Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans Recalled for Electrical Issue Leading to a Loss of Drive Power

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 16 photos
Photo: Mercedes / edited
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Daimler Vans USA has recently issued a safety recall for certain Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans produced for the 2023 model year. Said vehicles may have been assembled with a 12-volt ground connection quick-release fastener that may not be fastened properly, leading to increased resistance.
Increased electrical resistance could result in a fire. If the connection is completely interrupted, the subject vehicles may lose propulsion without any warning, thus increasing the risk of a crash. Still, how on earth did the automaker mess it up so badly?

As per documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an individual employee took the blame for incorrectly performing the push-pull-push check of the 12-volt ground connection. This, in turn, prompted the German manufacturer to conduct a plant rework campaign.

Vans not under MBAG's control number 99 units produced between February 1, 2023 and June 27, 2023 for the United States market. Thankfully for affected owners, the company isn't aware of any field/service reports related to the recall condition. Dealer service technicians have been instructed to check the mounting of the quick-release fastener and – if necessary – rework it as the techs see fit.

Owner notifications will be mailed before May 3, 2023. Owners can easily determine whether their vans are recalled or not by entering the 17-character VIN on the automaker's recall portal. Affected vehicles feature VINs beginning with W for Germany, which may raise a few eyebrows because Mercedes says the Sprinter is produced in the US.

Mercedes\-Benz Sprinter
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
The more correct term would be assembled, for third-gen Sprinter vans arrive as knock-down kits at the Charleston assembly plant in South Carolina. By assembling these kits in the United States, the automaker circumvents the chicken tax. Given the aforementioned, it should come as no surprise that Merc wants a few more bucks on a Sprinter panel van than Ford and Ram do for their panel vans.

Dubbed Cargo Van, in this part of the world, the most work-oriented specification of the Sprinter is $49,900 sans freight at the moment of reporting as opposed to $46,890 for the Transit and $44,405 for the ProMaster. As opposed to the V6-powered Transit and Fiat Ducato-based ProMaster, the Sprinter is exclusively four-cylinder turbo diesel.

Customers are presented with a maximum payload of 6,814 pounds (3,091 kilograms) for the Sprinter 4500 with the 144-inch wheelbase, standard roof height, high-output engine, and two-wheel drive. Customers are further presented with a zero-emission version dubbed Mercedes-Benz eSprinter, which comes exclusively as a panel van with the 170-inch wheelbase and high roof specification.

Also available with a high-output option, the all-electric van starts at $71,886 for the 2024 model year. Mercedes promises 100 kW for the standard electric motor and 150 kW for the punchier one, converting to 134 and 201 horsepower. The eSprinter's 113-kWh battery is WLTP-rated 400 kilometers, meaning 249 miles on a full charge.
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 Download: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter ground connection recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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