Mercedes USA has announced a voluntary recall for 432 units of the 2013 SL-Class roadsters due to an air-conditioner refrigerant line that can tear in a severe frontal crash. The vehicles affected were built from from December 19th, 2011 through May 31st, 2012 and are use the R1234yf refrigerant.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if the refrigerant escapes from the hose, the gas mixture could be released into the engine compartment and cause a fire.
"Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, conducted product testing of a vehicle not sold in the U.S., but equipped with the same refrigerant. According to Mercedes-Benz, the testing was designed to replicate worst-case conditions expected in a severe frontal crash that would cause a rupture of the air-conditioner refrigerant line. A rupture of a refrigerant line will result in a gaseous mixture of refrigerant being released into the engine compartment. The testing determined that the escaping R1234yf refrigerant may ignite under specific conditions. The resulting fire could spread to additional combustible materials."
Mercedes announced that if someone is driving an affected model, they should address their local dealer who will replace the R1234yf refrigerant with a new, R134a refrigerant.