Daimler recalls 6,000 new Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchbacks due to airbag issue

Article by Anita Panait, on May 29, 2013

Daimler is recalling over 6,000 new Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchbacks due to problems with the passenger airbag. According to carmaker, the recall involves 6,000 units in Germany and an unknown number of A-Class hatchbacks elsewhere. Daimler spokesman noted that the market launch of the model in Germany was in September 2012 and in other European markets at later dates, which means that total number of affected vehicles “won't be that much higher."

The spokesman disclosed that there is a possibility that the model’s airbag would not deploy properly in case of an accident, confirming a report in German magazine Auto Motor und Sport. According to the spokesman, they traced the problem to a supplier, noting that so far, no customers have been hurt from the issue.

The recall of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchbacks is considered a blow for Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche since the 2012 launch of this compact car family was a major part of his strategy to recover lost ground from rivals BMW and Audi.

Daimler is aiming to recover its crown as the best-selling luxury car maker by the end of the decade, after losing ground to BMW eight years ago and Audi in 2011.

Mercedes was able to outpace BMW and Audi in April 2013, thanks to high demand for its A- and B-class models.

Mercedes overhauled the A class in 2012 to entice younger customers, abandoning the boxy shape of the original A class for a sleeker and sportier design. Daimler announced on May 6, 2013 that it is recalling the new Mercedes Citan van to fix the airbag system following "unsatisfactory" tests.

The new A-Class is characterized by its defined edges and rigid surfaces of its exterior. There is a harmonious use of concave and convex surfaces that create a characteristic play of light along the sides of the vehicle and adds to its distinctive appearance.

Its long, sporty front features a distinct V shape accentuated by separate headlamps while the Mercedes star (with double slats on either side) sits at the center of the radiator grille and additional air intakes on the sides. It also features a “dropping line” that runs through the side profile up to the front end of the vehicle. The headlamp design and its configured light functions both make up the key elements of the vehicle’s design concept.

Behind the headlamp cover glass are light modules and LEDs that have been arranged in a characteristic “flare effect” designed for the daytime driving lights as well as indicators. This so-called “flare” gives an energetic vibe, creating a fresh and youthful look, and is created by the feature line inside the headlamp while on the daytime running lamps is care of the LED modules and the bulb sets in the indicators.

The roof displays a perfect interplay of dynamic design and exceptional aerodynamics from its smooth surfaces to the taut, arcing curve. Smooth, flowing lines flow through the silhouette that ends in a flat edge. The roof spoiler provides the sporty aspect of the car by giving structure to its roof assembly while hiding all the aerials. Finally, it comes with a pronounced wedge-shaped beltline that rises to the rear.

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