Mercedes-Benz recalls SUVs for electrical short

Jacksonville, FL – May 6, 2021 – Daimler AG (NASDAQ:DDAIF), which owns the Mercedes-Benz brand has recalled 6,331 SUVs that may experience an electrical short due to a water leak. The recall includes:

  • 2021 Mercedes Benz AMG GLE 53
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE350
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE450
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE580
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLS450
  • 2020 Mercedes Benz GLS580

Recall summary  

The recall centers around an issue with the air conditioning drain hose, which may be installed incorrectly. Just like how water beads up on the outside of a glass of ice water, cool air from air conditioning causes water to condense into droplets inside the air conditioner. This water has to drip somewhere, and the drain hose is supposed to move that moisture out of the car, away from sensitive wiring and electronics.

In the recalled vehicles, the incorrectly installed drain hoses may cause water to leak down into the floor of the car. The electrical wiring there is not waterproof, and the water could cause an electrical short, creating the risk of a fire. 

Previous recalls

This recall builds on two previous ones by Mercedes Benz, who recalled 18,392 vehicles in 2019 and 3,615 in 2020 for the same issue in other models. Mercedes blames the loosely connected drain hoses on a “deviation in the assembly process” during manufacturing.

Warning signs

If the air conditioner drain hose is leaking,  drivers and passengers may notice the carpet under their feet is wet, or that the windows are fogged up.


This water leak poses several risks. The various electronics that may be damaged by the water can disable features related to safety, like the emergency call system that alerts first responders if a crash is detected, and the door locks (which may hinder first responders from opening the doors in an emergency). If the vehicle is suddenly forced into a decreased power mode, the car may slow unexpectedly, creating the risk of a crash. 

Lastly, the risk of fire is serious, and puts passengers at risk of inhaling toxic fumes, getting burned or dying. Read more about the risks of an interior car fire in this article about a recent Hyundai recall over fires caused by the 12-volt “cigarette lighter” outlet.

The repair

Mercedes Benz dealers will check the air conditioner drain hose and make sure it is installed properly, free of charge. Owners will be notified about the recall with more information about when and how to seek repairs starting June 22.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

Over 6,000 vehicles are included in this Mercedes Benz recall. To see if your SUV is one of them, use MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Rebecca RandMercedes-Benz recalls SUVs for electrical short

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