Mercedes Recalling Almost One Million Cars Over Bad Brake Boosters

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Over the weekend, Mercedes-Benz announced a global recall campaign encompassing nearly a million vehicles it believes could be afflicted with faulty brake boosters.

“We have found that in some of those vehicles, the function of the brake booster could be affected by advanced corrosion in the joint area of the housing,” the automaker explained in a statement.

While the issue is global, the United States is believed to account for roughly 300,000 units, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advising against driving any vehicle involved in the recall. Affected units will undoubtedly offer lowered braking performance and can even cause total brake failure in some instances. Rare or not, the NHTSA feels this one is simply too risky to chance.

Affected vehicles include GL, ML, and R-Class Mercedes-Benz products manufactured between 2006 and 2012 ( a comprehensive list is available here). U.S. regulators are basically going off the MBUSA recall report citing the possibility for moisture to accumulate and cause corrosion within the brake booster housing. The planned fix involves having dealers look at the entire unit and replace them “as necessary.”

Mercedes said there were no known injuries relating to the matter. However, the NHTSA is mighty concerned about a potential vacuum leak creating problems for people on the road. A leaky booster will probably result in a mushy or unresponsive brake pedal and longer stopping distances on the road. Due to the potential hazard (and risk of outright brake failure), the agency has advised all owners not to drive any model under recall until it’s been serviced.

Mercedes first noticed the issue in 2021, launching an internal investigation that fall. The automaker felt confident that the risk was sufficient to launch a recall by May of 2022 and made a formal announcement over the weekend.

Those concerned about their vehicle can toss their vehicle identification number (VIN) into the NHTSA database or use the recall campaign code 22V315000. Alternatively, customers can also contact Mercedes-Benz directly at 1-800-367-6372 or use the NHTSA safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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4 of 14 comments
  • Indi500fan Indi500fan on Jun 07, 2022

    Given the amount of vacuum leaks I see on 15 yr old brands of "everything", I really don't see this as Armageddon.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jun 07, 2022

    Kudos to Mercedes for the recall. These are old cars, long past the original leasee and cpo owner. Unlikely they'll gain new customers as a result of this. I recently got a recall for my 15 year old car for a PVC heater replacement, also due to safety risks. Carmakers aren't in the habit of doing things out of the goodness of their non-existent hearts or because it's the moral thing to do, but I will call out every time they do something good for customers who - as has already been stated - aren't really even Merc customers.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jun 07, 2022

      @golden2husky I am fully aware. Worthy of an attaboy nonetheless.

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