The recall and advisory apply to Mercedes ML-, GL-. and R-Class SUVs from model years 2006 to 2012. The brake boosters, which provide power assistance to the brakes, can corrode over a long period of time, especially when exposed to significant amounts of water, according to the announcements. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Mercedes. Corrosion can allow air to enter the system, weakening the power brakes. This would require drivers to exert more force to stop the vehicle and could lead to increased stopping distances.
In “rare cases of very extreme corrosion”, hard and sudden braking could damage the brake booster and lead to brake system failure, according to the advisory. The parking brake is not affected by these problems.
Mercedes will ask owners of vehicles affected by the recall to take their SUV to a dealership for an inspection. If the brake booster shows no corrosion, no further action will be necessary, according to NHTSA. SUVs that have brake booster corrosion will undergo further testing to determine if the brakes are functioning normally. In this case, SUV owners whose brakes work well will be asked to come back later, perhaps up to two years, for re-inspection and possible repairs. If the brakes do not work normally, the brake booster will be replaced immediately.
There will be no charge for repairs or inspections related to the recall and Mercedes will provide free towing of vehicles to the dealership for inspections and repairs. Mercedes dealerships can also help arrange alternative transportation for owners whose vehicles need recall-related repair work that can’t be done immediately, the automaker said.