The eCall emergency call system has been in place for a while now, ensuring that a vehicle will automatically call an emergency number in the case of a crash, and provide a location that a rescue team can then use. However, certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles maybe sending an incorrect location due to a software glitch.
The issue prompted Mercedes-Benz to issue a recall in the US, affecting 1.29 million vehicles built for 2016 to 2021 model years of the following: CLA-Class, GLA-Class, GLE-Class, GLS-Class, SLC-Class, A-Class, GT-Class, C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, CLS-Class, SL-Class, B-Class, GLB-Class, GLC-Class, and G-Class vehicles.
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The NHTSA Recall Campaign ID for this issue is 21V058000. An estimated 100 percent of the 1,292,258 vehicles built before January 29, 2021 are affected by the said issue.
Based on the chronology of events recorded in the recall notice, the issue was discovered in October 2019 when a Mercedes-Benz eCall center in Europe reported an inaccurate vehicle position during a single instance.
After an in-depth analysis of the potential behavior of the power supply and the communication module, it was discovered that the software design of the module affected the relay of location information. Several investigations ensued resulting in Mercedes unable to rule out the safety risks of the glitch.
The Description of the Cause in the recall notice reads:
Due to the software design of the communication module as provided by the supplier, an inaccurate vehicle position during a crash cannot be rule out. If the power supply to the module was interrupted, an internal reset of the communication module might be triggered. If the communication module resets, the system may register the location of the vehicle’s last ignition cycle, rather than its location at the time the eCall system is activated.
The issue can be easily straightened out through a software update, either through an authorized Mercedes dealer or via OTA updates for vehicles with a Mercedes Me subscription. Dealers have been notified on February 12, 2021, while owners will receive their notifications on April 6.
If you suspect that you're part of the recall, you may use your VIN to verify via the NHTSA website.