Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes, has issued a voluntary recall of vehicles manufactured between November 2011 and July 2017 as a result of safety concerns over the cars' airbags going off prematurely.
The cause of the fault is believed to be a problem with the steering column module clock spring, which has the potential to fail. If it does, the airbag warning light will display as well as a red warning light. An electrostatic discharge can then inadvertently cause the airbag to deploy.
In a statement, the company said that drivers should contact Mercedes' roadside assistance if the airbag warning light comes on. The official Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance number is 00800 5777 7777.
The company said the cars are safe to use under normal conditions but there have now been 30 separate incidents of the airbags releasing prematurely. Fortunately no serious accidents have occurred so far, although some drivers have suffered bruises and minor abrasions.
Mercedes says that all A-class, B-class, C-class and E-class models, as well as CLA, GLA and GLC vehicles, are affected. Owners should contact their local dealer for a free repair.
Arran Macleod, a solicitor in the Penningtons Manches product liability team, said: “Thousands of Mercedes cars are driven on UK roads every day. We welcome the manufacturer issuing this recall, and we hope that the decision has been taken as soon as possible after the fault was detected.
“As a product liability team, we will be monitoring the situation and can advise anyone who feels that they have suffered an injury because of this defect.”