Mercedes-Benz issues ‘do not drive’ recall for 292,000 U.S. vehicles

WASHINGTON, May (Reuters) – Mercedes-Benz’s (MBGn.DE) U.S. unit said on Thursday it is recalling 292,000 ML, GL and R-Class vehicles from the 2006 through 2012 model years over braking issues and urged owners to stop driving immediately.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the German automaker was issuing a voluntary “do not drive” recall because of potentially corroded brake boosters that could severely affect braking capability, increasing the risk of a crash.

Mercedes-Benz USA said there have been no crashes, injuries or deaths related to the issue.

The company said it will offer complimentary towing to owners of affected vehicles. If a repair is needed, a Mercedes dealer will help coordinate alternate transportation.

The NHTSA said vehicles that do not exhibit advanced corrosion may continue to be driven with no further action, while vehicles with advanced corrosion will have an additional test.

Vehicles that pass the test may be driven for up to two years but must return for an additional repair, while those that do not pass will require a brake booster replacement.

The NHTSA said in rare cases of very severe corrosion, “a particularly strong or hard braking maneuver could cause mechanical damage in the brake booster, whereby the connection between the brake pedal and brake system would fail.” In that instance “it would not be possible to slow or stop the vehicle via the service brake.”

Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chris Reese and Leslie Adler