Certain Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles have been recalled because their front seat belts may not retract fully, which means they may not fully comply with federal occupant crash protection standards.
The problem is that the geometry of the front seat belt retractor is faulty in some model years and could keep the belt from fully retracting.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is concerned that some people may find this inconvenient enough that they will forego using the seat belt entirely. Doing that could substantially increase the risk of serious injuries during a crash.
The recall affects a total of 24,550 C-Class vehicles equipped with the Pre-Safe system. Model years 2017-2021 are affected. In 2020, Mercedes-Benz apparently redesigned the retractor’s damping foam, which fixed the issue. Cars manufactured after July 20, 2020 are not affected by this recall.
Details of the recall
According to Consumer Reports, the following vehicles are being recalled:
- 2017-2021 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2017-2020 AMC C43 and AMG C63
If your vehicle is affected, you will be offered a free fix by your dealership. The dealer will test the seat belt for retraction and, if necessary, adjust the damping foam.
Mercedes-Benz will notify owners by mail beginning in mid-March.
You can contact your local dealer or Mercedes-Benz customer service (800-367-6372) for more information. NHTSA’s campaign number for this recall is 21V032000.
If you are concerned your vehicle might be subject to any recall, you can also check using NHTSA’s recall website. You will need your 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN), which is typically available from your title or insurance documents. It is also printed on the car in several locations, including inside the driver’s side door and at the base of the windshield near the steering wheel, visible from the outside.
If you enter your VIN into the website and nothing comes up, your car is not subject to recall. However, you may wish to try back from time to time to ensure that no new recalls crop up.
If you have been injured due to a faulty vehicle or auto part, you may have legal recourse. Talk to an attorney experienced in product liability law.