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Mercedes recalls thousands of vehicles

Automobile manufacturer Mercedes has issued a recall in for its C-Class sedans owing to possible electrical problems. the recall affects approximately 31,000 vehicles in British Columbia and throughout Canada; nearly 253,000 more were recalled in the United States, totally approximately 284,000 vehicles. Although the parts necessary to fix the issue were not yet available at the time of the recall announcement, Mercedes says that owners will be receiving interim notifications beginning in June 2014 and then a second notification some months later when the replacement parts become available.

A representative of the multinational corporation that owns Mercedes, Daimler AG, says that they are not presently aware of any car accidents that have occurred related to the recall. The defect is said to be an inadequate electrical connection that could cause the vehicle's tail lights to dim or fail altogether. Affected models include the C300, C63 and C350 sedans from 2008 to 2011.

The investigation into the electrical issue began in 2013 after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued an information request to Mercedes. Daimler initiated the recall after the NHTSA requested additional information about the matter in March 2014. No markets other than Canada and the United States are believed to be affected by the recall.

In situations where manufacturing defects do contribute to a motor vehicle accident, the automaker itself could be held liable for any damages that occur. While the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia may find that the owner of a defective vehicle was responsible for causing the accident, this may not cause the manufacturer to take responsibility. A lawyer could file a claim to hold the company accountable, which may lead to a recall that could prevent other accidents in the future.

Source: Reuters, "Mercedes recalls 284,000 cars in US, Canada over tail lights", Ben Klayman, Ilona Wissenbach, April 29, 2014

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