An engine stall while driving can increase the risk of a crash, NHTSA said.
Water intruding the rear end of a vehicle can accumulate in the spare tire wheel well over time, NHTSA said. The accumulated water could potentially make contact with the fuel pump control unit, interrupting fuel supply and causing the engine to stall, the statement said.
Dealers will inspect recalled vehicles for water intrusion, install a water drain plug and replace the fuel pump for free, NHTSA said.
The agency said 323,963 vehicles are potentially affected, including:
• 2012-2014 ML550
• 2012-2015 ML350 and AMG ML63
• 2015 ML250 and ML400
• 2016 GLE450 and GLE300
• 2016-2018 GLE350 and GLE550
• 2016-2019 GLE400
• 2017-2019 AMG and GLE43
• 2016-2020 AMG and GLE63
Customers will be notified by mail before Feb. 21. A damp carpet in the rear end of the vehicle, the sound of water splashing in the spare tire wheel well or an illuminated check engine light could alert drivers before the issue occurs, a statement said.
“We are not aware of any crashes, injuries, deaths or property damage claims in the U.S. related to this defect,” Mercedes-Benz USA spokeswoman Anne McGregor said in a statement.
It was not clear if Mercedes was issuing the recall for vehicles outside the U.S.