The GLE went plug-in hybrid a few years ago, but as expected, the original wasn’t sold in the United States of America. Thankfully for prospective customers, that changed for the 2024 model year with the introduction of the GLE 450e. But alas, Merc somehow messed up the software version of the ESP control unit fitted to an estimated 2,797 vehicles.
This blunder goes a long way back, though. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the German automaker started investigating field reports from outside the United States, alleging increased brake pedal input force. At that time, Mercedes couldn’t identify the root cause for the described condition.
Come April 2023, a team of engineers hypothesized that ESP may not provide sufficient brake support due to a software-related issue. Mercedes-Benz AG validated the hypothesis in the subsequent months through technical reviews and data analyses of newly identified reports from outside of the US market.
Sometime during October 2023, the Stuttgart-based automaker determined that an incorrect software version was the culprit. As a result, Mercedes-Benz AG initiated a plant rework action at MBUSI in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to update the ESP software of GLE 450e SUVs still in the automaker’s control.
The population of affected vehicles delivered to dealers and customers was originally estimated at 2,770 units. Merc increased the tally by 27 in December 2023, with production dates ranging between January 6, 2023 to October 27, 2023. All of these vehicles were produced for model year 2024.
The incorrect software version is dubbed A2139024726 in Mercedes-Benz vernacular, whereas A2139025727 is the correct software version. The German automaker claims that A2139025727 rolled out on October 30, meaning that GLE 450e vehicles manufactured after that date are equipped with the correct ESP software version.
Dealers have been instructed to reflash affected vehicles at no charge to the customers, whereas known owners will be informed via first-class mail no later than January 30, 2024. In the meantime, owners can determine whether their plug-in hybrids are recalled or not by providing their preferred dealers with the vehicle identification number. Alternatively, simply run the VIN on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.
GLE 450e may lead one to believe that we’re dealing with a large internal combustion engine, but in truth, the mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle packs a 2.0-liter turbo four-pot lump. Not exactly Mercedes of Merc, isn’t it? However, do remember that Mercedes-Benz AG thinks that it’s perfectly fine to downsize from a 4.0-liter V8 to a 2.0-liter I4 in the C 63.
Officially advertised as the GLE 450e 4MATIC SUV, the luxury-oriented utility vehicle belts out 381 horsepower and 479 pound-feet (650 Nm) at full chatter. Capable of reaching 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) in 5.8 seconds, the GLE 450e carries a starting price of $69,500 (sans freight).