Recalls snag hottest models from Mercedes-Benz, BMW

5:07 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
View of Mercedes-Benz car at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2011 at Lincoln Center on February 13, 2011 in New York City.
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USA TODAY -- A few of the hottest, high-performance models from Mercedes-Benz and BMW are at the center of a pair of recalls, according their new, separate filings to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Mercedes is recalling 432 2013 SL-Class vehicles manufactured from December 19, 2011, through May 31, 2012 because an air-conditioning line can rupture in a crash.

If it ruptured in a severe frontal crash, the refrigerant gas in the line could be released in the engine compartment and catch on fire. To fix the problem, Mercedes plans not only plans to switch out the refrigerant lines, but will move to a new kind of refrigerant as well.

BMW and Mercedes are archrivals, but there will be no gloating among the Bavarians. They are facing their own recall over 696 2013 M5 and M6 performance cars.

The models, including both the coupe and convertible, have a manufacturing-error problem that could lead to complete engine failure, according to the filing. Not a good thing.

The error involves too big of a gap between the engine oil pump's drive shaft and the pump's rotor. They may not be within specifications. As a result, the pump's driveshaft could separate from the rotor.

If that happens, there could be a "sudden loss of oil pressure causing the possibility of complete engine failure, resulting in an engine stall-like condition, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash," the filing states.

The fix is pretty straightforward. BMW is going to replace the oil pumps starting this month.

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