Mercedes-Benz has announced a recall of 126,260 vehicles because the air bags can unexpectedly deploy or fail to work. The recall includes certain model year 2008-2009 C300 Sedan, C300 4Matic, C63 AMG, and C350 vehicles, and 2010 GLK350 and GLK350 vehicles.
The risk is caused by a manufacturing defect with the air bag control unit. During production, insufficient passivation (a chemically applied surface treatment) to the power supply component of the control unit (ASIC) can cause corrosion in the semiconductor material. An NHTSA report states that this could lead to “swelling of the separation layer in the semiconductor. Subsequently, electrical connections might be interrupted, which could lead to a failure of the ASIC component.”
Mercedes-Benz will notify owners and dealers will inspect the air bag and replace it for free, as needed.