Jacksonville, Fla. – July 24, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz USA has recalled almost 400 vehicles potentially equipped with defective rear seat components, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The campaign affects 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 and GLA 250 4Matic sport utility vehicles produced between March 13, 2017, and April 28, 2017. The German automaker suspects all of the models involved in the action contain the defective parts.
Affected vehicles feature rear seat belt assemblies whose child restraint anchorage points may be missing. Without these components, owners cannot properly secure kids’ car seats, leaving underage passengers exposed in the event of an accident. This defect therefore poses a serious risk to occupants. However, Mercedes-Benz has yet to receive field reports linking the defective parts to any collisions or injuries.
In addition to posing a substantial safety hazard, this defect violates Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 225, Section 4.4, which states that “at least one of the child restraint anchorage systems shall be installed at a forward-facing seating position in the second row in each vehicle that has three or more rows, if such a forward-facing seating position is available in that row.”
Timeline of Events
Engineers from a Mercedes-Benz assembly site contacted Daimler AG, the brand’s parent company, in September 2017 and reported that several newly produced vehicles had come off the line without rear seat restraint anchorage points. This prompted the car manufacturer to launch an official investigation, which revealed that a number of 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 SUVs were indeed missing these parts due to incorrect assembly documentation.
Daimler AG immediately reworked affected models remaining in factories and reviewed production logs to determine if vehicles without the required rear seat restraint anchorage points had been shipped out to dealers. This inquiry confirmed that such models had been released for purchase.
On June 15, 2018, the automotive conglomerate decided that a voluntary safety recall was necessary.
Daimler AG will direct dealers to replace the rear backseat rests in affected vehicles free of charge, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgement document. The company intends to inform dealers of the forthcoming action July 27, 2018, and reach out to owners via first-class mail Aug. 3, 2018. However, those in need of more immediate assistance can speak with Mercedes-Benz customer service personnel by calling (800) 367-6372.
Owners can also connect with the NHTSA directly using the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.