Daimler is recalling a million vehicles worldwide to address a problem with an engine starter that could become blocked and lead to underhood fires.
Although there have been no reported injuries or deaths arising from the issue, the company is aware of 51 fires relating to the problem, 30 of which were in North America (all in the US).
The recall affects vehicles from 2015-2017 model years, specifically C 300, C 350e, C 450 AMG Sport, CLA 250, CLA 45 AMG, E 300, E 400 Wagon, E 43 AMG, GLA 250 and GLC 300.
The US is reportedly home to 354,434 of the vehicles being recalled but Canada is still unsure about numbers, with Mercedes-Benz Canada saying original number quoted seems to be quite a bit higher than what the actual count will end up at. Reuters is reporting the number in the US is actually 307,629 — less than Daimler reported to US regulators.
The culprit is the engine starter that might become blocked following engine or transmission damage. If that happens, any further attempts to start the engine will send a high current that surpasses the starter’s current limiter, causing it to overhead and melt surrounding components, which could result in an underhood fire. The issue came to light following investigations of the fires in US vehicles.
Vehicle owners will be advised this month about returning their vehicles to dealerships, where an additional fuse will be installed in the electrical line leading to the starter. Action on the repair is expected to begin in summer.