Mercedes is recalling certain GLE vehicles manufactured for the US market for the 2021 and 2022 model years. According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 164 examples of the mid-size utility vehicle may have an improperly grounded 12-volt connection.
Mercedes-Benz AG learned about said concern back in March 2021 through a field report from a GLE owner alleging a battery warning message followed by a no-start condition. Somewhat customary of Merc, the Stuttgart-based automaker didn’t bother investigating the root cause of this incident.
A few months later, the German automaker was presented with a post-production quality feedback report in regard to a similar incident. Said report read that the GLE in question was designated for QA rework during production, yet contemporaneous documentation indicated that the rework action had been completed. Pretty intriguing, isn’t it?
This, however, prompted Merc to investigate what actually happened. As it happens, Mercedes-Benz AG immediately found evidence suggesting instances of erroneous reworks. Further review of the available data confirmed that both the March 2021 incident and late 2021 incident involved vehicles that had undergone botched rework actions.
BMW’s direct competitor also determined that one individual employee performed the erroneous reworks during a limited timeframe, with said employee documenting the reworks as correctly performed. More to the point, the individual in question failed to torque the bolted 12-volt ground connection to the required specification.
Thermal testing determined that current resistance could result in heat development under the driver’s seat. Mercedes couldn’t rule out a safety risk, that being a vehicle fire caused by the high electrical currents flowing through the connection. Fortunately for everyone involved, MBAG isn’t aware of any reports of fire or injury. Tomorrow, December 15, dealers nationwide will be instructed to check the ground connection’s bolt torque and – if necessary – retorque it to the correct spec.
As per the document attached below, Mercedes introduced a chance in the rework procedure in December 2021. Known owners will be informed of this recall via first-class mail no later than February 6. The federal watchdog’s number for this recall is 23V-835. In the meantime, owners can get in touch with their nearest dealership. Alternatively, owners can determine whether their luxury sport utility vehicles are recalled or not by running the 17-character VIN on the NHTSA’s website.
The affected population includes 138 examples of the 2021 – 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350, namely vehicles with production dates ranging between February 9, 2021 and November 15, 2021. A further 26 units of the GLE 450 are under recall. Said vehicles were produced in the same period.
Codenamed W167, this generation of the GLE received a mid-cycle refresh for the 2024 model year. At press time, Mercedes-Benz USA charges $62,650 (sans destination charge) for the base 350. At the other end of the spectrum, the AMG-ified GLE 63 S starts at $127,700 and packs 603 horsepower.