— Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Freightliner Sprinter vans are recalled because the steering could give drivers problems.
Nearly 9,000 model year 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Freightliner Sprinter vans may have loose screws that secure the intermediate bearings of the steering spindles.
Nearly 8,600 Sprinter vans are recalled in the U.S. and 367 are recalled in Canada.
According to Daimler Vans, the screws could loosen over time and cause the bearings to move back and forth if the fittings weren't torqued properly.
Mercedes found the problem in May 2019 when a Sprinter van was found to have loose steering spindle bearing screws. An inspection showed all four screws remained, but all four were loose.
Mechanics tightened the screws and believed it was an isolated incident, but in September Mercedes learned of a customer complaint about a clicking noise when turning the steering wheel.
The Sprinter had only 7,000 on the odometer and it was determined screws of the intermediate bearing were loose. Mercedes opened an investigation and inspected all VS30 vehicles that remained at the plant, making sure all the screws were tightened.
Engineers determined the condition is progressive and how fast the screws loosen depends on the driving style of the driver and the movement of the steering wheel.
Mercedes-Benz conducted driving tests on a closed track with loose steering spindle bearings and determined a driver will likely be aware of a problem before steering is lost, but a recall would still be issued.
The Sprinter recall will begin April 10, 2020, when dealerships will replace and tighten the steering spindle intermediate bearing screws.
Van owners with questions should call Daimler at 877-762-8267 and refer to recall number VS3SCHLENK.
This is the fourth Sprinter recall of 2020 and the 17th recall since 2018.
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