17 Nov

Mercedes recalls vehicles with defective headlights


Jacksonville, Fla. – Nov. 17, 2017 – Mercedes Benz USA has recalled a number of vehicles potentially equipped with defective headlights, according to documentation submitted to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The campaign affects 2018 Mercedes Benz GLA 250 4Matic sport utility vehicles produced between Dec. 12-16. The German automaker estimates just 1 percent of the vehicles referenced in the action contain the defective parts.

The Defect

Affected vehicles could come equipped with low-beam headlights that do not exhibit the tolerance range mandated in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, which specifies numerous details for proper headlight installation, according to the Government Publishing Office. The fixtures pose a serious safety hazard to occupants as head lamp range may be reduced, increasing the likelihood of an accident in low-lit conditions. However, Mercedes has yet to receive field reports linking the defective feature to accidents or injuries.

Timeline of Events

In December 2016, Daimler AG, the international automotive conglomerate that operates the Mercedes brand, launched an internal investigation after quality assurance tests revealed that some vehicles Mercedes produced may not conform with FMVSS 108. Engineers reviewed the existing production processes and discovered that headlights in multiple vehicles deviated from federal standards due to flawed setting practices during assembly.

In March 2017, DAG personnel reviewed internal records to assess the extent of the issue. At the same time, engineers for the car manufacturer conducted tests to determine the material impact of the defective headlights. Engineering teams confirmed this data, as well as the instances of FMVSS noncompliance, in July 2017.

In October 2017, DAG chose to conduct a voluntary safety recall.

The Solution

The automaker intends to direct dealers to inspect and, if necessary, replace the headlights in affected vehicles, according to an NHTSA recall acknowledgment document. DAG will notify owners in December 2017, approximately one week after sending notifications to dealers. Owners in need of more immediate assistance can contact Mercedes customer service representatives at (877) 496-3691. They can also reach out to the NHTSA directly using its toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.

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