The software glitch greatly increases the risk of injury.
Mercedes-Benz has always been a pioneer in the world of automotive safety and as the world evolves towards autonomy, we see its systems become more and more impressive and complex. Hands-off detection is a feature that was incorporated into its steering wheel with an early variation of its Distronic cruise control system. It warns the driver that no physical presence is detected on the wheel, regardless of whether the car is managing functions via its adaptive cruise control system.
Despite technology being ever-evolving, there are always hiccups along the way. One such example is a new recall that has been issued by Mercedes-Benz relating to this very feature in a multitude of 2021 and 2022 models. In total, more than 8,396 units could be affected.
The recall affects several sedans based on the brand's MRA-2 platform, ranging from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to the S-Class and excluding the crossovers. The EQS and AMG SL models have also been included. The document notes that due to a software glitch relating to the manufacturer's heated steering wheel, the system fails to alert the driver when their hands are no longer detected on the wheel.
This is particularly dangerous because the driver will not be aware of the fact that key features of the Distronic system will be deactivated due to a lack of hands on the steering wheel. This includes deactivating the Active Emergency Stop Assist and a failure to automatically alert first responders if an emergency occurs.
Mercedes-Benz confirms that notification letters will be mailed to customers by May 20, 2022. The recall will have owners bring their car into a dealership for a software update with no charge attached. If you're wondering whether your recently purchased Mercedes-Benz is affected, the campaign number for the recall is 22V-189.
This recall comes as an unfortunate sting to the German brand's safety reputation after 1,300 units of its S-Class were affected by a faulty passenger airbag. Again, this is due to a software glitch that could cause the crucial safety installment to spontaneously deactivate. This would be a disastrous situation in the event of a collision.