Mercedes Recalls Smart Cars With Defective Headlamps

Montvale, N.J. – March 31, 2017 – Mercedes-Benz USA has recalled more than 2,200 vehicles with defective headlamps. The recall impacts the Smart Fortwo coupes produced between June and September 2015, according to documentation filed with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The car maker estimates that 100 percent of the vehicles named in the recall contain damaged features.

The Defect

Affected models have headlamps that do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, which dictates that such fixtures with low beams should not include horizontal adjustment features. In most cases, car makers permanently secure the horizontal headlamp adjustment screw with sealing caps immediately following production. The vehicles named in the recall have faulty sealant mechanisms, giving owners the ability to adjust their headlamps horizontally. This not only fails to comply with federal safety standards, but could also pose safety risks.

Timeline of Events

Mercedes engineers discovered the defect during a compliance check performed in September 2016. The car maker launched an investigation immediately and discovered that the problem could impact a large number of vehicles. Over the next month, engineers reviewed the sealing caps and their technical implications. It was determined that the fixtures put the company at risk from a compliance perspective.

In January 2017, officials reviewed production records to get an accurate total of the vehicles affected. Mercedes issued a recall in March.

The Solution

The automaker has directed dealers to install new headlamp sealant caps, free of charge, according to the NHTSA. The car maker has not released a timetable for dealer notification. However, owners are expected to receive notification in August 2017.

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