Mercedes-Benz has joined the ranks of automakers troubled by airbag malfunctions, recalling about 126,000 vehicles in the United States, according to a report from the automakerposted this week on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The automaker said a control unit in the airbag could malfunction in one of two ways: The airbags might not deploy in a crash, or they might deploy without being in a crash. The action covers 2008-9 C300, C350 and C63 AMG models, as well as the 2010 GLK350.

Mercedes is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the problem, Donna Boland, a spokeswoman, said in an email. She said the recall was worldwide, but she could not immediately say how many vehicles were involved globally.

Auto Blog

In its Oct. 26 report to federal regulators, Mercedes said it learned in 2013 of some airbags deploying without being in a crash, but those were outside the United States in vehicles with an engine and transmission not used in America. The carmaker concluded the problem was with a control unit and worked in Europe that year to remedy the problem.

Last year, there were three inadvertent deployments in the United States, but Mercedes said the investigation was complicated because the vehicles either had flood damage or had been in a previous crash. It wasn’t until last month that Mercedes, studying another deployment this summer, concluded that a recall was needed.

Under federal safety regulations, once a manufacturer is aware of a safety problem it must inform N.H.T.S.A. within five business days of its plan for a recall or face civil fines.

The auto industry continues to deal with a staggering series of airbag problems, involving at least 12 automakers and 19 million Takata-manufactured airbags worldwide. The bags can explode in a crash and send shards of metal flying toward occupants of the vehicle.

Two new recalls occurred late last month. Fiat Chrysler recalled about 316,000 vehicles because the airbags might deploy without being in a crash. Since 2012, Fiat Chrysler has recalled 1.8 million vehicles for the problem.

And Honda recalled about 300,000 vehiclesbecause the airbags might deploy if a door was “forcefully slammed” while the key was in the ignition.

Source : NY Times


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