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Faulty Cruise Control Calls for Mercedes M-Class Recall

By Jim Sharifi

Apr 06, 2011

If you own a Mercedes M-Class, you might want lay off your cruise control until you can get your upscale midsize SUV in for service. “Mercedes-Benz has determined that under certain circumstances use of the brake pedal may not automatically disengage cruise control as expected by the driver, although the other means of deactivating cruise control remain fully operative,” reports NHTSA. “Specifically, where the driver pumps the brakes rather than applying consistent pedal force, the level of force required may be unusually high.”

The recall affects a lot of M-Class SUVs, including some that are eleven years old. “The recall covers 136,751 2000-02 M Class and 2000-04 M-Class AMG built between August 1999 and June 2004 and follows a preliminary investigation opened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in December,” writes the Detroit News. “NHTSA had received 15 reports that the brake lamp switch failed, causing a number of problems, including failing to shift the vehicle out of park, loss of brake lights and inability to disengage the cruise control.”

While using the brakes might not be effective, there are still ways to turn off your cruise control. “Mercedes-Benz also points out that the ‘off’ switch on the control stick will also work, but if anything has been learned from Toyota’s unintended acceleration cases, it is that when put in a panicked situation drivers are not likely to remember or realize they can use abnormal methods of disabling the system,” says Left Lane News. “Amazingly, Mercedes-Benz says that to do date they do not believe any accidents have occurred as a result of the fault.”

M-Class owners will have their vehicles repaired free of charge by Mercedes dealerships, and the safety recall is expected to begin in September 2011. Concerned owners can contact Mercedes directly at 1-800-367-6372.

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