The recall and advice applies to Mercedes ML-, GL-. and R-class SUVs from 2006 to 2012 model year. Brake boosters, which provide brake assist force, can wear out over a long period of time, especially when exposed to large amounts of water, according to announcements from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Mercedes. Corrosion can allow air to seep into the system, weakening the power brake. This may cause drivers to apply more force to stop the vehicle and may increase stopping distances.
In rare cases of severe wear, sudden severe braking can damage the brake booster and cause the brake system to fail, according to the advisory. The parking brake is not affected by these problems.
Mercedes will require vehicle owners participating in the recall to take their SUV to a dealer for inspection. If the brake booster does not show wear, no further action is needed, according to the NHTSA. SUVs that exhibit enhanced brake wear will undergo further tests to determine if the brakes are operating normally. In this case, owners of SUVs with well-functioning brakes will be required to return later, perhaps up to two years, for a re-examination and possible repairs. If the brakes do not operate normally, the booster will be replaced immediately.
There will be no charges for any recall-related repairs or inspections and Mercedes will provide the dealer with a free vehicle towing for inspections and repairs. The automaker said Mercedes dealers can also help arrange alternative transportation for owners whose vehicles need recall-related repair work that can’t be done immediately.