Mercedes-Benz is recalling nearly 48,000 GLE models from 2016 and 2017 to address a software flaw that could prevent the crossover's airbags from working as intended. The problem is rooted in the GLE's occupant classification system (OCS), which determines whether or not an adult is seated in the front passenger's seat and turns the associated airbags on or off, accordingly.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the OCS software on some GLE models may not have been properly calibrated, and as a result, it may mistakenly identify an adult passenger as a child, disabling the front passenger airbags. Should that happen, the airbags wouldn't deploy during a collision, increasing the risk of injury to anyone riding in the front passenger's seat.
The recall is limited to the following GLE models manufactured between April 23, 2014, to May 10, 2016:
- 2016-2017 Mercedes-Benz GL350 4Matic Bluetec
- 2016-2017 Mercedes-Benz GL550 4Matic
- 2016-2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE350 4Matic
- 2016-2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE43 AMG Coupe
- 2016-2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE450 4Matic
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE300d 4Matic
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE350
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE350d 4Matic
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE400 4Matic
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE550e 4Matic
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE63 AMG
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE63 AMG 4Matic
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE63S AMG 4Matic Coupe
- 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS63 AMG
The recall affects 47,799 GLE models registered in the U.S.
NHTSA says that Mercedes-Benz will mail recall notices to owners of those vehicles later this month. After receiving those notices in the mail, owners will be able to take their cars to Mercedes-Benz dealers, who will update the OCS software at no charge.
If you own one of these vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact Mercedes-Benz customer service at 1-800-367-6372. If you like, you can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V903000.