WITH A twin-turbo V12 engine and more than 600bhp, the Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG might look as bulky as a brick privy but compared with other 4x4s it can sprint like Linford Christie. So speedy, in fact, that it’s been recalled in the US for being too fast… in reverse gear.
According to a recall notice issued by the United States’ vehicle safety body, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the super SUV will require a software update that reconfigures the computer-controlled speed limit in reverse gear.
The car, which is a favourite with celebrities in the US and is more powerful than even the G63, is having to be reined in because it could become ‘unstable’ when reversing at speed. According to the NHTSA, the 612bhp high-end 4×4 was capable of exceeding 16mph. It may not sound fast, but when travelling backwards, cars – especially tall, top-heavy SUVs and 4x4s – are extremely sensitive to steering inputs and changes of direction.
The NHTSA’s safety statement says that “while in reverse, any abrupt changes in steering while exceeding 16mph may cause the vehicle to become unstable”.
In total, only 20 examples of the premium off-roader are affected by this issue in the USA, with all impacted Mercedes-Benz G65s being produced in the 2017 model year spec. All the recall work on the circa $220,000 (£167,000) performance SUV will be conducted free of charge.
The issue appears to be isolated to G65 AMGs sold in the United States. Mercedes-Benz UK told Driving that the G65 is not officially sold here, and that drivers who have imported one should contact Mercedes-Benz for further information.