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1.3 Million Mercedes Vehicles Recalled in the U.S. Over eCall Software Issue

Mandatory in Europe since April 2018, the eCall initiative dates back to 1999 when a civil servant called Luc Tytgat. The eCall is a system that automatically activates in the case of a crash, sending GPS coordinates to first responders in order to reduce emergency response times.
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As the headline implies, Mercedes-Benz has recalled approximately 1.3 million vehicles in the United States over an eCall problem. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, October 2019 is when the issue came to light following a crash where the vehicle relayed an inaccurate position to the police and ambulance service.

MBAG started an investigation, and in July 2020, the after-sales department continued the analysis in the field to recreate a similar scenario. Fast forward to January 29th, 2021, and that’s when Mercedes couldn’t ignore the safety risk any longer. According to the Part 573 safety recall report filed with the NHTSA, “the software design of the communication module affected the relay of location information for the single European case.”

This, in turn, translates to a rather straightforward fix. “Either an authorized dealer or an over-the-air update will update the software of the communication module for the automatic emergency call system on the affected vehicles.” Mercedes dealers across the United States of America have been informed of the problem on February 12th, but known owners of affected vehicles will have to wait until April 6th for a mailed envelope.

No fewer than 217 nameplates are under recall if you can believe it, starting with the A220 from the 2019 to 2020 model years. The B-, C-, E-, S-, SL-, SLC-, and AMG GT-Class are called back as well, along with the CLA-, CLS-, G-, GLA-, GLB-, GLC-, GLE-, GLS-Class, and Maybach vehicles.

Almost every Mercedes passenger vehicle sold in the United States between 2016 and 2021 has to receive the software remedy, which is a lot of labor hours when you think about it. If you own a Merc produced in this period, you can verify if your car needs the eCall update by running the VIN on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s look-up tool.

 Download attachment: Mercedes eCall U.S. recall (PDF)


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