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Why it matters: Owners of older Mercedes-Benz SUVs are being advised to stop driving the vehicles immediately due to a problem that could cause the brakes to fail. The carmaker is recalling 292,000 of the vehicles and is even offering to tow affected SUVs to the dealerships so they can be serviced.
Mercedes-Benz's statement confirms that certain Model Year 2006 - 2012 ML, GL, and R-Class vehicles could have the function of their brake booster impacted by advanced corrosion in the joint area of the housing, the result of moisture that may wick under a rubber sleeve installed on the housing area.
The resulting vacuum leak at the brake booster could mean more force is required to apply a vehicle's brakes, thereby increasing stopping distances. A worst-case scenario could see damage to the booster, causing the brakes to fail entirely.
While no crashes or injuries resulting from the issue have been reported, Mercedes-Benz is advising owners not to drive affected vehicles—not even to the dealerships. The company is offering complimentary towing to owners to get to workshops, where the rubber brake booster sleeve will be removed, the brake housing inspected, and parts replaced as required. Mercedes-Benz will also help customers secure alternative transport if a necessary repair cannot be carried out immediately.
You can find out if your SUV is part of this or any other recall by entering its 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into the National Highway Traffic Safety Association's website.
It seems pretty rare these days to see a large-scale recall that isn't from Tesla. The EV firm this week announced that 130,000 vehicles were affected by an overheating CPU issue; 817,000 were recalled over a seatbelt warning flaw earlier this year; and the NHTSA issued a safety recall in January on nearly 54,000 Teslas over their 'rolling-stop' functionality.
Masthead credit: Jim Fawns