2013 Mercedes-Benz M ClassEnlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz is conducting a voluntary safety recall of certain 2012 and 2013 model year M-Class luxury SUVs over concerns that accessory floor mats could cause a stuck gas pedal.
A notice on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site lists the number of potentially involved vehicles at 8,675. The models involved include certain 2012-2013 model year Mercedes-Benz ML350, ML550 and ML63 models equipped with the all-season rubber accessory floor mats.
2012 Mercedes-Benz M ClassEnlarge Photo
The cause for concern is that the accessory floor mat may not fully conform to the contour of the vehicle’s floor plan as intended, with reduced clearance between the mat and the gas pedal. This could result in the gas pedal getting stuck or trapped. Should this happen, the gas pedal may not retract when the driver lifts their foot from the gas pedal and the vehicle may not decelerate as expected. This increases the risk of a crash.
Documentation from Mercedes-Benz (PDF) points out that drivers would still be able to stop their vehicle in the event that the gas pedal is trapped by the mat since all current ML-Class SUVs, including those involved in the subject recall, are equipped with standard electronic Brake-Overide-Function. Even with the gas pedal fully depressed to the floor, drivers can stop the vehicle by depressing the brake pedal. In the event that the gas pedal and brake pedal are depressed simultaneously, the Brake-Overide-Function overrides the constant signal from the gas pedal and brings the engine to idle, as long as the driver keeps steadily applying the brakes.
The Detroit News reports that Mercedes-Benz said it is not aware of any crashes or injuries that may have been caused by the floor mat problem.
What Mercedes-Benz will do
The remedy for this problem is the replacement of the front accessory floor mats with a modified version that cannot interfere with the gas pedal. Mercedes-Benz will notify owners of vehicles involved in the recall and dealers will replace the mats at no charge to owners. Until sufficient quantities of the accessory mats are available, however, Mercedes-Benz advises owners to remove them from their vehicles.
The safety recall is expected to begin during September 2012. In the meantime, owners of 2012 and 2013 Mercedes-Benz ML350, ML550 and ML63 SUVs with any questions or concerns may contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372.
Alternatively, owners of vehicles involved in the campaign may also contact NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov. Reference the NHTSA campaign ID No. 12E028000.