Daimler to Recall New Mercedes A-Class Cars Due to Airbag Fault

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, the world’s third-biggest maker of luxury vehicles, is recalling new A-Class models to fix a safety fault less than a year after the sporty hatchback hit showrooms.

The front passenger airbag might not inflate properly in case of an accident, Wolfgang Zanker, a spokesman for the Stuttgart, Germany-based carmaker, said today via telephone. The defect affects around 6,000 cars in Germany, where most of the vehicles were sold, he said.

Mercedes revamped the A-Class last year to attract younger customers and boost sales as it seeks to catch up with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and Volkswagen AG’s Audi. The new version abandoned the upright, boxy shape of the original A-Class, which was refitted with additional safety features after Daimler acknowledged design weaknesses.

Mercedes will fix the A-Class cars, which were produced between June and December, free of charge, he said, declining to comment on the cost of the repairs. The recall was earlier reported by German trade magazine Auto, Motor & Sport.

The move marks Daimler’s second recall within a month. Daimler said on May 6 it is recalling the new Mercedes Citan van to repair the airbag system following “unsatisfactory” tests.

Daimler aims to regain the top spot in luxury car sales by the end of the decade after falling behind BMW eight years ago and Audi in 2011. Mercedes beat sales growth at its main rivals last month, thanks mainly to demand of the compact A- and B-Class models. Mercedes reworked the A-Class to compete more directly with BMW’s 1-Series and Audi’s A3.

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