Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi have recalled more than 140,000 vehicles to fix a variety of electrical system flaws affecting heaters, airbags and engine controls.
The largest campaign of the three is that of Mercedes, which covers nearly 77,000 examples of the manufacturer's B-, C-, E, CLA-, GLA-, GLC- and GLK-Class models.
In these cars and crossovers from model years 2012 through 2018, a broken clock spring (which conducts electricity to various controls and components in the steering wheel) and insufficient steering component grounding can conspire with electrostatic discharge in setting off the driver's airbag suddenly and unexpectedly. Benz's fix is to add grounding. The manufacturer says that a broken clock spring will cause an airbag fault warning to pop up in the car's gauge cluster and will illuminate the red airbag warning light.
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Next up is Audi, which has recalled nearly 37,000 cars from model years 2013 through 2016 including the A4, A5, Allroad and Q5 to address auxiliary heater connectors that are prone to corrosion. At best, corroded connectors will cause the heater to quit working, but the condition can also result in overheating/melted wires that may lead to a short circuit and fire. Audi will replace the auxiliary heated in the affected cars and update the car's control software.
Finally, Mitsubishi is recalling more than 28,600 examples of its Lancer, Lancer Evolution, Outlander and RVR models from the 2015 through 2017 model years to replace defective electrical relays. The faulty parts are found in the car's power distribution centre and their failure could result in engine stalling and reduced engine performance, and a loss of engine cooling fan functionality that could cause the engine to overheat.