As previously communicated Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s parent company, has determined that on certain A-Class (176 platform), B-Class (242/246 platform), CLA (117 platform), GLA (156 platform), C-Class (205 platform), E-Class (213 platform) and GLC (253 platform) vehicles (produced between February 2014 – February 2017) the starting current limiter could overload under certain unique conditions during the starting procedure. In situations where the vehicle’s engine is damaged and cannot crank/ has seized (e.g. when the engine has hydrolocked), and the customer subsequently repeatedly attempts to start the vehicle, a high electric current can flow through the starting current limiter causing it to overheat.
It is important to note that certain conditions are necessary for the described issue to occur, namely a previous occurrence of serious damage to the vehicle’s engine that leads to a blocked/seized engine (e.g. hydrolocked engine as stated). As the occurrence of such incidents on the engine is very rare, the described issue of the starting current limiter might only occur in very rare cases.
As our top priority is the safety of our customers, Daimler AG will make sure that all affected vehicles will be installed, as a precautionary measure, with an additional fuse in the electric line to the starter. This will be done free of charge wherever vehicles are affected.
Official notification of the start of the recall campaign in South Africa has not been received yet – but the preliminary number of vehicles affected are approximately 5 100. Daimler AG, our parent company, has indicated that the campaign will be rolled out globally – in parallel in affected countries – towards the middle of the year.
We are monitoring the situation as a matter of priority and will be in a position to update all affected parties when more information is available. We ask that customers that do find themselves in a situation where their engine has sustained damage and locked/seized (as would happen when the vehicle is driven through deep water, with water going into the engine chamber and the engine hydrolocking) not to try and continuously start the engine if it does not crank at all. Please call the customer assistance centre on 0800 133 355 for assistance. This issue will not occur when the vehicle is driving and has not sustained any engine damage or when the engine is simply without fuel.