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DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes Recalls 33,000 Cars

BERLIN January 9, 2004; Dow Jones reported that Mercedes-Benz, a division of DaimlerChrysler AG, Friday said it is recalling about 33,000 cars worldwide, in another sign of slipping quality at the luxury carmaker.

The company will notify owners of C, CLK, and E Class models, built between August and October 2003, to check potentially faulty belt buckles. The company described the checks as precautionary.

It said it found isolated cases where the buckles failed to click into place properly.

Of the cars to be recalled, about 12,000 are from Germany.

The news is another blow to Mercedes-Benz's reputation for quality. The luxury carmaker has seen its image battered recently by poor scores on quality surveys. It has suffered, above all, from electronics problems.