Mercedes-Benz EQS recalled for letting drivers watch TV while driving

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Mercedes-Benz is recalling a handful of EQS and S-Class models due to a software glitch that allows drivers to watch television while driving. The cars included in the recall are equipped with the MBUX infotainment system, which is displayed on a huge touchscreen.

With a recall number 21V-931, the campaign affects approximately 227 examples of the EQS and S-Class built between December 8, 2020 and October 13, 2021. It’s small, but the safety implications are significant. Mercedes-Benz notes that the cars included in the recall are equipped with software incorrectly configured to allow motorists to access digital content, such as streaming television and the owner’s manual, while driving. This can only happen if the driver has an active Mercedes Me account linked to the infotainment system.

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Watching your favorite television show while cruising is one way to define “driver distraction” and can increase the risk of an accident, although Mercedes-Benz notes there are no reports of anyone taking advantage of the outage to to kill time on a cross-country ski trip. It adds that it is not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the issue, and has voluntarily launched the recall campaign.

The Stuttgart-based company has already updated the software on the server connecting the potentially affected cars in the United States. That means the fault is disabled and owners of EQS and S-Class models do not need to visit a dealer for a software update.

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Mercedes-Benz isn’t the first automaker to discover the risks of packing a growing number of tech features (and a growing number of ever-larger screens) into its cars. Earlier in 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) announced it was investigating reports that Tesla’s infotainment system is allowing motorists to play video games, including Solitaire, while presumed to be driving.

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