Mercedes Benz Airbags in Need of Update

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 19, 2019 – Mercedes Benz USA, LLC is recalling certain 2019 E53 AMG 4MATIC, E63 AMG 4MATIC Wagon and E63S AMG 4MATIC Wagon vehicles. The incorrect driver air bag and related software may have been installed.

The potential number of vehicles affected is estimated at 99.

The Defect

According to Mercedes Benz, the affected vehicles were built early in the production period and equipped with a prototype airbag hardware and software. Each of the affected vehicles was not updated by the Vehicle Processing Center before being released to the public, as is protocol. Due to the defect, drivers will not receive advanced warning when their airbags are deployed. A faulty driver air bag and software version can cause the vehicle’s restraint systems to not work during a crash, creating a greater risk of injury.

Mercedes Benz notes that vehicles outside of the recall population are fully equipped with the correct equipment and software.

Timeline of Events

Mercedes Benz developed the initial airbag modules for the new model year in September, 2018 and production of all of the affected vehicles occurred between June 20, 2018 and February 5, 2019. These early production vehicles were supposed to be updated after that time. A routine plant audit determined that the affected vehicles were released without an update. In the case of each affected model, Mercedes Benz was able to determine the recall population through production records.

Mercedes Benz decided to conduct a safety recall on November 29, 2019. The company submitted paperwork to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on December 6, 2019.

The Solution

Mercedes Benz will notify both owners and dealers of the defect. Dealers will be notified December 13, 2019, while owners will be notified February 4, 2020. The recall is voluntary for owners. Authorized Mercedes Benz dealers will replace customers’ air bags and upgrade the software so that it is certified for the 2019 model year. Because the affected vehicles are a newer model, all upgrades will be covered by warranty.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesMercedes Benz Airbags in Need of Update

Mercedes Benz Recalls a Single 2020 GLE450 4MATIC Vehicle Over Issue with Third Row Headrests

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 18, 2019 – Mercedes Benz USA LLC is recalling one 2020 GLE450 4MATIC vehicle. The issue involves interior furniture being manufactured below standard. The vehicle’s third row seat headrests possess insufficient padding; in addition, the securing rod may not hold the headrest in place. These issues affect the adjusting of the headrest and the level of comfort, and may increase the risk of injury for occupants.

There is only one unit that is believed to be affected by this issue.

The Defect

The headrest issue involves one 2020 GLE450 4MATIC vehicle. This vehicle possesses third row headrests that did not meet intended manufacturing standards. These headrests are proportioned incorrectly and possess adjustment rods that do not function as intended. This affects the comfort of passengers sitting in these seats. More importantly, the headrest may not properly protect passengers in the event of automotive collisions. This increases the risk of injury and death.

Timeline of Events

On December 6, 2019, Mercedes Benz USA LLC, was made aware of an issue regarding incorrectly manufactured third row headrests. The vehicle affected by this issue was identified through production records; it was determined that the defect is limited to one vehicle in the recall population; a single GLE450 4MATIC vehicle. On December 17, Mercedes Benz released a public recall notice with the NHSTA, describing the issue and announcing a planned remedy process. The recall is expected to begin February 4 of next year.

The Solution

Mercedes Benz USA LLC will notify the owner of the identified vehicle. An authorized Mercedes Benz dealer will replace the defective third row headsets at no cost to the owner. The recall is expected to begin February 4, 2020; in the event of changes or new information, the owner will be informed. The company has not publicly released any special instructions regarding the ownership and operation of the vehicle in the meantime. Presumably, it would be advisable to not operate the vehicle in question with occupants in the third row of seats.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesMercedes Benz Recalls a Single 2020 GLE450 4MATIC Vehicle Over Issue with Third Row Headrests

Mercedes-Benz Recalls Thousands of Cars For Seat Belt Issues

Laguna Hills, CA – Dec. 3, 2019 – Eighteen models manufactured by Mercedes-Benz USA are due for recall after the automaker discovered some of the seat belt assemblies do not work. Buckling up is required by law in most states and not wearing one dramatically increases the risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. All told, nearly 26,700 models are included in the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall.

MBUSA says it aims to begin notifying operators of the affected automobiles by mail starting on New Year’s Eve. Those receiving the warnings are asked to have their vehicles checked out by an authorized MBUSA dealer so the problem can be fixed.

The Defect

In paperwork available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mercedes-Benz is set to recall 29,679 automobiles – whose model years run between 2018 and 2019 – because the seat belts in the front seats fail to work. In some cases, the belts may buckle in fine, but the internal detection system may not recognize that this is the case. This may result in future issues, such as if the pretensioner – which is manipulated by the vehicles’ PRE-SAFE® controls – is rendered inoperable.

Although the size of the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall is fairly small, it involves multiple model types:

  • 2019 AMG GT 63
  • 2019 AMG GT 63 S
  • 2019 CLS450
  • 2019 CLS53
  • 2018-2019 E300
  • 2018 E400
  • 2018 E43 AMG
  • 2019 E450
  • 2019 E53
  • 2018-2019 E63 S AMG
  • 2019 G550
  • 2019 G63
  • 2019 GLC300
  • 2019 GLC350E
  • 2019 GLC 43 AMG
  • 2019 GLC63
  • 2019 GLC53 AMG
  • 2018-2019 GLC63S AMG

Of the 50 states, 49 require all drivers to buckle up. Most motorists do so, based upon NHTSA’s most recently available usage statistics. In 2016, the latest year for verifiable data, 10,428 people died in car crashes where seat belts were left unused. Had they been wearing them, 2,456 of those individuals would likely have survived their injuries.

Timeline of Events

This problem traces back to October 2018. At that time, safety officials at Mercedes-Benz learned of a few incidents in which operators had their seat belts fastened, but the restraint system didn’t recognize that was the case.

Because an initial review couldn’t determine the cause of the glitch, a task force was assigned to investigate. Reviewers determined the most likely origin of the problem had to do with the “geometrical dimensions” of the belt buckle itself. The task force also noted that the seat belt buckle housing could also be compromised.

In the process of working out a solution, Mercedes-Benz was alerted to two other incidents in August 2019 related to seat belt detection by the occupant restraint system, which furthered the potential for a safety recall.

Mercedes-Benz has announced multiple safety recalls in 2019. In February, it recalled 300,000 vehicles because of defects with air bag deployment. Another air bag-related recall took place in August, only that one involved just 457 models.

The Solution

Mercedes-Benz has since developed a resolution that can fix the flaw. Motorists who drive one of the aforementioned automobiles are advised to check their mail for a notification, which the automaker will start distributing in December. Operators should bring their vehicle to a dealership so the issue can be fixed by replacing the malfunctioning units. There will be no charge for this repair.

For more information on the Mercedes-Benz seat belt recall and whether you’re affected, please visit MotorSafety.org. Be sure to have your VIN to check your status.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz Recalls Thousands of Cars For Seat Belt Issues

Mercedes-Benz faces recall over window trim

Laguna Hills, CA – Nov. 4, 2019 – Mercedes-Benz USA recently had to issue a recall for a number of light sport utility vehicles in its 2020 model year for issues related to mounted rear window trim bars that were installed outside of company specifications.

Altogether, nearly 13,800 vehicles were involved in the recall, all of which are believed to carry this defect. This includes the following light SUVs, all in the 2020 line:

  • 10,068 GLE350 4MATICs
  • 2,290 GLE450 4MATICs
  • 1,148 GLS450 4MATICs
  • 22 GLS580 4MATICs
  • 1 GLE350

It is believed 100% of the specific vehicles in the recall carry the defect in question. Those light SUVs were identified via production records, and many have non-sequential vehicle identification numbers. However, many other vehicles sharing the same model year but which outside the recall group have trim bars that were installed properly.

The Defect

Specifically, all those vehicles – each one a GLE-Class or GLS-Class light SUVs produced between Aug. 23, 2018, and Sept. 27, 2019 – have a trim bar fastening on the rear door windows that could, under certain driving conditions, separate from the vehicle entirely. While this would not pose a likely risk to the drivers of these vehicles themselves, others around them on the road could be injured or become more likely to crash as a result of such a detachment.

The issue arises due to a tolerance deviation at the supplier, and unfortunately drivers of these vehicles will not be able to detect whether their fastenings are at risk for failure.

Timeline of Events

Around mid-August of this year, Daimler Auto Group – which controls Mercedes-Benz USA – received a report of a situation in which one such rear door window fastening failure occurred on a GLE-Class light SUV. The company then began an investigation into the issue, to better understand how it began and what could happen in the event of a failure. Over the course of about six weeks, the investigation determined that the issue came at the supplier level, and it would need to be addressed in short order.

On Sept. 27, the company determined that it could not rule out this issue becoming a safety problem for the other affected vehicles, and ordered the voluntary recall at that time.

The Solution

Drivers who receive the recall notice should return to an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer. There, technicians will check the fastening on the rear door windows and, if necessary, rework them so that they once again fall within specification at no cost.

However, the company does not plan to provide any notice about pre-notice reimbursements for owners of these vehicles, as all the affected models are within warranty, given that they are in the 2020 model year. The company also noted that as of Sept. 27, the design tolerances of the parts DAG receives from the Kentucky-based supplier has changed, so no further issues of this type will occur.

Mercedes-Benz dealers were first notified of the voluntary recall on Oct. 11, and owners of these vehicles will receive their own notifications around the first week of December.

For additional information about this recall, consumers can contact Mercedes-Benz USA via phone at 1-877-496-3691, or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

For more information on this or other recalls past or present, visit MotorSafety.org.

Sean ReyesMercedes-Benz faces recall over window trim

Ill-Mounted Spoiler Sparks Recall of Select Mercedes-Benz Wagons

Laguna Hills, CA – Oct. 25, 2019 – Mercedes-Benz USA has launched a small-scale recall on certain station wagons, over fears that the spoilers attached to the rear portion of these vehicles may dislodge and fall off, creating a roadway hazard that could result in a crash were people are injured. The models involved include the 2019 E450 4Matic Wagon, 2017-2018 E400 4Matic Wagon and 2018-2019 E63S 4Matic Wagon.

The luxury automaker began apprising owners of this rear spoiler recall Oct. 18. Recipients can take their automobile back to the dealer so a new spoiler can be installed if it’s deemed appropriate. There is no cost for this fix.

The Defect

Approximately 4,765 Mercedes-Benz station wagons are newly subject to a nationwide recall notice, as the rear spoilers mounted onto the trunks of these vehicles may detach, according to paperwork submitted to and compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The station wagons in question include the following:

  • 2017-2018 E400
  • 2018-2019 E63S
  • 2019 E450

It’s possible that these spoilers may ultimately fall from their perch when motorists are out on the road. This could create a hazard that causes motorists to swerve or strike a trailing vehicle and perhaps result in an accident where people are hurt.

Timeline of Events

This problem first came to the luxury automaker’s attention in October 2018, after a single instance in which the spoiler on an E-Class model fell from its mount. A follow-up investigation into the circumstances surrounding the problem determined that the defective spoiler was likely caused by human error, installed by a worker who was on the job temporarily, according to NHTSA filings. Approximately 16 other station wagons had the same issue and each were recalled to correct the errantly affixed spoilers.

Roughly a year later, however, Daimler AG – the parent company of Mercedes-Benz – was made aware of other instances in which the rear spoilers were improperly installed and that the problem was not isolated to human error but rather a manufacturing flaw.

Out of an abundance of caution, DAG implemented a voluntary recall on certain station wagons that it had reason to believe were affected. The company estimates that 5% – or 238 automobiles – of the recalled population have the defect. They were likely manufactured somewhere between early October of last year and early-to-mid January.

The rear spoiler recall is the latest safety issue Mercedes-Benz has come across over the last year or so. Like many of its contemporaries, MB was also affected by air bag defects, as the luxury automaker recalled nearly 288,800 models in late February. The company administered a separate recall in late December involving 6,000 vehicles, which contained faulty steering rack locknuts.

The Solution

The luxury automaker is partnering with the NHTSA to ensure that motorists pertaining to the rear spoiler recall are notified. If owners have not already received mailers making them aware of this issue, they should at any time, as the notices were sent out Oct. 18. Dealers were informed a week earlier. There is no deadline to have this problem corrected and the repair is for free.

For more information on existing Mercedes-Benz recall, visit MotorSafety.org and click on the “Mercedes-Benz” hyperlink.

Sean ReyesIll-Mounted Spoiler Sparks Recall of Select Mercedes-Benz Wagons

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