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34,000 Mercedes models recalled for brake fault

Mercedes-Benz is recalling 34,000 cars in the UK because of a potential brake fault.

About 25,000 E-class saloons built from March 2002, 4,000 E-class estates built from March 2003 and 5,000 SL-class roadsters built from October 2001 will all be recalled to get a free of charge check.

Owners of vehicles with a high mileage in conjunction with very frequent braking have been told there's a risk of the failure of the Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC).

A Mercedes spokesman says: “We are aware of a small number of faults with the SBC. In all of these cases, the SBC system's additional hydraulic function mode ensures it will still provide a level of braking efficiency which is still higher than the applicable legal requirements. In this mode, visual and acoustic signals warn the driver, who can then bring the vehicle to a stop with a greater force on the pedal.”

As a precautionary measure and irrespective of mileage and servicing status, Mercedes is asking all customers with the appropriate vehicle to visit an authorised Mercedes-Benz workshop for a free check.

Megane brake modification

Renault is rushing through a modification for 45,000 UK Megane models after it was revealed the brakes could be activated from the front passenger seat.

The company contacted the Vehicle Operators Services Agency (VOSA) after the issue with the Megane's bulk-head-mounted brake mechanism came to light last week.

A cam connected to a rod from the brake pedal can be accessed in the top right of the passenger footwell. A passenger sitting in the front seat could feasibly reach the cam with their right foot and inadvertently apply the brakes, slowing the car and activating the rear brake lights.

Although the issue would not appear to pose a safety risk under normal driving conditions, the factory is working on a modification that will be fitted to all new Meganes within weeks and will be available as a retro-fit for existing customers.

The VOSA decided a full product recall was not necessary but the modification would be fitted to existing vehicles during their next service.

While three-door and five-door versions of the Megane are affected, as well as the Coupe-Cabriolet, Sport Saloon and Sport Tourer, neither Scenic nor Grand Scenic suffer from the problem.

Renault says all customers will soon be contacted to inform them of the availability of the modification and answer any questions they might have.

Renault managing director Philippe Talou-Derible says: 'Safety is Renault's top priority at all times and we have an exemplary safety record.'

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