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Known for manufacturing highly coveted luxury vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is one of the most well-known automakers worldwide. If you invested in a Mercedes, you expect top-of-the-line quality and state-of-the-art features. But just because these cars are expensive doesn’t mean they can’t be flawed. In fact, in February 2021, the manufacturer recalled almost 1.3 million vehicles due to a software bug in the emergency call system.
The issue that prompted the Mercedes-Benz recall concerns a problem with the eCall emergency call system in vehicles made between 2016 through 2021. Specifically, the affected vehicles could potentially signal the wrong GPS coordinates to emergency services in the event of an accident.
The automaker commenced an investigation into the issue in October 2019 following a report of an incident in Europe. Although no problems were identified during internal testing, Mercedes ultimately traced the defect back to a problem with the software design of the communication module in the one reported case.
According to the chronology the manufacturer submitted to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Mercedes-Benz continued the analysis through the fall of 2020 to determine whether other vehicles could experience the same issue. As the research indicated similar occurrences, the automaker determined there was the potential for a safety risk on January 29, 2021.
It’s important to understand that just because your vehicle has been subject to a recall does not mean it is a lemon. In cases involving recalls, the issue can usually be repaired on the first attempt. A recall can arise at any time during ownership, and the manufacturer will make the necessary repairs.
However, to satisfy California’s lemon law criteria, the vehicle must still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty — and fail to conform to it. For a car to qualify as a lemon, the defect must be one that substantially impairs the value or safety of your vehicle and cannot be repaired after several attempts.
Generally, four attempts to repair a defect are sufficient to establish that your car is a lemon. But only two trips to the repair shop are necessary if the defect presents a risk of injury or fatality. A car may also meet the requirements of the lemon law if it was in the repair shop for a total of 30 days or more.
Common Mercedes defects that drivers have complained about include:
A vehicle is presumed to be a lemon if the defect arose within the first 18 months of the vehicle’s delivery or the first 18,000 miles that are driven. The lemon law presumption can make it even easier for consumers to prevail in a lemon law claim and obtain a refund or replacement from the manufacturer.
The recall related to the emergency call system covers 2016 through 2021 model years, including those in the classes CLA, GLA, GLE, GLS, SLC, A, GT, C, E, S, CLS, SL, B, GLB, GLC, and G. Vehicles subject to the recall can be brought to a Mercedes-Benz dealership to have a change made to the communication module software. Or, if the vehicle has a Mercedes Me subscription, the issue can be resolved with an over-the-air update.
The emergency call issue was not the only recall announced by Mercedes-Benz this year. The automaker recalled 41,838 vehicles in connection with a program software error that could result in an affected vehicle moving to one side while maneuvering, increasing the risk of an accident. The recalled vehicles include 2020-2021 GLE450, GLE350, in addition to 2020 GLS450, GLE580, and GLS580 models.
If your Mercedes-Benz has been subject to a recall, you should have received a notice in the mail. You can also check the NHTSA website by entering the VIN to determine whether your vehicle requires a repair due to a recall issue. The search function on the website does not only return results for active recalls, but it also discloses unrepaired vehicles that have been affected by a recall within the last 15 years.
If you purchased a Mercedes-Benz that turned out to be a lemon, you might be eligible to file a lawsuit under California’s lemon law. A knowledgeable lemon law attorney can guide you through the process to help ensure you receive the maximum recovery to which you are entitled. The Ledbetter Law Firm offers skilled counsel and adept advocacy for consumers who have been burdened by the inconvenience and hassle of buying a lemon vehicle.
The Ledbetter Law Firm assists people in Southern California who have experienced lemon law issues with their vehicles in obtaining favorable outcomes in their cases. With offices conveniently located in Torrance and San Diego, California, telephone and video conferencing options are also available. Call (310) 507-7022 to schedule a consultation with a California Lemon Law attorney today.