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Mercedes-Benz to Recall Child Seats; Booster and Infant Seats to be Replaced

4 August 1999

Mercedes-Benz to Recall Child Seats; Booster and Infant Seats to be Replaced
    MONTVALE, N.J., Aug. 3 -- Mercedes-Benz USA will recall about
6000 of its accessory child seats.  Only BabySmart Infant and Booster seats
are involved; the Toddler seat is not affected.
    When the system senses the presence of a BabySmart-compatible child seat,
it turns off the front passenger airbag and illuminates an "airbag off"
indicator light.  If the child seat is pushed forward when the vehicle
seatback is adjusted past the vertical position toward the dashboard, the
front passenger airbag might not be turned off as designed.
    If this occurs, drivers would be alerted by the fact that the "airbag off"
indicator light is not illuminated.  Nonetheless, Mercedes-Benz is concerned
about the possibility that a child could be injured by the airbag in the event
of a collision.  There have been four reports that the indicator light was
off, but no reports of accidents or injuries.
    All known owners of Babysmart child seats are being notified, and special
posters are being displayed in Mercedes-Benz retail centers.  Mercedes
retailers will exchange the seats at no charge to their clients.
    Mercedes-Benz USA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
recommend that children ride in the back seat.  This is especially important
while MBUSA works to replace the affected child seats.  Children age 12 and
under should not be transported in the front seat with a BabySmart infant or
booster seat until the seat is replaced.