The automaker that prides itself on delivering the best or nothing has once again issued a recall unbecoming of Mercedes-Benz. The Stuttgart-based automaker is calling back 26,116 units of the Gelandewagen, split between G 63s and G 550s made to U.S. specifications.
Mercedes started reviewing field reports in February 2022, with an unspecified number of reports alleging the ABS and ESP indicator lamps turning on in the digital instrument cluster. Through May 2022, the company acquired and investigated parts from the field.
The German automaker observed that the front axle wiring harness had come into contact with the auxiliary oil cooler. The subsequent chafing damage resulted in the warning lights popping up, informing the G-class driver of malfunctions with the anti-lock braking system and electronic stability program of the G 63 and G 550.
According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company made a production adjustment in April 2022, one month before Mercedes-Benz AG finished analyzing parts collected from the field. The Three-Pointed Star ultimately acknowledged that it had made “deviations in the development process” of the front axle wiring harness, which may not sit right with G-Class owners given how much the Gelandewagen is going for today.
The most capable sport utility vehicle to wear the coveted star badge is $139,900 sans destination charge for the G 550 and $179,000 for the G 63. Add some options to the mix, as well as the obligatory dealer markup, and you can easily surpass the $200,000 mark.
How would you feel paying $200k for a luxury-oriented SUV only to find out that Mercedes could have done a better job designing a wiring harness? The remedy isn’t going to impress G-Class owners, either. If no damage is found by the dealer, a protective sleeve will be installed. If there is damage, then the service tech will promptly replace the front axle wiring harness with the revised part introduced into G-Class production back in April 2022.
Why isn’t Mercedes replacing every single suspect front axle wiring harness? Because Mercedes isn’t what it used to be when engineering excellence was the company’s business card. BMW’s archenemy has recently previewed the W214 E-Class with TikTok and Angry Birds compatibility, which is as cringy as it gets in terms of in-car tech. That’s the Mercedes we have today, and alas, it’s not gonna get better going forward.
Of the 26,116 recalled vehicles, 11,018 come in the form of the G 550. Affected vehicles were produced for the 2019 through 2021 model years between June 22nd, 2018, and December 23rd, 2021, in Austria. The remaining 15,098 vehicles are G 63s featuring similar model years and a similar production window as the suspect G 550s.
Owners can expect Mercedes-branded recall notifications to arrive by first-class mail no later than April 18th, 2023. In the meantime, the NHTSA’s VIN look-up tool should serve Gelandewagen owners well.