Some 800,000 Mercedes-Benz car owners have been warned that their cars could catch fire due to a technical defect, which cannot be fixed immediately.
The hundreds of thousands of cars will have to be called back for maintenance work due to a leak in the coolant pump, which could lead to dangerously high temperatures. But a shortage of the parts needed to fix the issue is hampering the repairs, according to a letter sent to affected car owners and published by the German newspaper Bild.
Belgian spokesperson for the company, Sebastien Van den Moortel, confirmed the technical defect to Belga News Agency but pointed out that fire would only occur in the most extreme case. "There is certainly no reason to panic," he said, adding that he has no knowledge of any vehicles that have caught fire.
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Van den Moortel did not give the exact figures of the number of vehicles that had been recalled in Belgium.
"Belgian owners will all receive a letter to inform them whether their car has been affected. Afterwards, they will receive an invitation to make an appointment to repair the problem," he stated.
"Until then, they need to be vigilant. If the dashboard indicates that the coolant has dropped, it is best to contact the garage immediately." The company recommended owners use the cars as little as possible and with great caution.
The warning concerns the SUV vehicles GLE, GLS, GLC and the G-Class as well as passenger car models of the C-, E- and S-Class. This equates to almost the entire model range, as the issue affects vehicles with four- and six-cylinder diesel engines.
The recall had reportedly already been published in November 2021.
The repair requires replacing a switching valve in the vicinity of the coolant pump and a software update. However, the parts shortage means that the process can only be started in the middle or end of January.