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Daimler to recall 745,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the US

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Via Financial Times

Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler will recall nearly 745,000 of its 2001-11 vehicles in the US because of concerns that their sunroofs may be unsafe.

The German carmaker said Mercedes-Benz cars from its C-Class, CLK-Class, CLS-Class and E-Class lines would be recalled because the bonding between the glass panel and the sliding roof frame might not meet requirements and could mean roofs detach.

Owners who have paid for repairs may be entitled to compensation, and Mercedes-Benz dealers will inspect and replace the sliding roof, if necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on February 14.

Daimler first began an internal investigation into the safety of the sliding sunroofs in December 2017, based on reports from outside the US that the glass panel was detaching from the vehicle.

The carmaker did not give a figure for the total number of worldwide recalls, nor the estimated cost of compensating customers.

The news comes only weeks after Mercedes-Benz USA agreed a $20m settlement over the way it handled vehicle recalls in America, after a government investigation into the recall of 1.4m cars.

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which signed the settlement, the company reported 101 safety-related defects that required recalls in America between 2016 and 2018. However, it said Mercedes-Benz USA had not notified all the affected customers quickly enough.

The company must pay a $13m fine and fork out up to $7m more if certain conditions in the agreement, relating to how vehicle deficiencies are handled, are not met.

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In 2018, Germany also ordered Daimler to recall 238,000 vehicles on concerns that they contained illegal software that tricked emissions tests. The company complied with the recall but denied using any cheat software.

Faulty or incorrect parts have not been the only thorn in Daimler’s side in the past year. Carmakers have come under pressure in recent months from the joint pressures of falling sales and the cost of investing in electric vehicles. Daimler announced towards the end of 2019 that it planned to cut more than 10,000 jobs in the next two years in an effort to save more than $1bn in personnel costs.

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