Recall: Mercedes-Benz's Illuminated Badge Can Cause Power Steering Failure

At least people will see what kind of car you're driving... into a ditch.

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If you're looking for a little extra clout for your Mercedes-Benz SUV, maybe skip the light-up badge and go for a flashy color instead. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the illuminated three-pointed star in question is causing some wiring issues that could lead to power steering failure on some GLE and GLS models. Mercedes-Benz has since issued an official recall for the issue.

The exact cause of the problem is a bad ground on the illuminated badge, per the recall. If the GLS or GLE in question is suffering from a bad ground, the power steering could be rendered ineffective as well as the left headlight and the wiper motor. All of these things clearly affect the safety of the vehicle—and you can imagine how this would be especially dangerous driving on a snowy or rainy night.

In total, 12,799 vehicles are affected, consisting of cars from every trim level throughout those two ranges. All of the SUVs were built stateside in Alabama, and the issue has been on the radar of the German automaker since December of 2019. It's to be noted that no specific accident has been cited as the cause of this recall; and there have been no accidents or injuries reported as a result of this issue.

Mercedes says that dealerships are aware of this issue and that customers can begin to take their vehicles in for free repairs starting on Dec. 8. Notices will be sent out via U.S. mail during the same month to remind owners to do as such.

So if you're looking to impress your neighbors, just make sure you take your light-up badge-equipped GLE or GLS in for repairs before you do. You wouldn't want your power steering to go out just as the Johnsons next door see your new Mercedes' emblem light up. Now that would be a shame.

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h/t: CNET