Mercedes recalls 354,000 vehicles; starter part can overheat

FILE - This Feb. 14, 2013, file photo, shows a Mercedes logo on a Mercedes automobile at the Pittsburgh Auto Show in Pittsburgh. Mercedes said Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, it is recalling more than 126,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. to fix a problem that can cause the air bags to inflate without a crash. The recall covers the C-300, C-350, and C-63 models from 2008 and 2009, and the GLK-350 4-Matic from 2010. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

DETROIT (AP) – Mercedes is recalling about 354,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. because a starter part can overheat and cause a fire.

The recall covers certain C-Class, E-Class and CLA cars and GLA and GLC SUVs, all from 2015 through 2017.

The German automaker said in government documents released Friday that if for some reason the engine and transmission won’t turn over, a current limiter in the starter motor can overheat from repeated attempts to start the vehicles. That can cause the current limiter to overheat and melt nearby parts.

Mercedes began investigating the problem last June after getting field reports of “thermally damaged” current limiters.

Owners will be notified this month and again when replacement parts are available in July.

Dealers will install a fuse to correct the problem.