of those manufactured between Jan. 16 and March 29 contained an earlier version of the operator’s manual, as it has apparently been updated since the first one was produced. 

The fact that the Metris van doesn’t include the right owner’s manual, of course, doesn’t pose an immediate threat to safety, but relying on the wrong information to address problems with the vehicle could lead to the improper operation of the car, thus raising the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

The quality control division of Daimler’s production plant learned in March that some of the Mercedes-Benz Metris cars delivered to dealerships had the wrong paperwork. Upon further review to confirm whether these initial reports were accurate, Daimler confirmed as much but also said that these incidents were highly isolated. More to the point, the problematic population was likely in the single digits.

Ultimately, Daimler determined July 17 that an official Mercedes-Benz recall was the best path forward after comparing the two versions of the owner’s manual and finding that the accurate one contained “necessary warnings that were not included in” the earlier manual issuing, as detailed in NHTSA’s Part 573 Safety Recall Report.

This isn’t the first recall for Daimler in 2019. In June, the company announced the recall of 253 commercial trucks related to an air brakes defect. All 2019 models, they included Freightliner 108SD, Business Class M2, 114SD, Cascadia, Western Star 5700, FCCC XCL, FCCC XCM, FCC XCR and FCCC XCS. Prior to that, Mercedes-Benz USA pulled close to 288,800 that contained defective air bags, part of the massive Takata air bag recall that involved tens of millions of automobiles. NHTSA puts the number at roughly 41.6 million vehicles and 56 million air bags.

The Solution

As for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Metris recall, the fix is simple. Daimler says it will replace the wrong informational package with the correct one free of charge. Owners may receive it in the mail subsequent to the notifications pertaining to this issue, which the automaker says will commence most likely in mid-September.

For more information on these and other new and previous recalls, visit MotorSafety.org. Enter your VIN to find out if you have a car that’s under recall notice and what to do if that’s indeed the case.

Sean ReyesDaimler Orders Recall For Certain Cars Containing Wrong Manual

Potential Braking Issue Leads To Daimler Trucks Recall

Laguna Hills, CA – June 19, 2019 – Daimler Trucks of North America (DTNA) is recalling nearly a dozen 2019 models due to an apparent flaw in the affected vehicles’ air brakes, which may prevent the brakes from working as effectively as they’re intended. This may raise the chances of a crash if motorists are in traffic situations that require them to stop suddenly. The manufacturer says it will relay this information to motorists by July 12 so they can make the appropriate arrangements to have the problem assessed. If a repair is necessary, it will come at no charge.

The Defect

In paperwork submitted to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 253 Daimler trucks have a potential safety issue that is serious enough to warrant a recall. These 2019 models include the following:

  • Freightliner 108SD
  • Business Class M2
  • 114SD
  • Cascadia
  • Western Star 5700
  • FCCC XCL
  • FCCC XCM
  • FCCC XCR
  • FCCC XCS

According to NHTSA documents, the braking system may have caliper mounting bolts that either weren’t sufficiently tightened in the vehicle assembly process or may loosen while the trucks are in operation regardless of how they were originally tightened. In such a scenario, when the brake pad is applied, the air brakes’ effectiveness may be reduced, decreasing handling control and increasing the risk of a crash – as well as the potential for injury.

Timeline of Events

DTNA was first alerted to this issue in March 2019, learning that in isolated incidents, certain trucks had caliper mounting bolts that were either loose or missing. Each of these cases were traced back to an assembly plant in York, South Carolina that manufactures and installs brake components.

Later that month, DTNA reached out to Meritor, its brake manufacturer, to further investigate. The company, Meritor, then reviewed the relevant data and determined that nine models – each of which were assembled in 2018 between Aug. 20 and Sept. 27 – had axles without accompanying caliper bolts. It was unclear whether bolts had been improperly fastened or didn’t exist, having perhaps fallen off at some point. Their findings were then relayed to DTNA in May, which prompted Daimler to issue a voluntary recall for the models in question. NHTSA was alerted May 14.

The Solution

Starting July 12, Daimler will officially reach out to affected customers by first-class mail to inform them that their vehicles’ air brakes may be impaired. To ensure that such brakes will work properly, motorists should have the issue examined by a DTNA dealer as soon as possible. As with virtually all automotive safety recalls, the repair is complimentary.

To see if your vehicle is included in this or any other recall, enter your 17-digit VIN in the appropriate field at MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesPotential Braking Issue Leads To Daimler Trucks Recall

Mercedes-Benz Recalls Nearly 300,000 More 2010-2017 Vehicles for Takata Airbag Defects

 

Sandy Springs, Ga. – Feb. 28, 2019 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain Coupe, Cabrio, 4Matic and RWD vehicles that were sold or every registered in “Zone A”, “Zone B” or “Zone C”.  A total of 288,779 units may be affected:

• 2010-2011 C300 vehicles
• 2010-2014 C300 4Matic, C350, C63 AMG and E350 Coupe vehicles
• 2010-2015 GLK350 4Matic and GLK350 RWD vehicles
• 2011-2014 C300 4Matic, C350, C63 AMG, E350 Cabrio, E350 Coupe, SLS AMG Coupe, and SLS AMG Cabrio vehicles
• 2011-2017 E550 Cabrio and E550 Coupe vehicles
• 2012-2014 C250, E350 4Matic Coupe and SLS AMG Cabrio vehicles
• 2012-2015 C250 Coupe, C350 4Matic Coupe, C350 Coupe and C63 AMG Coupe vehicles
• 2013-2015 GLK250 BlueTec 4Matic vehicles
• 2014-2015 C250 Coupe, C350 4Matic Coupe, C350 Coupe, C63 AMG Coupe and GLK 350 vehicles
• 2015-2017 E400 4Matic Coupe, E400 Cabrio and E400 Coupe vehicles

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Report filed on January 9th, non-desiccated ammonium nitrate was used in the air bag inflators in the passenger side air bags of these vehicles. The inflator, if deployed in a degraded state, can explode, with its debris potentially striking any occupants and leading to injury or death.

The issues with these Takata air bags have been well documented, and this latest Mercedes-Benz announcement is part of a massive worldwide recall of vehicles with Takata air bags, deployed in segments, with vehicles at highest risk being recalled first. The potential for rupture can be affected by climates that are extreme in regard to heat and humidity, particularly in the southern U.S. states and territories.

Degradation speed may also be affected by other factors, including the specific environment in which a vehicle is kept and operated, the individual inflator and propellant configuration, and manufacturing variability from facility to facility. The common thread is the inflators housed in the Takata airbags and installed in the passenger side of the front of the car.

While the NHTSA has determined that all Takata air bags with this defect will eventually become dangerous, the defect is not considered high-risk until degradation occurs, which can take years even in climates with temperature cycling and absolute humidity. All manufacturers have agreed to comply with the recall in stages to allow new air bag supplies to be manufactured and distributed to dealers.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 2, 2019, Takata filed another Defect Information Report with NHTSA according to the previous schedule in the May 4, 2016 Amendment to the Coordinated Remedy Order, announcing a defect in some of the subject inflators. Daimler AG (“DAG”), the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has not been made aware of any confirmed field incidents with the subject Takata PSPI-2 inflators in their vehicles.

Nonetheless, based on the information provided and the long term investigation and subsequent recalls, and out of an abundance of caution, DAG is voluntarily conducting a recall of the vehicles equipped with the subject Takata PSPI-2 inflators in zones A, B, and C in the United States and its territories, in accordance with the 3rd Amendment to the Consent Order and as previously planned in conjunction with Takata and the NHTSA.

The Solution

Mercedes-Benz is in the process of notifying owners . An interim letter was mailed between Feb. 1 and March 8, and a second letter will be sent when parts are available. Authorized dealers will then replace the passenger-side front air bag modules in the potentially affected Mercedes-Benz vehicles, at no cost. In the cases of owners who have already addressed this defect by paying out of their own pocket, Mercedes-Benz will provide notice regarding reimbursement to owners in the customer letter.

Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for these recalls is 19V010000.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls Nearly 300,000 More 2010-2017 Vehicles for Takata Airbag Defects

Daimler Recalls More Than 200,000 Mercedes-Benz Vehicles for Airbag Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 24, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2018 Cabriolet, Coupe, 4Matic, Plug-In Hybrid and AMG vehicles equipped with Audio 20 head units and automatic child seat recognition due to issues with passenger side airbag protection. The potential number of units affected is 104,663.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, Daimler AG, the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, has determined that certain C-Class and GLC vehicles (205 and 253 platforms) which have been equipped with Audio 20 head units and automatic child seat recognition, could have a potential safety risk.

Due to a signal logic error, the status of the passenger side airbags may display incorrectly in the center console, resulting in the user failing to be informed correctly about the actual activation status of the passenger side airbags. A potential false passenger classification could increase the risk of injury for the passenger in case of a crash, and with an incorrect activation status shown, the user will not be warned to correct the situation for maximum safety.

If the passenger air bag is incorrectly displayed as ‘ON’ when it is not, both the driver and the front seat passenger may be unaware that the air bag will not deploy in the event of a crash, increasing their risk of injury. While there is a chance that the customer may be made aware of the issue by an incorrect display of the passenger airbag status (such as both on and off lights glowing), in other cases the customer will not receive an advance warning due to the nature of issue (the incorrect light glowing).

Timeline of Events

In late February 2018, DAG launched initial investigations based on an isolated field report which described a condition in which both the airbag off and on light were displayed at the same time. In March 2018, a second vehicle showed similar symptoms in the field, and was requested by DAG for further analysis. By late April 2018, these analyses indicated that there was a potential signal logic error between the seat mat, the head unit, and the display in the center console on the second vehicle. In May 2018, subsequent analyses were begun in an attempt to identify a possible root cause for the error.

In June and July 2018, analyses results pointed to a potential timing issue of the head unit. In August 2018, DAG and the supplier performed further testing, and the potential for both lights to be displayed at the same time, and also an incorrect light to be displayed, was confirmed. In September 2018, the potential consequences of an incorrect display of the passenger airbag status were analyzed, and in October 2018, a plant action was launched to rework first, all affected vehicles within reach of the plant at that time, and second, to rework potentially affected vehicles in the field as they were identified. In November 2018, DAG determined that the possibility of a potential safety risk existing could not be definitively ruled out and issued the recall. A change of the head unit software ensured that this issue could no longer occur from October 12, 2018, onwards.

The Solution

MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will update the audio head unit software, free of charge. All involved vehicles remain covered under the new vehicle warranty. The recall is expected to begin January 2, 2019. 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-838.

Sean ReyesDaimler Recalls More Than 200,000 Mercedes-Benz Vehicles for Airbag Issue

Mercedes-Benz Recalls More Than 6,000 Vehicles for Faulty Steering Rack Locknut

Laguna Hills, CA – December 24, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2015-2019 Coupe and Cabrio vehicles due to a faulty nut in the steering rack. The potential number of units affected is 6,162.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, Daimler AG (“DAG”), the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, determined that on certain vehicles with rear-wheel drive, a locknut in the steering rack might have internal material cracks. Additionally, six vehicles were identified as having been previously repaired using the affected locknut. In the unlikely event that such a locknut was installed in the affected vehicle population, large lateral forces, such as those encountered by impacting a curb during maneuvering or parking, could cause the locknut to break. This could also cause the steering to become fixed in a static position, which would increase the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

In February 2018, the supplier of the steering rack informed DAG about instances of broken locknuts in the supplier’s production process. Subsequently, DAG launched investigations of this issue together with the supplier. It was determined that the material of a certain batch of locknuts might have internal cracks due to a process deviation at a sub-supplier, and it was concluded that locknuts exhibiting this issue would be identified in the production process of the supplier by the installed quality inspections and application of defined loads and forces to the steering racks in the production process. These conclusions were confirmed by additional high-stress load testing of potentially affected locknuts.

After this investigation was completed, DAG determined in March 2018 that no safety relevance for this issue existed, as all potentially affected locknuts or steering racks would be identified in the supplier’s production process. However, in June 2018, DAG was informed about an instance of a fixed steering assembly during unloading of a new vehicle at a dealer in Asia. The steering rack of this vehicle was shipped to the supplier for investigation and in mid-July 2018 a broken locknut was identified as the root cause. Subsequently, the investigation of the aforementioned issue was re-opened in order to clarify why the locknut was not identified as faulty during the production process of the supplier.

Between August and September 2018, it was concluded that the locknut in question had internal cracks in the material, thus making it impossible for those cracks to be detected by the installed quality inspections at the supplier. Until then, it was assumed that all cracks would be visible on the surface and thus be detectable by the installed magnetic particle testing. Furthermore, it was concluded that the existing conformity-of-production tests that apply defined forces to each steering rack might not in every case lead to a detection of an affected locknut in the supplier’s production process.

In October 2018, further testing was carried out to analyze the forces potentially occurring during vehicle operation as well as the speeds and driving situations under which such forces might occur. It was concluded that a breakage of an affected locknut would only occur under maximum forces acting on the steering rack. Such forces typically appear in case of contact with the curb during parking or maneuvering of the vehicle. These driving situations usually occur at low speeds. At the same time, the range of potentially affected vehicles was determined by analyzing logistics documents of the complete supply chain.

In November 2018, DAG determined that a potential safety risk cannot be ruled out, and voluntarily issued a recall.

The Solution

As a precautionary measure an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer will replace the steering rack on the affected vehicles. The steering racks to be installed in the scope of the recall contain locknuts which meet production specifications. MBUSA does not plan to provide notice about pre-notice reimbursement to owners since all involved vehicles remain covered under the new vehicle warranty. The recall is expected to begin January 25, 2019. 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-850.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls More Than 6,000 Vehicles for Faulty Steering Rack Locknut

Mercedes-Benz Recalls Station Wagons for Improperly Mounted Spoiler

Laguna Hills, CA – December 24, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2019 Mercedes-Benz E450 4Matic Wagon and E63S AMG Wagon vehicles due to an incorrectly mounted spoiler. The potential number of units affected is 16.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, due to a deviation in the production process, the tailgate spoiler might not have been mounted according to current production specification. The affected vehicles have a tailgate mounted spoiler that may not be properly attached and therefore could detach while driving at high speeds with no warning to the driver. If the tailgate mounted spoiler detaches while driving, it can become a road hazard, increasing the risk of a crash.

Timeline of Events

At the end of October 2018, DAG launched initial investigations based on an individual field report from outside the U.S. in which a customer allegedly experienced the subject condition outlined above. No third-party damages or personal injuries were reported. The parts of the affected vehicle were analyzed and indicated an incorrect mounting of the tailgate spoiler.

In November 2018, further analysis determined that due to a deviation in the production process the tailgate spoiler might not have been mounted according to current production specification. Further investigations were performed to analyze potential impacts and to determine which vehicles might potentially be affected. DAG then determined that a potential safety risk could not be ruled out.

The Solution

MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and correct the mounting of the spoiler, as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 19, 2018. Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372. MBUSA’s number for this recall is 2018120002. 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-849.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls Station Wagons for Improperly Mounted Spoiler

Mercedes-Benz Recalls More Than 5,000 Vehicles for Seatbelt Issue

Laguna Hills, CA – December 18, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2019 4Matic, Cabriolet, Coupe, AMG and Mercedes-Mayback vehicles for incorrect detection of seatbelt fasten status. Daimler AG (“DAG”), the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, has determined that on certain vehicles, the switches in seatbelt buckles might not have been manufactured according to specifications. The potential number of units affected is 5,433.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, a correctly fastened seatbelt could be erroneously detected as unfastened. In this case neither the electric (PRE-SAFE®-function) nor the pyrotechnic tensioning would be activated in the event of a crash, and the full effect of the restraint system would be impaired. This could significantly increase the risk of injury for occupants in the event of a crash. If a vehicle exhibits the recall condition described, the customer may be made aware of the issue by a warning tone and a seat belt warning lamp in the instrument cluster.

Timeline of Events

In August 2018, DAG launched initial investigations based on a single incident reported from its production plant regarding a vehicle exhibiting the described issue during an end of line test. Subsequently, DAG and the responsible supplier’s joint analysis identified a deviation in the production of the switch inside the seatbelt buckle as the root cause.

In October 2018, DAG reviewed logistics documents together with the relevant suppliers and sub-suppliers to determine which potentially affected batches of seatbelt buckles had been delivered to DAG. Based on the results, potentially affected vehicles were identified, and the voluntary recall was issued.

The Solution

As a precautionary measure an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer will replace the relevant seatbelt buckles in the affected vehicles. MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will replace the seat belt buckles, free of charge. An interim letter will be mailed beginning January 25, 2019 to notify owners of the issue. A second letter will be mailed once remedy parts are available. 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-839.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls More Than 5,000 Vehicles for Seatbelt Issue

Mercedes-Benz Recalls 7 Vehicles for Potential Power Steering Malfunction

Laguna Hills, CA – December 18, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2019 GLC300 vehicles due to a potential issue with power steering. Daimler AG (“DAG”) has determined that on certain Model Year (“MY”) GLCClass vehicles (253 platforms), an internal sensor within the electric power steering unit might not meet specifications due to a production deviation at a supplier. The potential number of units affected is seven.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, an internal sensor within the electric power steering unit may fail, deactivating the power steering assist. If the sensor were to fail while driving, the position of the electronic motor within the power steering unit would no longer be detected, resulting in a deactivation of the power steering support. This would increase the risk of a crash. The customer will be made aware of a deactivation of the power steering support by a warning message in the instrument cluster.

Timeline of Events

In August 2018, DAG launched initial investigations based on a declaration of a supplier regarding potential deviations of certain power steering units, and immediately initiated a plant campaign. In September 2018, further investigations were carried out in conjunction with the supplier to analyze the failure mode within the production at the supplier.

In October 2018, DAG and the supplier co-reviewed logistics documents to determine which steering assemblies might potentially be affected, and further analyses were completed to identify potentially affected vehicles. In November 2018, DAG determined that there was potential failure of the magnetic sensor, and that a potential safety risk could not be ruled out and made the decision to issue a voluntary recall for affected vehicles.

The Solution

MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will replace the steering unit, free of charge. An interim letter will be mailed beginning January 25, 2019 to notify owners of the issue. A second letter will be mailed once remedy parts are available. 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-840.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls 7 Vehicles for Potential Power Steering Malfunction

Mercedes Benz Recalls More Than Four Thousand Vehicles for Incorrect Battery Covers

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.

The Defect

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.

The Solution

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.

Sean ReyesMercedes Benz Recalls More Than Four Thousand Vehicles for Incorrect Battery Covers