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Mercedes Benz said the problem could mean emergency services are not given the “correct current position” of the vehicle. The eCall system is designed to automatically alert emergency services when the car crashes and relays location information directly to them.
Mercedes said the problem affects over 1.2million cars in the United States but warned other countries may also be affected.
The iconic brand said they were “in close contact” with local authorities across other nations but would not provide details of which areas could be affected.
Mercedes launched its initial investigation based on a report of an issue in the European market.
The European problem was found to be an isolated incident as far as Mercedes are aware.
However, the group said a safety risk cannot be ruled out on many of its vehicles.
Models which have been affected include some of Mercedes signature models such as the A-class, C-Class and GLA models.
The brand sad the issue had been caused as the communication module “does not comply with the specifications”.
A statement from the group said: “Product quality and safety are a top priority for Mercedes-Benz and for this reason, we continuously monitor service operations worldwide.
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“During this product monitoring, Mercedes-Benz has found that in certain vehicles of various model series, the communication module HERMES for the emergency call system (eCall) does not comply with the specifications.
“In rare cases, this could mean that in the event of an accident-related temporary drop in a vehicle’s voltage, the communication module might not communicate the correct current position when an emergency call is made/triggered.
“All other functions of the automatic and manual emergency call function remain fully operational.
“Mercedes-Benz is therefore conducting a recall of the affected vehicles in order to update the software of the communication module HERMES.
“The software update can be carried out over-the-air for the affected vehicles and the communication module will be updated in the background via the existing mobile data connection to the vehicle.
“This software update will also be implemented in other countries and we are in close contact with the local authorities.
“Please understand that we are not providing any further details at this time in anticipation of the official publications.”
Drivers who cannot get the updates “over the air” will be able to secure the updates at a dealership when the recall begins on 6 April.
The EU voted to introduce the eCall systems to all new cars from 2018 in a bid to cut emergency response times.
The technology can only provide basic data such as the type of vehicle, fuel used, time of accidents and location.
The device adds around £72 to the manufacturing costs of each new car but offers extra protection for drivers in the event of a heavy crash.
Full Mercedes recall vehicle list:
- CLA-Class, GLA-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class, SLC-Class
- A-Class, GT-Class, C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, CLS-Class
- SL-Class, B-Class, GLB-Class, GLC-Class, and G-Class vehicles
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