German marque expands airbag campaign to include three extra model years of its popular mid-sizer.
Mercedes-Benz Australia has recalled the 2013-15 C-Class as part of the ongoing Takata airbag campaign, adding to the 2008-12 model years that have already been called back.
A total of 28,965 vehicles are affected including the 2012 model, meaning 17,066 units have been added if you subtract the number of affected vehicles from our previous coverage.
Like other Takata recalls, the fault relates to the airbag inflator propellant – the passenger-side one in this case – degrades over time due to exposure to high temperatures and humidity.
It should be noted that no Mercedes-Benz vehicles have ever been fitted with the more dangerous 'alpha' inflator, which has been the only design to have caused injury and death so far.
For all brands, replacement of the alpha inflators have been the top priority, with 'beta' bags – such as those fitted in some Mercedes models – posing a lesser, but not insignificant risk.
Nonetheless, if the vehicle is involved in a collision triggering the airbags, the metal inflator housing could rupture when deployed, shooting metal fragments into the cabin.
Owners are urged to contact their local Mercedes-Benz dealer to arrange the replacement of their front passenger airbag, free of charge.
The Takata airbag recall affects more than 100 million vehicles and nearly 20 automotive brands around the world. Among those are more than five million vehicles in Australia, the equivalent of four years of nationwide sales.
Globally, there have been 20 deaths linked to the scandal, and 230 serious injuries. One Australian motorist lost their life to a faulty Takata airbag in July 2017, one month after another Australian driver was seriously injured.
In February 2018, the recall of vehicles affected by the faulty Takata airbags was made compulsory under law, with affected manufacturers required to replace all defective airbags by the end of 2020. The ACCC earlier this year added some 1.1 million vehicles to the compulsory recall.
According to the Australian Government, the risk of a defective Takata airbag rupturing may arise between 6 and 25 years after it is installed in a vehicle. In areas of high heat and humidity, the risk of rupture may arise between 6 and 9 years.
Concerned owners can check if their vehicle needs a new inflator at www.IsMyAirbagSafe.com.au.