Mercedes-Benz owners say their panoramic sunroofs detached and flew into traffic.

Posted in Investigations

Mercedes Sunroof Recall Closes Federal Investigation
Mercedes-Benz owners say their panoramic sunroofs detached and flew into traffic.

— A Mercedes-Benz sunroof recall will allegedly take care of panoramic sunroofs that detach and fly into traffic.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation in January after owners complained about detached sunroofs.

The initial sunroof investigation focused on 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles with front sunroof panels that completely detached while driving.

The front panoramic sunroof panel is made of polycarbonate and held to the vehicle with adhesive at the time of manufacture. But over time the panels may need to be replaced which entails removal of the old panel and adhesive, site preparation and installation of a replacement sunroof panel with new adhesive.

NHTSA found all the complaints about 2015 Mercedes C-Class sunroofs came from owners of cars that had the front sunroof panels replaced.

During the investigation, Mercedes found more models that could be affected, including sunroofs in 2014-2020 CLA-Class, GLA-Class, C-Class, S-Class, GLC-Class and GLE-Class vehicles.

The automaker also determined there may have been improper surface pretreatments such as the use of the wrong primer or cleaner. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz found it was possible the wrong panoramic sunroof adhesive may have been applied during replacement.

The adhesive bond may hold the sunroof panel in place for a while, but time and exposure to the elements will weaken the bond.

A total of 57 Mercedes sunroof complaints were filed, including incidents where the sunroof panels flew into traffic.

In March, a Mercedes sunroof recall (21V197) was announced for more than 15,000 vehicles in the U.S. The sunroof recall includes Mercedes vehicles that had the front sunroof panels replaced after the vehicles were first sold.

NHTSA says the Mercedes sunroof recall will likely be adequate to fix the adhesive and primer problems.


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