Mercedes Recalls More Than 126,000 Vehicles Because Airbags Should Deploy In A Crash

Typically airbags deploy in the event of a crash and stay in their place when the vehicle is operating normally. But that’s apparently not the way it works for some Mercedes-Benz vehicles now being recalled. 

The carmaker announced Wednesday that it would recall 126,260 vehicles because the airbags can malfunction, putting drivers and passengers at risk for injuries.

Affected vehicles include the 2008 and 2009 C300, C350 and C63 AMG models, as well as the model year 2010 GLK350.

According to a notice [PDF] posted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, insufficient pressurization in the production process of the power supply control unit can interrupt electrical connections leading to airbag failure.

If the interruption occurs, Mercedes says the vehicle airbags can malfunction in one of two ways: fail to deploy in the event of a crash or inadvertently deploy when there is no accident.

The carmaker says it first became aware of the issue in March 2013 via customer complaints concerning the SRS warning lamp.

At that time, the manufacturer was also aware of isolated instances of unintended airbag deployment in vehicles. Several months later, the company was made aware of two other instances of unintended airbag deployments in vehicles.

Mercedes says that a subsequent investigation involving three inadvertent deployments in 2014 was complicated because the vehicles had other issues such as flood damage or had been in a previous crash.

Last month, the car company began studying another deployment and concluded a recall was needed.

Owners of affected vehicles will be notified by the company and a dealer will check the SRS control unit and replace it if necessary.