Mercedes-Benz is recalling roughly 12,500 E-Class vehicles from the 2017 model year to fix a manufacturing problem that could increase the risk of injury during collisions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that the occupant detection control unit in some 2017 E-Class cars may have been improperly installed.
That's a real concern, because the control unit turns the front passenger airbags on and off, depending on whether the front passenger seat is occupied by an adult. If it deactivates the airbags because it thinks that cargo or a child seat have been placed in the front passenger seat, adult passengers could face a dramatically higher risk of injury in a crash.
The recall involves 2017 models of the Mercedes-Benz E300, E300 4Matic, and E43 AMG. Mercedes says that 12,456 of those vehicles are registered in the U.S.
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Mercedes-Benz will begin mailing recall notices to owners in early March. NHTSA says that "dealers will inspect the routing of the pressure hose of the seat occupancy detection control unit and replace the pressure hose and seat occupancy detection mat if necessary." The repair will be carried out at no charge.
Own one of these vehicles? You can find out more about this recall by contacting Mercedes-Benz customer service at 1-800-367-6372, or by calling NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and asking about safety campaign #17V076000.