NHTSA submitted a recall report earlier this week for Daimler to recall all Mercedes electric B-Class over a problem with Tesla’s drivetrain. The report, which we embed below, perfectly highlights the need for over-the-air updates across the whole automotive industry. According to the filing, the recall is due to a problem with the gateway software of the electric powertrain, which is supplied by Tesla Motors, and affects all 2,618 Mercedes electric B-Class produced between November 2013 and May 2015. The fix is an update to the software according to Daimler, which the company will offer for free under the warranty, but owners will have to bring the vehicle to a Mercedes dealership rather than push an over-the-air update.
Daimler first became aware of the problem in April 2015 after a customer’s report. The company describes the problem:
DAG has determined that in rare cases on certain B-Class electric drive vehicles, the powertrain gateway control unit might send an incorrect signal for a very short duration regarding the status of the high voltage contactor. Should this occur, the vehicle would react to this signal by immediately powering down the electric powertrain unit. As a consequence, the propulsion power would be lost, temporarily immobilizing the vehicle. In such a case, the vehicle can be restarted using the ignition key.
After an internal investigation, the company decided to issue a recall. Electric B-Class owners should start receiving notifications to service the vehicle for an update in December.
Earlier this year, a report came out suggesting that Mercedes doesn’t plan to use Tesla’s drivetrain for the next generation electric B-class.
Here’s the full report from NHTSA:
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