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Mercedes recall highlights challenges of technology

DaimlerChrysler's recent recall of some 680,000 Maybach, SL, S and E- series Mercedes-Benz vehicles to fix problems in their advanced electrohydraulic brake systems, points to the risks manufacturers run in their efforts to stay ahead of technology, it has been claimed.

"Mercedes, and tier one supplier, Bosch, have been promoting their electrohydraulic technology for years", says ABI's research analyst Dan Benjamin. "Even before the recall, this was a complicated system where there were some complaints about usability. Drivers performing low-speed maneuvers have had their cars come to a sudden halt because the system 'thinks' it's seeing a panic stop."

The reason for the recall was the possibility of air-bubble contamination of the system's additional fluid reservoir.

"While electrohydraulic brakes do offer their advantages" added Benjamin, "they come at a great expense, while much of their additional functionality, such as hill-stop and panic braking, can be duplicated by more inexpensive systems."

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