Mercedes-Benz is recalling optional all-season floor mats sold for use in model year 2012 and 2013 ML SUVs. More than 8,000 ML350, ML550 and ML63 vehicles could have defective floor mats that can interfere with the gas pedal since it doesn’t follow the contour of the floor pan as originally designed. No accidents or injures have been reported, according to a Mercedes filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Unlike the infamous floor mat recalls on Toyota and Lexus models starting in 2010, which had associated deaths, Mercedes-Benz uses an electronic brake-override that is standard equipment across the line. Drivers can bring any Mercedes to a stop by depressing the brake pedal, even if the gas pedal is fully depressed or jammed at the floor. When both the brake pedal and gas pedal are depressed at the same time, vehicle electronics override the gas pedal signal and bring the engine to idle as long as the driver keeps the brake pedal depressed.
Mercedes said it discovered the potential problem last March while preparing a company-owned ML Class vehicle for a long-term quality test. After a component inspection, test drives in April-June 2012, and a clearance measurement survey in vehicles in July 2012, Mercedes decide to recall the Czech-built mats and redesign them.
Until replacement mats become available, ML owners should remove their floor mats from the vehicle. The safety recall is expected to begin during September 2012. Only vehicles equipped with the accessory floor mats sold by dealers are affected. Owners may contact Mercedes-Benz for more information at 1-800-367-6372