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.
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.
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.