Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans were rolling away even after drivers shifted into PARK.

Posted in Investigations

Investigation Closed Into Mercedes Sprinter Rollaway Incidents
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans were rolling away even after drivers shifted into PARK.

— Mercedes-Benz Sprinter rollaway incidents that caused a federal investigation and a Sprinter recall will no longer be investigated by federal regulators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the rollaway investigation in August 2021 after 11 model year 2019 Sprinters rolled away after the vans were shifted into PARK.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter drivers say they used the Auto-P function when shifting into PARK.

According to Mercedes, the 2019 Sprinter vans are typically used as ambulances or Amazon delivery vans.

Mercedes gave data to NHTSA that indicated a high failure rate due to software errors in the park lock systems which allow the Sprinter vans to roll away after drivers shift the gear selectors to PARK without applying the parking brakes.

A Mercedes Sprinter recall was announced in January for more than 54,000 model year 2019-2021 vans.

Mercedes said it was receiving complaints about the vans, primarily from delivery services in the U.S., and engineers found two problems.

Mercedes found errors in the park lock systems, and with the park lock support function used to apply continuous brake pressure when a driver moves the gear selector in PARK.

The automaker also tracked the defective vans as those equipped 7-speed automatic transmissions manufactured in Germany between May 1, 2018, and October 31, 2019.

Mercedes dealers were told to update the electronic stability program control unit software, and NHTSA says the repairs are good enough to close the federal investigation.

However, NHTSA says the "closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist on other model or MY vehicles outside of the recall scope. The agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances."


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