Nearly A Quarter Million Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Recalled Over Malfunctioning Emergency Call System
More than 230,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles are being recalled, due to a faulty SIM card that may prevent users from accessing the emergency call system to contact help during a vehicle emergency.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Mercedez-Benz recall on May 26, impacting a variety of vehicles across the luxury automaker’s line-up, after discovering a safety glitch that can cause a malfunction of the emergency call system (eCall).
A software error in the included SIM card module can prevent the vehicle’s eCall from connecting to its wireless network. This would essentially disable the automatic function of the eCall system which notifies emergency services in the event of a crash. This could result in a delay in first-responders arriving on scene, increasing the risk of permanent injury or death.
There appears to be no outward indication or warning to the driver or passengers that the eCall system is malfunctioning.
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An isolated complaint of the SIM card problem was first filed in February 2020, outside of the United States. Over the following months, additional complaints detailing the same issue were lodged by consumers. Mercedes-Benz launched an investigation into the problem in coordination with the communication module supplier.
By May of 2022, Mercedes-Benz had identified the SIM card fault, its effect on eCall, all potentially affected vehicles with the faulty SIM software, and determined that a potential safety risk could not be ruled out.
Though there have been 191 complaints made in the U.S. related to this issue, there have been no reported incidents involving crashes, injuries, or property damage.
The recall includes a wide array of Mercedes-Benz vehicles from the 2017-2022 model years. These would include the CLA-Class, GLA-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class, SLC-Class, A-Class, AMG GT-Class, C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, SL-Class, GLC-Class, CLS-Class, GLB-Class, and G-Class vehicles from 2017 through 2022 model years, and Freightliner Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz Metris, and 2019 through 2021 model year Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans.
An estimated 234,862 vehicles are affected by the recall.
To correct the faulty SIM card, Mercedes Benz is planning to roll out a free over-the-air software update that is expected to repair the issue in most of the affected vehicles. Vehicles unable to be updated in this way for any reason can be taken to a local dealership for a manual software update at no charge to the owner.
Though Mercedes-Benz has not indicated when the over-the-air updates will begin, the automaker will be mailing notification letters to owners of affected vehicles by July 19, 2022.
Consumers who believe they may own one of the affected models, or are seeking additional information can contact Mercedes-Benz USA customer service at 1-800-367-6372.
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