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Mercedes-Benz Issues Recall of Older Vehicles to Fix Sunroof Issue

2006 Mercedes-Benz C 280 | Photo: Mercedes-Benz
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Daniel Rufiange
The risk is small that the sunroofs could fly off, the consequence can be serious

•    Mercedes-Benz is recalling 125,000 vehicles due to a potential problem with the sunroof.

•    The sunroofs on the affected models may have been improperly glued, increasing the risk of them coming off over time.

•    The affected vehicles are from 2001 through 2011 model-years.

Mercedes-Benz says it’s recalling nearly 125,000 older vehicles due to a potential problem with their sunroofs. These could detach from the vehicle while it is in motion.

The campaign covers a host of vehicles, primarily C-Class, CLK, E-Class and CLS models from the 2001-to-2011 model-years. According to the company, the affected vehicles may have been delivered with improper bonding between the glass panel and the sliding roof frame, which can cause the sliding roof to fly off in the wind.

“Due to a production deviation at a supplier, glass panels might have been bonded without proper application and/or ventilation of the primer (bonding agent),” the automaker said in its notice informing authorities of the problem. “The correct usage of the primer is necessary in order to ensure the specified strength of the bonded joint.”

The company explains that the bond could deteriorate over time, which could lead to the roof coming off when subjected to wind pressure while the vehicle is in motion. Obviously, we don't expect to see roofs instantly flying off and flooding the sky, but the fact that it's even possible means the issue deserves serious attention. A sunroof that flies off a moving vehicle could pose a serious safety risk to other road users.

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2007 Mercedes-Benz C 230
2007 Mercedes-Benz C 230 | Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Here is the complete list of models affected by the campaign.

- C230/2002-2007
- C240/2001-2005
- C280/2006-2007
- C320/2001-2005
- C350/2006-2007
- CLK320/2003-2005
- CLK350/2006-2009
- CLK500/2003-2006
- CLK550/2007-2009
- CLS550/2006-2011
- E320/2005-2009
- E500/2003-2006
- E550/2007-2009
- AMG C32/2002-2004
- AMG C55/2005-2006
- AMG CLK55/2003-2005
- AMG CLS55/2006
- AMG CLS63/2007-2011
- AMG E55/2003-2006
- AMG E63/2007-2009
- E350/2006-2009

Given the age of the vehicles, a significant proportion of them are certainly now in the hands of second, third or fourth owners, so it’s important for individual owners to take heed of the recall notice. Mercedes-Benz says owners might notice an increase in wind noise or visible gaps between the panel and the mechanism as it begins to deteriorate.

The automaker will reimburse people who have already had this problem treated outside of the manufacturer's warranty period, and new parts will be provided to those whose vehicles show signs of deteriorating roof grip.

Notices for this campaign are expected to be sent out beginning in February.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists