Mercedes-Benz Recalls 1.3 Million Cars Over Glitch With eCall Emergency Locator

By McKenzie Carpenter Monday, February 15, 2021

Driving a car is one of the most dangerous activities people do on a daily basis. That is why automobile manufacturers have dedicated so much research and money into providing safe, reliable vehicles. That said, there is no perfect vehicle, and every automotive business has experienced some kind of product failure at one time or another. Mercedes-Benz is the most recent car company to recall its vehicles due to a glitch in the eCall emergency locator.

A modern Mercedes-Benz in a parking lot.

The Company Recall

Operated by Daimler AG, the US division of the business announced that it is recalling nearly 1.3 million vehicles due to a glitch with the eCall emergency locator system. The system allows emergency responders to find the location of a crash; however, the emergency system has recently failed to send out correct crash locations to emergency responders on multiple occasions.

On Saturday, Mercedes-Benz released a statement to Reuters that said, “a temporary collapse of the communication module’s power supply caused by a crash might lead to the vehicle’s position during a potential emergency call being incorrect.” The car company added that “other functions of the automatic and manual emergency call function remain fully operational.”

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, or NHTSA, reports the recall from the business includes many different models, including those from 2016-2021 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.

To resolve the issue, the business plans on issuing a remote software update. If the issue is not resolved remotely, car owner’s will be encouraged to bring their vehicles to an authorized business dealership.

The news of the business recall may not come as a surprise as a similar issue arose in Europe. In October 2019, the European division of the business launched an investigation into the eCall emergency system glitch. The eCall emergency system has been required in new vehicles in the European Union since 2018. Subsequently, Mercedes-Benz conducted an internal investigation, and according to Reuters, similar events where location transmission was incorrect have also occurred in Europe.

Other Auto Recalls

The luxury car company recall comes less than two weeks after Tesla recalled 134,000 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs. Startup Savant wrote that the recall was due to touchscreen failures potentially resulting in the loss of several safety features. The NHTSA started the investigation into Mercedes-Benz in 2020, which the company then revealed the flash chip “will inevitably fail.” The repairs could take the company at least eight years to fix the defective parts of the media control unit.

About the Author


Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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