Mercedes-Benz will issue a recall for around 400,000 cars in the UK to fix a steering column component that can break and cause the driver’s airbag to deploy.
The recall implicates the A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, E-Class, CLA, GLA and GLC - more than half of the brand’s current range - built between November 2011 and July 2017. The GLK, predecessor to the GLC, is also affected, but this model was never sold in the UK. The new E-Class is not affected.
The fault involves a steering column module clock spring, which if broken can trigger an airbag warning and illuminate the airbag warning light. If certain wiring components are not earthed sufficiently, this could cause the driver’s airbag to deploy from an electrostatic charge.
Mercedes was keen to stress that the cars are safe to drive, although if the airbag warning light does come on, drivers should contact roadside assistance or their nearest Mercedes-Benz dealer.
Mercedes is contacting owners of affected cars, and the fix will take less than an hour to complete. It's yet to be confirmed whether the issue has caused any incident of a driver’s airbag deploying spontaneously.
The A-Class and C-Class are two of the UK’s best-selling cars, accounting for more than 73,000 registrations in this year alone.
The recall follows a previous action affecting several hundred thousand cars, in which Mercedes tweaked software for its 1.5-litre, 2.0-litre, 2.2-litre and 3.0-litre diesel engines.