Mercedes-Benz recently announced a recall related to the cruise control on their M-Class line of SUVs; almost 137,000 vehicles in the United States are at risk.  The 2000-02 M-Class and 2000-04 M-Class AMG models are being recalled.

Mercedes-Benz and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched separate investigations late in 2010 after receiving complaints from consumers.  Mercedes-Benz discovered that, in some cases, the cruise control wasn’t disengaging when the brake was applied.  NHTSA stated that pumping the brakes wouldn’t necessarily disengage the cruise control, but either continued pressure on the brake pedal or turning the cruise control off on the stalk offered the desired affect.  The cruise control will also disengage automatically once the speed is lower than 25 MPH.

The issue is with the brake lamp switch; it is failing to send the electrical signal to the cruise control relay.  According to the NHTSA campaign, “difficulty or delay in disengaging cruse control can increase the risk of a crash.”

Rob Moran, a Mercedes-Benz spokesman, stated in an e-mail that the company is not aware of any accidents caused by the malfunction.

Mercedes-Benz dealers will begin repairing affected vehicles free of charge in September, 2011.  Owners with questions can contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372, according to the announcement.  They can also contact the NHTSA Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or visit www.safercar.gov.