Mercedes-Benz is urging customers of certain older crossovers to stop driving due a to corroded brake booster that could cause the brakes to fail, the automaker announced Thursday. The request and corresponding recall applies to 292,287 ML-, GL-, and R-Class crossovers and SUVs from the 2006-2012 model years.
Recalls are common, but urging customers to stop driving is not. In the affected vehicles, water exposure in the brake booster housing can cause a joint to corrode, leading to a leak in the brake system. Brake force may be reduced, forcing drivers to press harder on the brake pedal to decelerate and come to a stop. In rare cases, Mercedes said, it may be impossible to stop if there has been severe corrosion. The risk of a crash or injury would increase, though Mercedes said it was aware of no known crashes or injuries related to the issue.
The emergency brake pedal is not affected, and could be used in case of a regular brake pedal failure. Mercedes will provide complimentary towing of the affected vehicles to service centers. Dealers will inspect the brake booster housing and replace parts as required. If the part cannot be fixed immediately, Mercedes said it will help "coordinate an individual solution for the customer, including alternate mobility." That will most likely be a loaner.
Mercedes-Benz customers can contact 1-888-548-8514 or visit Mercedes' recall page for more info. Timing of the recall has not been disclosed.