Software Glitch Causes Some Mercedes-Benz Sunroofs to Close

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a recall on November 1 for 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 models due to a software glitch that could cause the vehicle’s sunroof to close unexpectedly when the car is in “car wash mode.”

In May 2019, Mercedes-Benz (MBUSA) found a software problem that allowed the sunroof to be closed automatically through the car wash mode via the touchpad on the center console. A month later, the automaker discovered some vehicles may have left the manufacturing plant without the proper software version.

The company reviewed the circumstances under which the sunroof could be closed and determined that there was no safety risk due to the automatic reverse feature. Because multiple steps were required to enter the car wash mode, there was no risk of the sunroof closing inadvertently.

Subsequently, in November 2019, questions arose about whether the ability to close the sunroof while in the car wash mode was consistent with the proper sunroof operations.

A review of legal and regulatory provisions continued into 2020. On May 4, 2020, MBAG determined that the operation of the sunroof under car wash mode via the central touch display or the touchpad of the center console might not comply with vehicle safety standards.

The company asked NHTSA if it could treat the noncompliance as inconsequential. However, on October 25 this year, the NHTSA denied MBUSA’s request. The carmaker then issued the recall.

The automaker told dealers to update the sunroof control unit software free of charge. The company expects to mail notification letters to owners by December 31.

Read the NHTSA Safety Recall Report HERE.

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