Mercedes-Benz will recall about 284,000 C-class cars sold in the US and Canada due to an issue with the rear lights.
The recall involves nearly 253,000 cars sold in the US, including the C300, C300 4Matic, C350, and C63 AMG vehicles with model years between 2008 and 2011. The affected cars were manufactured between Jan. 26, 2007 and July 13, 2011.
The taillights in these cars have a connector problem, where corrosion can weaken the electrical ground connection and cause the rear lights to dim or shut off altogether. This increases the risk of a crash by reducing “the ability to warn other motorists of the driver's intentions of stopping or turning,” according to the recall notice from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
So far, no accidents or injuries associated with the problem have been reported. Mercedes will notify affected car owners, and dealerships will replace bulbs and corroded connectors free of charge. According to the automaker, replacement parts are not currently available. Customers can expect a notification from the company by mail in June, and a second notification will be mailed when parts become available, which is expected to be in August or September.
In other years, a recall of over a quarter million cars would be a big deal, but in 2014 it hardly raises an eyebrow. Nearly 13 million vehicles have been recalled in the US so far this year, setting a pace to break the record set in 2004, when 30.8 million vehicles were recalled, according to the NHTSA. Last year, the auto industry recalled 20.2 million US vehicles.
The bulk of this year’s recalls have come from General Motors, which has recalled about 6 million vehicles for a wide array of problems, including an ignition switch defect responsible for at least 13 deaths. Several other recalls this year have hit neared the 1 million mark, including Nissan’s recall of 1 million cars (Sentra and Altima sedans, among others), Honda’s recall of 900,000 Odyssey minivans, and Toyota’s recall of about 700,000 Prius hybrids.
Customers with more questions about the Mercedes recall can call the automaker at 1-800-367-6372, call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, or visit the notice on the NHTSA’s website, here.