Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC has issued a recall involving as much as 126,260 vehicles due to a malfunctioning air bag control unit. There have been at least three instances of unintended air bag deployment reported so far.
The Mercedes-Benz vehicle models affected by the recent recall include the 2008 to 2009 models of the C300 Sedan, C300 4Matic, C350 and C63 AMG as well as the 2010 model of the GLK350 and GLK350 4Matic vehicles. According to the acknowledgement letter by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a manufacturing error in the said vehicles means the air bag control unit may corrode and therefore, cause the control unit to malfunction. Air bag deploying unexpectedly may increase the risk of injury to both driver and passengers while also possibly causing a car crash.
According to the Safety Recall Report, the issue came to light in March 2013 after customer complaints were received regarding the SRS warning lamp being on for vehicles that use a 4-cyl. gas engine and 5-speed auto transmission engine/transmission combination outside the US. At the same time, Daimler AG first became aware of “isolated instances” of air bags deploying in the vehicles with the said engine/transmission combination in various countries. However, it was only in 2015 when a common root cause for unintended air bag deployments was identified.
As part of the recall, Mercedes-Benz USA says it will notify both owners and dealers on the issue. They will then inspect the air bag control unit of the recalled vehicles and replace them if needed, free of charge. Vehicle owners may also contact Mercedes-Benz USA customer service at 1-800-367-6372.