Mercedes to Recall SUVs in the United States

Use of the brake pedal may not automatically disengage cruise control as expected by the driver.

Daimler is recalling 136,751 sports utility vehicles in the United States owing to possible problems with their cruise control systems, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on April 5.

Daimler's Mercedes Benz brand is recalling M-Class SUVs built between 2000 and 2004.

Another 50,000 of the same class of vehicles would be recalled in Germany as well, Mercedes spokesman Wolfgang Zanker said.

The NHTSA said that "Mercedes-Benz has determined that under certain circumstances use of the brake pedal may not automatically disengage cruise control as expected by the driver." Other ways of switching it off remained in effect, but the risk of a crash increased when the cruise control mechanism cannot be disengaged, the agency noted.

"It is possible that brake pressure must be increased," Zanker acknowledged.

The NHTSA said: "Specifically, where the driver pumps the brakes rather than applying consistent pedal force, the level of force required may be unusually high."

Mercedes will repair the fault free of charge.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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