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Friday, 13 July, 2001, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Mercedes recalls 150,000 cars
The interior of a Mercedes C Class saloon
Some Mercedes airbags are failing to deploy properly
Car giant DaimlerChrysler is recalling 150,000 Mercedes-Benz luxury cars throughout Europe and the Middle East to fix a defect that could cause the driver's side airbag to deploy prematurely.

A handful of people have already been injured because of the electrical short-circuit, a spokesman said.

He declined to specify how many, but added that they had been compensated for their injuries.

A Mercedes C Class saloon
The Mercedes C Class is among the models affected
The firm estimates that will cost about 15m euros ($13m) to fix the problem.

The recall affects all C, E, S and SL Class cars with airbags, built between June 1995 and April 1996.

The problem was first discovered five years ago in Indonesia, and led to a November 1999 recall of cars in the United States and Asia, where humid conditions were thought to trigger the airbags.

The same problem was discovered in Europe earlier this year.

The company said that repairs to each car would take about half an hour.

See also:

03 Jul 01 | Business
German carmakers make US inroads
29 Jun 01 | Business
BMW recalls 22,000 cars
22 May 01 | Business
Ford confirms $2.1bn tyre recall
25 Apr 01 | Business
DaimlerChrysler falls into the red
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