23 Mar

Mercedes Recalls Vehicles Due to Starter Defect

Montvale, N.J. – Mar. 23, 2017 – Mercedes Benz USA has recalled more than 354,000 vehicles due to a defective starter assembly, according to documentation from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The recall impacts over a dozen models produced between February 2014 and 2017, including:

  • C 300 and C 300 4Matic sedans
  • C 300 and C 300 4Matic coupes
  • C 300 and C 300 4Matic cabriolets
  • C 350e hybrid sedans
  • C 450 4Matic AMG sport sedans
  • CLA 250 and CLA 250 4Matic sedans
  • CLA 45 AMG sedans
  • E 300 and E 300 4Matic sedans
  • E 400 4Matic wagons
  • E 43 AMG 4Matic sedans
  • GLA 250 and GLA 250 4Matic sport utility vehicles
  • GLC 300 and GLC 300 4Matic sport utility vehicles
  • GLC 300 4Matic coupe sport utility vehicles

The Defect

Affected models are equipped with starter assemblies featuring current limiters that can overload in certain conditions. For example, vehicles that have sustained engine or transmission damage, and have blocked starters as a result, may experience high-voltage electrical currents when started repeatedly. This can damage the limiter, and in some cases melt surrounding components and catch fire. This increases the likelihood of occupant injury.

Timeline of Events

Daimler AMG, Mercedes’ parent company, received reports of limiter damage in June 2016. The automaker launched an investigation and in August determined that the damage resulted from electrical overload. Over the course of September and October, engineers for Daimler preformed further tests. In November, the company learned that the limiter was not designed to handle high-voltage currents generated during repeat starts. Two months later, engineers determined the range of affected vehicles. Last month, Daimler issued an official recall.

The Solution

The automaker has ordered dealers to install an additional fuse within the starter electrical lines in affected models, according to documents filed with the NHTSA. This repair is to be done free of charge. Owners will receive recall notifications later this month.

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