DETROIT — The glare of the latest recall spotlight is shining on two German automakers: Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Mercedes-Benz is recalling more than 284,000 C-Class cars in the U.S. and Canada because of possible failures with the rear lights. The recall affects some C300, C350 and C63 AMG cars from the 2008 through 2011 model years.
At issue: visibility. Corrosion on a connector can cause the tail, brake or rear turn signal lights to dim or fail. This is a safety issue because it can make cars less visible to other drivers, which can increase the risk of a crash.
Corrosion on a connector can cause the tail, brake or rear turn signal lights to dim or fail. That can make the cars less visible to other drivers, increasing the risk of a crash.
The problem affects nearly 253,000 cars in the U.S. and another 31,000 in Canada. A Mercedes spokesman says cars in other countries also are affected, but he did not have a number. The company says if the problem occurs, drivers will see a dashboard warning message.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says dealers will replace bulb holders and any rusted connectors at no cost to owners. Replacement parts aren't expected to be available until August or September.
BMW, meanwhile, is recalling more than 156,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. because the engines can lose power or stall. The recall covers multiple models from 2010 through 2012. It includes some 128i, 328i, Z4, 135i, 335i, 528i, 535i and 640i cars. Also covered are many X3, X5, and X6 SUVs. Bolts that hold a camshaft housing can loosen and break. That can cause reduced power or stalling, increasing the risk of a crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says dealers will replace bolts at no cost to owners. The company expects the recall to start in May. BMW says another 170,000 vehicles from 2010 through 2012 with inline six-cylinder engines will not be recalled, but will receive an extended warranty due to the problem
Auto recalls have have been significant -- and top of mind -- in 2014, led by General Motors and Toyota. For the first four months of 2014, there have been more than 17 million motor vehicle recalls internationally, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2013, there were about 22 million recalled. This year, about 9 million vehicles have been recalled in the United States.
Contributing: Associated Press.