There you are, zooming down the road, hunkered to it in your sleek, smooth Mercedes E-Class wagon that cuts through air like a steak knife through butter, when suddenly, a seismic shift occurs. It feels as if you, in your sleek, smooth wagon, have been hit by an asteroid. Your car slows, your ride becomes rougher, all while you glance around wondering, “Are the aliens here? Is it my time?”
You pull over onto the shoulder cautiously, noticing that no other cars seem to have been affected by this apparent attack. What was going on here? You open the door to get out, shielding your head with your arms despite knowing it will do nothing of substance besides making you feel a little better about this whole situation, and then you see it.
No, not the aliens—this time. It’s your spoiler, sitting many feet behind you in the middle of the road while your poor E-Class wagon sobs over the loss of its aerodynamic prowess. You, too, feel like sobbing.
Thus, to prevent further tears, Mercedes recently submitted documents to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall 4,765 wagons for the potential of their spoilers to fly off at high speeds, including certain models of the 2019 E450, the 2017 through 2018 E400, and the 2018 through 2019 AMG E63 S.
You might call the recall a “spoiler alert.” Or you might not, and feel bad for anyone who tries to execute that joke. Thanks for the condolences.
Anyway, the recall documents say that spoilers on these roughly 4,800 vehicles might not have been mounted correctly during production, meaning they could detach at unspecified high speeds. The recall is for the safety of others on the road instead of owners’ aerodynamic woes, but the documents say that a driver may become aware of their spoiler’s impending doom by rattling noises.
Mercedes originally blamed the spoiler issues on a single worker with a recall in November of 2018, saying an “employee temporarily assigned to the position” had mounted them incorrectly and recalling 16 vehicles. Ouch! But Mercedes is now sorry for blaming that single person, hopefully, after investigating further instances of incorrectly mounted spoilers this year.
From the main recall listing, which has plenty of incorrectly mounted commas, emphasis ours:
These investigations showed that the affected vehicles were outside the scope of the November 2018 recall., It was determined that the production concern was not limited to the single worker. Based on this finding, investigations were performed to determine, which vehicles could potentially be affected. On September 16, 2019, DAG decided to recall a broad vehicle population to inspect the mounting of the rear spoilers. DAG expects the actual number of vehicles with incorrectly mounted spoilers to be a small percentage of the total population.
To fix the problem, Mercedes dealers will check the spoiler mounting on each car and “rework it, if necessary.” All involved vehicles are still under warranty, Mercedes said, and a change in production happened on Jan. 9 of this year to prevent more cars from having spoiler issues.
Owners will find out about the recall on Nov. 22, the recall documents said—or whenever their spoiler flies off, rendering their formerly sleek, smooth wagon an aerodynamic brick.