DETROIT -- Mercedes-Benz is telling the owners of more than 292,000 vehicles in the U.S. to stop driving them due to a problem that could cause the brakes to fail.
The German automaker is recalling the vehicles and says it will offer free towing so the owners can get them to a dealership for service. The recall covers certain ML, GL and R-Class vehicles from the 2006 through 2012 model years.
Mercedes says in documents posted Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that moisture can get into a brake booster housing and cause corrosion. That can cause a vacuum leak, which would decrease brake performance.
In rare cases, hard braking could cause mechanical damage to the booster, and it may not be possible to stop the vehicles with the brake pedal, Mercedes said in a statement Thursday. A foot-activated parking brake would still work.
Dealers will remove a rubber sleeve and inspect the booster, replacing parts as needed. Owners will be notified by letter starting May 27.
If repairs can't be done immediately, dealers will help find loaner cars for the owners, the company says in the statement.
Mercedes says owners can call (888) 548-8514 with questions.