Leading luxury-car major, Mercedes-Benz AG, has reportedly recalled around 1.3 million vehicles of model years between 2016 and 2021 over a technical flaw in the car’s eCall emergency calling platform. For the record, eCall is a system which is either activated automatically or through a button, and provides information such as the direction in which the car was travelling, GPS location of the car, and the number of people in the car. This system has been a standard Mercedes-Benz feature across the company’s car models since 2014.
According to reliable sources, the company discovered that a fault in the software may lead to a scenario where the feature would fail to communicate the precise location of the car to first responders incase the power supply drops at the time of a crash, delaying the rescue at critical moment.
It has been reported that the flaw affects a broad range of Mercedes' portfolio, from entry-level cars such as A-Class to its flagship cars such as the S-Class. The company has apparently investigated a series of incidents wherein the cars did not send the right locations. This investigation also included a 2019 case of eCall failure in Europe.
Reportedly, the company is expected to commence the recall from April 6th, 2021 with an intention to troubleshoot the issue either by over-the-air updates through Mercedes Me subscriptions or by asking the owners to visit dealerships.
Apart from emphasizing on the technical challenges associated to emergency calling systems, this recall demonstrates the growing significance of over-the-air updates for cars. Seemingly, some of the Mercedes owners would not need to visit the dealership for the installation of the potential fix for the problem that could provide them not only with the peace of mind, but also ensure more free mechanics for working on other repairs.