recall - Sensotronic Brake Control

After 4 months behind the wheel in my E500, I must admit that I have not mastered the Sensotronic Brake Control. I heard that the 2003-2004 E class and SL class have been recalled in reference to the Sensotronic Brake
Control. Does anyone know what type of repair the recall calls for? Can the computer be reprogrammed to offer more consistent response to inputs? I have personally found that the braking system responds best to extremely gentle inputs during normal driving. However there are times where for an unknown reason there is increased or decreased sensitivity.
I still love the car and I hope that MB will be able to retrofit early Sensotronic Brake Control systems in order to make the system more predictable. Skip Barber Driving School taught me how to modulate brakes smoothly but sometimes my E500 just won't obey.
Claude
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The recall for USA cars has not come out yet. It will be a software update that will just take about 30 minutes to do.

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That sounds consistent with MB's estimated costs for the recall program. A recent article in Autospies mentioned bubbles developing in the SBCs of some cars.
Any idea if all SBCs are affected or only some batches? Someone from a dealer said only certain batches of SLs were affected but I haven't seen any news articles to corroborate that.
Michael
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snipped-for-privacy@ca.inter.net (Michael Low) wrote:

where is the official (or authoritative) site with this kind of update / recall info ?
I would like to know what I am asking for them to check on since my e320 with SBC is in for service next tuesday...
thanks
Rich
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Rich, I had originally posted the subject quoting the following URL for an article in Autospies. The articles indicate all SBC-equipped vehicles are potentially affected.
http://www.autospies.com/article/index.asp?articleId006
The official Daimler-Benz notice is probably by mail to owners. There is an NHTSA notice (Recall No. 04V296000) in the US which only mentions the SL-Class but I have reason to believe the same recall applies to all SBC-equipped vehicles and the fix is software re-coding as opposed to "replacement" noted in the somewhat confused NHTSA notice:
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC. Models:Mercedes Benz SL Class Years:2003-2004 Number Potentially Involved:143,387 Dates of Manufacture:October 2001 May 2004 Defect:On certain passenger vehicles, the electronic monitoring system of the Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) is designed to monitor the pressure gradient within the high pressure line of the brake system. If an unacceptable pressure gradient is detected, the system will switch, as it is designed to do, into the hydraulic function mode. If vehicles are not routinely serviced and have extremely high mileage combined with a high number of brake actuations, or a high brake actuation frequency, the pump motor of the SBC may run out of permissible tolerances, thereby triggering the hydraulic function mode. Remedy:Dealers will inspect the SBC hydraulic unit, replacing it if necessary. The manufacturer has not yet provided an owner notification schedule for this campaign. Owners may contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372.
If the above number doesn't work try 1-888-648-7820, 1-888-327-4236
Michael
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The problem only came up in Europe in taxicabs and other uses that involved driving the cars 24/7. Here in the USA, I have not heard of any problems relating to this.

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Here's another
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid 24579&mid27507&fid#M1127507
Notice how some owners tried to discredit the original poster but others backed him up.
If you read the articles I posted from Autospies you'll see that MB is serious about this recall. They also extend it to the Maybachs. I don't think people see the real extent of problems that come up with consumer products.
I still think these are really nice cars but when complaints get to the recall stage it is definitely for real. Let's hope the SBC works well from here on.
Michael
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class
I
I recently traded my 03 E500 for an 05 E55 and have noted a huge difference in the brake modulation. The new brakes feel like normal hydraulic brakes. They have tuned them correctly. I don't know if the updated software will make them feel as good as the 14" 8 piston calipers on my E55 but I bet they'll be an improvement. Rob
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Vetluver wrote:

I just bought a new E320 (2004 version) and took it on a 5,000 mile trip. When I began the trip the brakes were a bit sensitive but after some mileage the brakes performed normally except that they are more powerful and sensitive than on my 300E. So far the brakes have been great.
The brake problem is just another reason never, ever buy the first model year!!!
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