A Small Number of Mercedes Cars May Have Rearview Camera Delays

re: NHTSA campaign

Laguna Hills, Calif. – February 5, 2020 – Mercedes Benz USA is recalling certain 2019 A220 and A220 4MATIC vehicles. Affected vehicles’ rearview cameras may have a delay between their display and actual events because of a software problem. As a result, these vehicles are not in compliance with Federal Motor Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111, “Rearview Mirrors.”

The potential number of vehicles affected is 22.

The Defect:

Affected vehicles’ rearview cameras may have an insufficient response time. A delayed image might mean that drivers miss hazards that are behind them, increasing the possibility of an accident. 

This defect only occurs in certain situations. Specifically, the vehicle’s central display must be manually turned off before the ignition is turned off, and the gear selector must be shifted into reverse within 25 seconds of the car subsequently restarting. Aside from that, however, the driver will have no warning signs that their rearview camera is not working at full capacity.

Mercedes Benz began to review rearview backup camera performance on some of its vehicles in Aug 2018. This internal review came as a result of specific information and Mercedes Benz’s line of vans. However, reviewers determined that the issue affecting Mercedes’ vans might also be occurring on the rearview cameras of some passenger cars.

In Oct 2018, Mercedes Benz began incorporating an updated rearview camera software into its vehicles, as well as already manufactured vehicles that were still in production facilities or vehicle preparation centers.

In the summer of 2019, a task force set up by Mercedes Benz America began conducting a review of open plant actions. During that review, officials became aware of the possibility that some of the updated vehicles may have been reworked in ways that did not meet specifications exactly, causing the defect and putting the vehicles out of compliance with Federal Motor Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111, “Rearview Mirrors.” Task force workers informed the Mercedes Benz after sales department. Further analysis determined the range of affected vehicles as being at only 22 vehicles sold in the United States. At the time of the recall, no reports of delay or associated accidents have been reported.

On Jan 17, 2020, Mercedes Benz America decided to conduct a safety recall.

Solution:

Affected owners can take their vehicles into a certified Mercedes Benz dealer to have the software of their rearview camera updated. Dealers will be notified of the pending recall on Feb 3, 2020. Owners of recalled vehicles will be notified on March 27, 2020.

Mercedes Benz will be required to send a draft of their planned owner notification letters to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at least five days prior to mailing. In addition, the company must submit copies of any additional communications with owners and dealers, including notices and bulletins, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within five days of their publication. Finally, Mercedes Benz must submit six quarterly reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration moving forward

The defect in rearview camera technology was fixed in production from Oct 2018 forward. 

Dealers that sell any recalled vehicles in their inventory previous to repair are in violation of federal law. Additionally, car rental companies that rent any recalled vehicles previous to repair are also in violation of federal law.

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

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About MotorSafety.org

MotorSafety.org is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to vehicle safety and assisting consumers with the identification and resolution of vehicle manufacturing recalls and defects. Through education, awareness, government relations, repair facility referrals and strategic partnerships, MotorSafety.org hopes to remove every unsafe vehicle from the road, facilitate its proper repair, and ensure its prompt return to the owner once the vehicle has met the required safety and performance standards. For more information about MotorSafety.org, please email support@motorsafety.org.

Marshall EarleyA Small Number of Mercedes Cars May Have Rearview Camera Delays

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