While Daimler has yet to issue an official recall notice for South Africa, Mercedes-Benz SA has confirmed that local cars aren’t entirely out of the danger zone just yet.
In a statement sent to DESTINY on Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz SA said: “We have still not, as yet, received any official notification of the start of the precautionary campaign in South Africa– but the preliminary number of vehicles affected are approximately 5 100.”
“Daimler AG, our parent company, has indicated that the campaign will be rolled out globally – in parallel in affected countries – towards the middle of the year,” the company said.
Daimler has learned that the starting current limiter in certain A-Class, B-Class, C-Class and E-Class cars as well as CLA, GLA and GLC SUVs manufactured between 2015 and 2017 could overload in certain instances when drivers try to start the car.
The problem occurs in vehicles where the engine has been damaged or when the engine has hydrolocked. When you try to start the car numerous times, a high electric current could run through the starting current limiter which causes the engine to overheat and potentially catch alight.
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“We would like to reiterate that certain boundary conditions are necessary for the described issue to occur, namely a previously occurred massive damage of the vehicle’s engine that leads to a blocked/seized engine. As the occurrence of such incidents on the engine is very rare, the described issue of the starting current limiter might only occur in very rare cases as well,” Mercedes-Benz SA said.
The company said it would keep drivers updated as and when more information becomes available.
The precautionary safety recall was issued earlier this month after 51 cars had caught alight around the world, but there have been no reported deaths or injuries so far.