Mercedes-Benz is recalling 126,260 cars for a defect that can cause airbags to inflate unexpectedly without a crash -- or not at all during one.
Mercedes said in documents filed today with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it is recalling 98,750 C300 sedans, 2,236 C63 sedans and 21,013 C350 sedans from the 2008-09 model years and 4,261 GLK350 crossovers from the 2010 model year.
Corrosion in the airbag control unit can cause it to malfunction, Mercedes said. That can cause airbags to deploy suddenly without a crash or to not go off during one, increasing the risk of injury, Mercedes said.
The airbag unit was produced by German supplier Continental AG, according to a NHTSA document.
A warning light will come on if the airbag control unit is malfunctioning, indicating the airbags might not deploy during a crash. However, drivers have no warning for unintended airbag inflations.
Mercedes said it is aware of six unintended airbag deployments worldwide, three of which occurred in the U.S., between 2013 and 2015. Mercedes said it was able to identify the “common root cause” between the deployments in mid-October after an investigation. It is not clear if the deployments led to any injuries.
Mercedes will notify affected customers, who can then take their vehicles to a dealership for an inspection and any necessary repairs for free. Mercedes has not said when it will send out the recall notices.