Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler Vans units and Ferrari NV are among a small group of automakers selling some new vehicles with faulty Takata airbags that will be subject to recalls by the end of 2018, a U.S. Senate report said on Wednesday.
The vehicles are legal to sell since the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has said they will not become potentially unsafe until exposed to high humidity for an extended period. Safety advocates and some in Congress have criticized the sale of vehicles that will be recalled.
Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, said the vehicles include the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and 2016-2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible and numerous 2016 and 2017 Ferrari models including the FF, California T, 488 GTB/488 Spider, F12/F12tdf and GTC4 Lusso.
Nelson said the report underscores “the failure of certain automakers and regulators to level with people about the true extent of the problem and to have the cars fixed before they’re sold.”
Mercedes Benz USA spokeswoman Donna Boland said the company has told regulators that its “dealers will be informing prospective buyers of the pending recall on these models at the time of purchase in the very near future.”
Ferrari spokeswoman Krista Florin said the Italian automaker also plans to notify customers of the future recalls.Seven out of 17 automakers Nelson contacted have admitted to equipping some new vehicles with defective Takata airbags, including Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA.MI) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE). All agreed to notify buyers of the planned recalls.