Mercedes-Benz is a German luxury car brand and division of manufacturer Daimler AG that is responsible for many achievements in automobile history. Though the company’s founders Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler never met, their combined inventions led to the development of the modern combustion engine, the first automobile, and first motorcycle.
Mercedes-Benz cars gained notoriety for their successes in racing. The company did face setbacks after WWII due to its connections with the Nazi regime, but it has since regained popularity among politicians and world leaders. Mercedes-Benz continues to be known for its developments in automobile engineering, including innovations in airbags, seat belts, engine power, and crash safety technology. It is currently the world’s largest premium carmaker.
Mercedes- Benz Defects and Recalls
Though Mercedes-Benz has no doubt had success in its many years of being in business, the company has produced vehicles that pose a threat to consumers and were subject to recalls.
This section will give a brief overview of some of the largest Mercedes-Benz vehicle recalls. There were a number of different reasons that these vehicles were recalled ranging from defective parts to assembly errors. It is important to note that this not a complete list of the recalls that have been issued. To search for recalls related to your vehicle, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Mercedes-Benz websites.
Nearly 1 million Mercedes-Benz cars have been recalled for their defunct Takata airbags. Takata, a Japanese auto part maker, has recalled almost 70 million cars since 2013 for malfunctioning airbags. Affected Mercedes-Benz cars include the 2006-2012 R-Class, the 2005-2014 C-Class, E-Class, GL-Class, M-Class, and SLK, and the 2011-2014 SLS AMG. The recall affected both driver-side and passenger-side airbags. The company agreed to pay both dealers and certain car owners for the inconvenience.
This year, 50,000 Mercedes-Benz cars were recalled for defective sensors in its Occupant Classification System (OCS) software that can register an installed child seat when none has been installed, automatically disengaging the passenger-side airbags.
The company recently recalled 48 vehicles with failing axle bolts on the front or rear axles. Due to an error in assembly, the bolts may fracture, decreasing the stability of the vehicle. The recall will go into effect February 2017 and includes 2015 GL350 4Matic Blutec, GL450 4Matic, GL550 4Matic, ML250 Blutec, ML350, ML350 4Matic, ML400 4Matic and the 2015-2016 GL63 AMG 4Matic vehicles. All vehicles included in the recall were manufactured between September 29, 2014 and March 27, 2015.
In 2005, Mercedes-Benz canceled its innovative by-wire break system that substituted the traditional mechanical link between the break pedal and the breaks with an electrical link that activates the brakes. Customers reported failures in the electrical link, and the secondary hydraulic brake system caused longer brake times and more dangerous conditions. About 2 million E-Class and CLS-Class cars were recalled.
2010 and 2011 C-Class and E-Class models were recalled for failures in the power-steering system. The connection between the power-steering line and the power-steering pump wasn’t fully tightened during production, allowing for loosening of the parts, fluid leakage, and eventual loss of power assistance. The recall included about 85,000 cars.
An additional 10,500 C-Class cars were recalled from the U.S. in 2014 for complications with the steering coupling interlock. The cars left the factory with the interlock in an open position instead of a locked position, potentially causing power-steering failure during turns. The issue was spotted in Europe where customers reported squeaking tires.
Mercedes-Benz pushed a massive recall of 2014 sedans that could potentially loose power to the steering control unit software, requiring extra steering effort that can increase the risk of crashes.
Five Mercedes-Benz car models were recalled in 2016 for faulty seatbelt extenders. The extenders have the potential to not retract and break during a crash or leave too much seatbelt slack, increasing the risk of injury. The cars’ engineers found that the control units were incorrectly coded and failed to account for friction occurring in the extenders. The recall includes three Coupe models and two Convertibles.
Six more models were also recalled in 2016 for faulty anchor bolts in the right rear seatbelt. In the event of a crash the seatbelts had the potential to become detached and fail to protect passengers.
Midwest Automotive Designs recalled 28 Mercedes-Benz models from 2016 due to issues with the seat adjusters. Sprinter 2500 and 3500 vans were outfitted with faulty left-side seat adjustors that allowed seats to move during a crash, increasing the risk of injury.
Mercedes-Benz also recalled the 2010 GLE Coupe 450 and AMG 4Matic because the rear head restraints had the potential to fail in very low temperatures.
Six Mercedes-Benz car models were recalled last year for poor headlight adjustments. The low-beam headlights in these three models were not properly aimed during production, decreasing visibility for drivers and preventing compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment”.
In 2015, 9,137 Mercedes-Benz car units were recalled for errors in the manufacturing process of headlights. The cars erroneously allowed drivers to alter the horizontal headlight adjustment for low beam headlights. The new alignments had the potential to blind oncoming drivers with glare or fail to properly illuminate the road in front of the car.
A number of Mercedes-Benz recalls center on electrical issues in the car. Many of the electrical issues temporarily disengage a portion of the car, increasing the risk of an accident.
In 2016, almost 6,000 cars were recalled for an error in the electrical control unit (ECU) software that allowed the engine to shut down while a driver was breaking.
Another model was recalled in 2016 because wiring for the electrical steering unit was improperly placed, allowing chaffing. This could potentially result in the unexpected deployment of the airbags or the engine could stall.
Mercedes-Benz Safety Ratings
Mercedes-Benz cars generally receive high safety ratings. The National Institute for Highway Safety has awarded “good” — the highest level of safety classification — to all 2017 Mercedes-Benz car models. Older models have more mixed reviews, ranging from “marginal” to “acceptable” to “good”. Some newer Mercedes-Benz cars received a “poor” marking for low visibility headlights. This may be a response to factory errors and recalls that some newer Mercedes-Benz cars received for improper positioning of their headlights before they left the factory. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also awarded high safety marks to Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Contact An Attorney
If you or you loved one has been injured due to a defect in your Mercedes-Benz vehicle, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today. You can reach his office at (303) 825-2223 or contact him online by filling out an online contact form.