Mercedes-Benz has issued a recall that applies to more than 124,000 examples of the Sprinter van built from the 2019 to the 2022 model years. The vehicles included in the campaign could roll away while parked due to a wear-related issue with the parking pawl's guide bushing.
Assigned recall number 22V-796 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign includes 124,305 units of the Sprinter 1500, 2500, 3500, and 4500 built from March 2, 2018, to October 17, 2022. Mercedes notes all of the affected vans are equipped with a manual parking brake and a seven-speed automatic transmission. Freightliner-badged vans are also part of the recall campaign.
The company explains that "specific driver parking practices" in combination with the parking lock's threshold speed parameter can cause abnormal wear on the parking pawl's guide bushing. In turn, a worn bushing may temporarily prevent the parking pawl from engaging, which puts the van at risk of rolling away while parked. Mercedes-Benz adds that using the parking brake ensures the van stays put, however.
It sounds like the fix is simple: Technicians will perform a software update on various control units, including the ESP system and the transmission control unit, to prevent the aforementioned wear. Mercedes will begin notifying owners of affected vans on December 19, 2022.
While the recall is voluntary, the NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened an investigation into this issue in August 2021. And, this isn't the Sprinter's first rollaway-related recall: Nearly 50,000 units were recalled in January 2022 to repair a similar problem.
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