Nearly 750,000 Mercedes Benz vehicles have been recalled after the manufacturer determined that a defect may cause the sunroof to fall on occupants, which may lead to a risk of injury or pose an accident hazard.
The Mercedes Benz sunroof recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on January 3, due to a risk that the glass panel may detach from the frame and fall into the vehicle.
According to the recall, roughly three quarters of a million Mercedes Benz vehicles equipped with sunroofs that may have been installed with a defective bonding agent between the glass panel and the sliding roof frame. Over time, the bonding may and allow the sunroof to detach from roof frame.
Officials warn drivers that if the bonding agent fails, the large sunroof panel glass could fall into the vehicle while it is in motion or parked, potentially striking occupants and increasing the risk of a crash. To date, NHTSA officials are not aware of any reported injuries or incidents related to the recall.
The recall impacts 744,852 model year 2001 through 2007 C-Class sedans, wagons, and coupes, 2003 through 2009 CLK-Class coupes, 2003 through 2009 E-Class sedans and wagons, and 2006 through 2011 CLS-Class sedans. Mercedes also announced that certain C-Class, CLK-Class, CLS-Class, and E-Class vehicles from the 1999-2010 model years that are not on the list may also be subject to a recall repair if they have had their sunroofs repaired between 2001 and 2011.
Mercedes Benz USA (MBUSA) will begin notifying customers of the recall and will provide instructions on how to schedule a free repair appointment at their local dealer, who will be instructed to inspect the glass panel bonding and replace the sliding roof, as necessary.
The recall is expected to begin on February 14, 2020. Customers with additional questions or concerns are being encouraged to contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372.
Mercedes-Benz Recall Settlement
The sunroof problems were announced just weeks after the NHTSA reached a $20 million settlement agreement with Mercedes Benz USA , concluding a yearlong investigation into the timeliness and adequacy of Mercedes’ compliance with notification and reporting requirements applicable to vehicle safety defects and to noncompliance with vehicle safety standards.
The settlement (PDF) addressed at least six recalls over the last several years in which Mercedes was found to have failed to properly follow recall protocols such as providing a vehicle information number (VIN) recall lookup to consumers and for failing to send recall notices to vehicle owners within the mandatory time frames.
Under the settlement agreement, Mercedes’ US branch is required to pay a civil penalty of $13 million upfront, with an additional $7 million deferred penalty that may become payable if NHTSA conditions set forth in the settlement agreement are not met in a timely and appropriate manner. NHTSA announced that MBUSA’s $7 million deferred penalty from the agreement will remain active for one year, with the option for NHTSA to extend the term for a second year.