The luxury brand is voluntarily recalling thousands of SUVs.
Mercedes-Benz is recalling 323,963 SUVs that are at risk of a sudden engine stall, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The issue - which affects ML, GLE, and GLE-Class Coupe models manufactured between 2011-2019 - stems from water ingress in the spare wheel well. According to the government agency, this could damage the fuel pump control unit and cause the engine to stall while driving. One percent of the recalled models are estimated to suffer from the defect.
The German brand says owners of affected vehicles can check for damp carpeting in the trunk or listen for the sound of water splashing around in the spare tire holder. Drivers may also notice an illuminated check engine light. MBUSA has said the recall is voluntary and will notify owners by mail from February 21, 2023.
Affected vehicles include various iterations of the W166 chassis (sold as the ML-Class and later as the GLE-Class) along with the W292 chassis GLE-Coupe. This includes AMG vehicles such as the GLE 43, ML 63, and GLE 63. According to the NHTSA website, the closely related GLS-Class is not affected by the same issue.
Authorized Mercedes-Benz dealerships will install a water drain plug, inspect vehicles for water intrusion, and replace the faulty fuel pump control unit if needed. This will be carried out at no cost to the owner.
VINs were not identified in the documentation, so we'd suggest contacting your nearest dealer to check if your SUV is involved. While it may not sound like a big deal, a sudden engine stall significantly increases the risk of a crash.
Mercedes-Benz, once a byword for fastidious build quality, has suffered several setbacks this year. The most recent recall surrounded the American-built GLS-Class, with nearly 60,000 examples plagued with potentially faulty third-row seat locking mechanisms.
In June last year, the luxury automaker recalled 993,407 older models due to corrosion forming around the brake booster. A sudden or harsh braking maneuver may cause damage to the critical component, increasing the risk of a crash.
More recently, the Stuttgart-based brand finally solved a sunroof problem affecting models built between 2001-2011. After a lengthy investigation, Mercedes-Benz discovered the bonding agent used to seal the sunroof to the frame degrades over time. In some instances, this could lead to the sunroof detaching completely.