“MBUSA is advising affected customers to stop driving their vehicles.”
That’s a line you never want to hear. But it’s what Mercedes-Benz said this morning in announcing an unusually urgent recall campaign. The company has asked owners of certain 2006-2012 model year ML, GL, and R-Class vehicles to stop driving their cars until Mercedes has the chance to repair a brake defect.
Not Every Model Affected
The recall does not apply to every 2006-2012 ML, GL, or R-Class, and it’s fairly difficult to determine on your own whether your car is included. We urge concerned owners to call Mercedes at 888-514-8514, with your car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) in hand, to ask if your car is included.
The affected vehicles use what Mercedes calls “an aesthetic rubber sleeve” around their brake booster housing. Moisture can wick under the sleeve and cause corrosion, which could lead to a vacuum leak in the brake booster.
Even in a best-case scenario, a vacuum leak in the brake booster could lead to a sudden loss of braking power. Drivers would need to apply more pressure than normal to the brake pedal to stop the car. This could lead to an accident.
In a worst-case scenario, Mercedes says, “it might be possible that a strong or hard braking application may cause mechanical damage in the brake booster, whereby the connection between the brake pedal and brake system may fail.” That could leave the brakes unable to stop the car.
Hence, the urgency.
Dealers Will Cover Tow, Loaner
Mercedes is asking owners to stop driving the vehicles. The company will offer complimentary towing to get the affected cars in for repair. Dealers will also “help coordinate an individual solution for the customer, including alternate mobility” while the car is in the shop.
Dealers will remove the sleeve – it was only aesthetic, anyway – and inspect the components it covered. They’ll replace parts as needed. Recall repairs are always free.
Many cars are subject to safety recall at some point in their lifespan, and the fix is always free. Automakers attempt to contact every owner to notify them, but inevitably, some slip through the cracks. Find out if your car has ever been recalled at our recall center.