Mercedes owners have been urgently warned to return their state-of-the-art cars due to a serious airbag design defect.
The recall notice warned that airbags could explode and kill passengers in the event of an accident, rather than saving their lives.
Eighteen privately imported Mercedes-Benz Class C and E cars need to be replaced with passenger airbags to eliminate the newly discovered defect.
The airbag inflator, intended to blow up the airbag, could break and throw metal fragments at the passenger, potentially killing them.
The recall of Product Safety Australia explained why the car’s passenger side airbag inflator could be damaged.
“As we age, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can degrade the airbag’s throttle,” they say.
“If an affected vehicle is involved in a collision that triggers the airbag, the metal housing of the inflator may explode or break at too high an internal pressure.
“If a defective airbag inflator breaks, the metal fragments may be propelled through the airbag cushion to the occupants of the vehicle, causing serious injury or death.”
The recall notice also urges those who are unsure whether the recall applies to their cars to contact Mercedes-Benz directly.
The luxury car manufacturer will require dealers to replace potentially defective airbags with new ones free of charge.
“Owners of affected vehicles should contact their local Mercedes-Benz retailer or Mercedes-Benz headquarters directly via the website to arrange a free replacement airbag inflator,” the statement said.
The affected coupes and sedans belong to the model years 2007 to 2015, according to Product Safety Australia.