Mercedes-Benz joins other automakers in recalling millions of cars for rearview camera issue

May 25, 2021

Mercedes-Benz announced the recall of most of its sedans and crossover SUVs from the 2019-2021 model years for a rearview camera that can project a blank screen when the vehicle is in reverse. A dealer visit or over-the-air update to the MBUX multimedia infotainment system can fix the shortcoming, according to paperwork published by the NHTSA on Monday.

The recall encompasses 342,366 models, including:

2019-2021 A-Class

2019-2021 AMG GT 4-Door Coupe

2019-2021 CLA-Class

2019-2021 CLS-Class

2019-2021 E-Class sedan, coupe, and convertible

2019-2021 GLA- and GLB-Class

2019-2021 GLC-Class

2019-2021 GLE- and GLS-Class

When transmissions of the affected vehicles are placed in reverse, the MBUX system may not initialize as designed and the rearview camera projection won't display. Instead, the system could reboot unintentionally 50 seconds after startup, and Mercedes found that in testing the reboot process would cause rearview projection to black out for one to several seconds. 

The lack of a rearview camera projection could increase the risk of a crash. Owners with a "Mercedes Me" subscription will get an OTA update for MBUX; owners without the subscription will have to take the cars into authorized Mercedes-Benz dealerships for the update at no cost. The software update launched on May 3. Owners will be notified by mail as early as July 13. 

Mercedes-Benz joins other automakers such as BMW, Ford, and Honda in issuing widespread recalls for rearview cameras that fail to meet safety criteria for "rear visibility" in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. 

In April, the 2021 Lincoln Aviator was recalled not long after Ford recalled more than 700,000 new 2020 vehicles across most of its lineup for a rearview camera projecting a blank or distorted image when in reverse. 

In April of last year, Stellantis, the automaker formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, recalled more than 318,000 vehicles across its Ram, Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler brands; Honda, BMW, Toyota issued similar recalls, and Nissan in September 2019 had to recall 1.2 million vehicles for potentially showing a blank screen when the affected cars were in reverse. 

The total number of vehicles recalled for rearview camera projection issues since 2019 exceeds 3 million units from more than a dozen makes. 

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