Mercedes Acknowledges ESP Software Issue, Recalls 7k Vehicles

"The best or nothing" perfectly described Mercedes before quality and engineering went downhill in the 1990s. The century-old slogan is especially insulting when the German automaker issues recalls over problems that could have been addressed before the start of production. Campaign 23V-360 is one of those recalls, encompassing 7,558 vehicles delivered to US customers for the 2022 through 2023 model years.
Mercedes-Maybach S-Class 13 photos
Photo: Mercedes-Maybach
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Back in January 2022, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer started investigating a field report alleging lost functionality of dynamic control systems. By that, Mercedes-Benz AG is referring to electronic brake force distribution, acceleration slip regulation, and the anti-lock braking system. What's more, the speedometer stopped working without prior warning.

In the first instance, Merc hypothesized that the electronic stability program – otherwise known as electronic stability control – pump motor is the culprit. However, the in-depth analysis didn't reveal any defect whatsoever. Mercedes couldn't identify the failure mechanism either. As a result, further investigations were carried out between February 2022 and April 2022. The company used simulations of field conditions to trigger the aforementioned failure. Said tests revealed that certain driving conditions may interfere with the ESP software at the beginning of a given driving cycle.

Said interference results in the erroneous detection of a fault condition with the ESP's pump motor power supply. Given these circumstances, Mercedes-Benz AG decided to update the faulty software back in July 2022. For whatever reason, Merc started using the updated software on May 1, 2023.

That's 10 months of faffing about, which is unacceptable for the automaker that prides itself on delivering "the best or nothing." Merc is aware of a whopping 96 field reports in the US alone, with receipt dates ranging from March 23, 2022 through May 12, 2023. On the upside, no crashes or injuries have been caused by said issue. Affected vehicles include the 297 and 223 series, namely the EQS and S-Class sedans.

The list begins with the 2022 model year EQS 450 and EQS 580, whereas the remainder comprises the 2023 model year Mercedes-Benz S 580 e, Mercedes-Maybach S 580, and Mercedes-Maybach S 680. Affected vehicles were made in the period between April 20, 2021 and February 27, 2023.

Dealers have already been instructed to update the electronic stability program software. As per the attached report, said update bears two part numbers. In all likelihood, one part number is for the EQS and the other is for the S-Class. Known owners will be notified by first-class mail before July 18.

Codenamed V297, the EQS five-door liftback is Merc's first electric vehicle built around an EV-specific platform. It's also the first electric vehicle from the Mercedes-AMG performance brand, albeit the EQS 53 4MATIC+ is a bit lacking in the aural pleasure department. The W223, by comparison, is available with six-, eight-, and twelve-cylinder lumps. Only the Maybach-branded S 680 comes with a V12 engine. The range-topping specification kicks off at a whopping $229,000.
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 Download: Mercedes ESP software recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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