Mercedes-Benz Korea to recall 32,000 vehicles

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Mercedes-Benz Korea to recall 32,000 vehicles

Mercedes-Benz Korea decided to recall 32,000 vehicles equipped with the deadly Takata airbags after postponing the decision for more than a year since the Transport Ministry gave the order in September 2016.

The Korean affiliate of the German premium automaker said Friday that it has decided to recall the problematic models, including its popular C-Class and E-Class vehicles, after discussing the issue with the German headquarters. The automaker is likely to file a recall plan with the ministry by the end of this year and start the recall process in the first half of next year.

“We are planning to roll out a recall but the exact process hasn’t been decided,” said a spokesman for the automaker.

Mercedes-Benz Korea and GM Korea have not been cooperating with the government regarding the recall of Takata airbag-equipped vehicles. Two automakers have been postponing the recall, arguing that the issue hasn’t been resolved with their respective headquarters.

Other import carmakers, however, such as BMW, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover, have complied with the government’s request.

Mercedes-Benz Korea had said the controversial airbags haven’t caused any injuries in Korea and need to undergo further safety tests at the automaker’s headquarters.

The spokesman said no safety defects were found in the models, but will roll out a recall anyway.

GM Korea has still not agreed to take part in the recall.

Airbags manufactured by the Japanese auto parts maker Takata have been blamed for the deaths of at least 18 passengers worldwide due to shrapnel expelled when the bag inflates. They haven’t caused injuries in Korea so far. Earlier this year, the airbag maker admitted to manipulating and concealing information about key defects and filed for bankruptcy soon after with an estimated debt of $9 billion.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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