Mercedes-Benz is recalling about 24,450 of its C-Class convertibles from the 2017 to 2021 model years because they might not comply with federal Occupant Crash Protection standards. According to Consumer Reports, the problem with these restraint systems is that the front seatbelts might not fully retract to their stowed position because of the geometry of the front seat belt retractor.
Details of the Recall
According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the safety concern is that some seat occupants may find this to be an inconvenience and therefore, will not use the seatbelt at all, which increases the risk of serious injury during a car crash.
Occupants will not receive any advance warning of the retractor’s failure. This particular recall affects certain C-Class Cabriolets that are equipped with the Pre-Safe system. Owners will be notified by mid-March. When the recall begins, dealerships will check the retraction function of the front seatbelts and, if necessary, adjust the damping foam within the B-pillars at no cost to consumers.
The automaker changed the design of the foam used in the retractor as of July 20, 2020, which remedied the problem. C-Class vehicles built after this date won’t be affected by this recall. The vehicle models included in this recall are 2017-2021 C300 and 2017-2020 AMC C43 and AMC C63. For more information, vehicle owners can contact Mercedes-Benz USA customer service at 800-367-6372.
The Danger of Faulty Seatbelts
When seat restraint systems don’t work properly or as intended in vehicles, the consequences can be devastating. Seatbelts prevent a number of serious injuries during a car crash. Individuals who are restrained properly are not ejected from the vehicle during a violent car accident – an event that typically results in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Vehicle occupants who are buckled up are also better protected during rollover crashes.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident because safety features such as seatbelts or airbags did not work as intended or were defective, you may have a product liability lawsuit against the automaker as well the manufacturer of the defective part. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families that have lost loved ones will be able to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit as well. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to help victims and families better understand their legal rights and options.