Mercedes-Benz Issues Massive Recall for 1.3 Million Cars

A new recall has been issued for as many as 1.3 million Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs, and it’s leaving owners feeling a bit wary. The recall itself isn’t as bad as the Takata airbag recalls that have plagued our nightmares for years, but it could leave drivers in a bad situation in case of an emergency or accident. With the recall becoming active on April 6th, how concerned should Mercedes-Benz owners be?

Mercedes-Benz recall for eCall Emergency Locator

The recall doesn’t pertain to any mechanical components of the car, which is a major relief to many owners. Instead, the problem lies with the vehicle’s built-in emergency services, the eCall, which allows drivers to call for help with just the press of a button. There are some technical problems that affect the recall, but the overall gist of the situation is that the emergency locator, which is responsible for sending the car’s vehicle location information, may not send the correct location, causing emergency services to be dispatched to the wrong location.

In a car accident or other emergency, this problem can prove devastating as crucial minutes can tick by before emergency responders can find the correct location of the vehicle.

A white 2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe on display at Brussels Expo on January 9, 2020, in Brussels, Belgium.
2020 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Who is affected by the recall

Having 1.3 million cars involved in any recall is a pretty big deal, and the years and models that could be potentially affected is pretty widespread. According to Consumer Reports, the recall will affect Mercedes-Benz models from 2016 through 2020, and including a slew of vehicles from their entry-level sedans all the way through to their higher-end SUVs and sports cars.

The new S-Class at its world premiere at the "Factory 56".
The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class | Silas Stein/picture alliance, Getty Images

How to find out if you are affected

We know that the most common way to have received recall notices was postcards in the mail — and half of the time, I threw mine out anyways because they were for cars I hadn’t owned in years. Luckily for us, manufacturers and the NHTSA have developed ways for customers to do a quick search of their vehicle using just the VIN, which can be found on various places through the car as well as the title and registration paperwork.

For any recall, you can check out the NHTSA’s SaferCar App, which can provide information on your car’s recall as well as instructions on what to do if your car is, in fact, affected. You can also go directly to the manufacturer’s website, which has a recall portal that you can access for free here.

A dark-gray metallic Mercedes-Benz GLC luxury crossover SUV on display at Brussels Expo on January 9, 2020, in Brussels, Belgium.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC | Sjoerd van der Wal, Getty Images

Another Airbag Recall Update Leaves us Rolling Our Eyes

Because of the nature of the recall, there hasn’t been any indication that drivers should immediately stop operating their affected vehicles. With the recall still inactive until April 6th, drivers should continue operating their Mercedes-Benz but take the vehicle in for the module software update as soon as it becomes available.