Mercedes-Benz Recalls 495,000 Cars for Accidental Airbag Deployment ""

By | October 24, 2017

2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC coupe

Mercedes-Benz is recalling 495,290 cars in the U.S. for airbags that may inadvertently deploy, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The problem, which is unrelated to the Takata airbag-inflator recalls, involves inadvertent deployment of ungrounded driver’s-side airbags without warning. Certain new and late-model vehicles are affected, including the 2012–2018 C-class sedan, coupe, and cabriolet; the 2012–2017 E-class sedan, wagon, coupe, and cabriolet; the 2013–2015 GLK-class; the 2014–2017 B-class Electric Drive; the 2014–2018 CLA-class; the 2015–2018 GLA-class; and the 2016–2018 GLC-class. Certain vehicles, such as the 2013 E63 AMG and the 2016 C450 AMG Sport, were not cited. A total of 6430 new cars and 20,964 used cars were in dealer inventory as of October 16; the new cars cannot legally be sold until they are fixed.

2015 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz says airbags may deploy if the steering-column clockspring breaks and exposes the components to an electrostatic charge. The clockspring is a rotary connector that allows the steering wheel to turn without disconnecting the electrical wiring inside. If the clockspring breaks due to wear, the airbag light will illuminate. Only if that happens, according to Mercedes-Benz, is there imminent risk of the airbag deploying. Dealers will repair the steering-wheel module with sufficient grounding starting in December.

According to filings, Mercedes-Benz said it knows of at least five incidents worldwide where the airbag deployed since it first discovered the problem in April 2015. A larger-scale investigation was initiated in January 2017. Although the company corrected the problem at its factories on July 23, it did not officially identify the root cause and institute a recall until last month.

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