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Recalls: Mercedes C-Class taillights, failing BMW engines

More than 400,000 late-model BMW and Mercedes models are affected.

By Exhaust Notes Apr 29, 2014 11:27AM
Mercedes-Benz is recalling more than 250,000 C-Class models for taillamps that can dim or fail, according to filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The 2008-2011 C-Class -- including the C300, C300 4Matic, C350 and C63 AMG -- have taillamp contacts that can oxidize and cause the bulbs to dim or lose the electrical connection. Mercedes said it first discovered the issue in 2009 after receiving five warranty claims and in 2012 began making spare taillamp bulb housings coated with tin. Only after the NHTSA initiated an investigation in 2013 did Mercedes agree to conduct a recall. A total of 252,867 cars are affected in the U.S.

Dealers will replace the bulb housings beginning in August or September as the parts are not currently available. Owners can call Mercedes at 1-800-367-6372.

In December, Mercedes recalled 130 SL550, SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG models from 2013 to fix passenger seat airbag sensors that may have been installed incorrectly. In May, Mercedes recalled 272 GL-Class SUVs to tighten the bolts holding down the seatbelt anchors.

BMW is recalling 156,137 cars in the U.S. for bolts that can loosen and disable the engine. Bolts securing the housing for the Vanos system (BMW's variable valve timing) can loosen and cause the engine to lose power or stall. Among the affected models are the 2010-2011 128i, 328i, X3 and Z4; 2011 528i and 535i; 2010-2012 X5 and 535i GT; 2011-2012 135i, 335i and X6; and the 2012 640i.

BMW had received dozens of owner complaints since 2011 about the issue and recalled the X5 in China for the issue in 2012. It did not think the issue was safety related in the U.S. despite increasing claims, according to the company filing. After it conducted a second recall in China in February, the company decided to recall the vehicles in the U.S. and include more models.

Dealers will replace the four bolts holding the Vanos system together, in both the intake and exhaust sections, starting in May. In addition, BMW will extend the engine warranty for more than 170,000 cars from 2010-2012 with six-cylinder engines. Owners can call BMW at 1-800-525-7417.

[Source: NHTSA (BMW/Mercedes)]

Apr 30, 2014 7:04AM
When German cars break so does your wallet. They may not hold the recall records, but that doesn't mean they don't have reliability problems. I've known many people over the years with issues with their German cars.
Apr 29, 2014 2:57PM
German quality going downhill. Even my old man's 2014 Porsche Carrera GT3 was recalled due to possible engine fire and had the entire engine replaced with a new one. Audi, Mercedes, BMW, all having failures and recalls. Shame.
Apr 29, 2014 2:38PM
Reading the blogs about how awful auto makers build cars makes me think about how many people died in crashes years ago because cars were never recalled. You're a mom with kids in the car and the brakes fail, It is too cold and you don't stick your hand out to signal a turn, you can not see the right rear of your car because you have no right side mirror, Your windshield is dirty but you have no water to wash it, You crash and slam through the windshield or are crushed by the steering wheel, Oil drips under your engine all the time, no air conditioning, windshield wipers only work if you release the gas pedal, flat tires and 12,000 mile tires are normal, tune ups at least every 15,000 miles etc. Complain we must however thank our lucky stars how many of us don't get killed because of the recalls.
Apr 29, 2014 1:29PM
I can remember in the 50's ad 60's when you never heard the word recall. Now everything is plastic and over the top hi tech and it seems that every week there's a new recall or like Toyota a billion dollar fine. It seems like todays junk is just fancier and a lot more expensive.
Apr 29, 2014 2:33PM
I wish you all would take a look at my 1986 MB 300E then ask me where did I purchase this new car in an old model. No, its not for sale.
Apr 29, 2014 12:30PM
Nah.  They're the best cars on and off the road.  Period
Apr 29, 2014 1:41PM
It's cool that MB and BMW recall their cars before they are forced to do so.  American car makers wait until things are bad enough for the government to step in.
Apr 29, 2014 2:01PM
I love both my Merc and my BMW. I remember the days of owning American-made cars. Fortunately, I got over it 30 years ago.
Apr 29, 2014 1:27PM
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