Nearly three quarters of a million Mercedes-Benz vehicles are being recalled due to problems with the installation of the sunroof assembly, which over time, may cause the glass panel to detach from the sliding roof frame and fall on vehicle occupants. The Mercedes-Benz recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on January 3, and while NHTSA officials are not aware of any injuries or accidents associated with the sunroof defect, the agency warns that the problem could increase the risk of a crash or cause injury to vehicle occupants if not promptly and properly repaired by an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer. If you have suffered a serious injury caused by a defective sunroof or another faulty vehicle part or design flaw, contact an experienced automotive injury attorney as soon as possible to find out if you may be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer of the vehicle or auto part.
According to the recall announcement, the Mercedes vehicles are being recalled because a defective bonding agent may have been used between the glass panel and the sliding roof frame when the sunroofs were installed. The NHTSA warns that the bonding agent may deteriorate over time, possibly causing the glass panel to detach from the frame and fall into the vehicle. The Mercedes-Benz recall affects 744,852 model year 2001 through 2007 C-class sedans, wagons and coupes, model year 2003 through 2009 CLK-class coupes, model year 2003 through 2009 E-class sedans and wagons, and model year 2006 through 2011 CLS-class sedans. The following is a full list of the recalled vehicles per the NHTSA announcement:
In addition to these vehicles, Mercedes also announced that certain C-class, CLK-class, CLS-class and E-class vehicles from model years 1999 through 2010 that were not included in the initial recall list may also be subject to a recall repair if the sunroofs were repaired between 2001 and 2011.
This new Mercedes-Benz recall was announced just weeks after the car manufacturer reached a $20 million settlement agreement with the NHTSA, effectively concluding a year-long audit of the company’s handling of past vehicle recalls. The basis for the settlement agreement was the fact that there were at least six recalls between 2016 and 2018 in which Mercedes-Benz failed to follow proper recall protocols, including failing to send recall notices to vehicle owners before the 60-day deadline as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. There were other issues having to do with the company’s improper handling of vehicle recalls, including concerns about the efficacy of the Mercedes-Benz VIN Lookup Tool, which is a tool that allows consumers to determine whether there is an open recall on their vehicle. Under the settlement agreement, signed just three weeks ago, Mercedes will be required to pay a civil penalty not to exceed $20 million. The company will reportedly pay $13 million as a lump sum payment upfront and will only be liable for the remaining $7 million if it fails to meet the conditions set forth by the NHTSA in the settlement agreement.
If your vehicle is included in the list of recalled Mercedes-Benz vehicles, it is important to address the potential problem as quickly as possible, to prevent the sunroof from falling into your vehicle when parked or in motion and being injured or involved in an accident. According to the NHTSA recall announcement, the Mercedes-Benz recall is expected to begin February 14, 2020. Mercedes-Benz will notify vehicle owners about the recall and dealers will inspect the glass panel bonding and replace the sunroof, as necessary, free of charge. Too often, consumers are injured or killed in accidents caused by defective auto parts and by staying up to date on manufacturer recalls affecting your vehicle, you can avoid exposing yourself and your loved ones to unnecessary harm.