Driving pet peeves for most Americans include things like turning without a turn signal or last-minute braking. A faux pas that likely gets on your last nerve is the guy who rides his brakes to the point that his lights seem to be illuminated constantly. Well, if that annoying driver is driving a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, it’s probably not his fault. In fact, over 50,000 of these Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are on a recall list for a faulty brake light issue. A problem with the assembly is causing thousands of Sprinter vans to operate continuously with the brake lights lit.
The science behind the problematic brake lights
According to data collected by CarComplaints.com, a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter owner in the United Kingdom first called the automaker’s attention to the problem. It seemed his brake lights wouldn’t turn off, and a tiny rattling indicated something was loose.
Upon further investigation, Mercedes-Benz discovered retaining washers and bolts, responsible for connecting the bearing blocks to brake pedal pressure, were coming loose and detaching altogether. As a result, the brake lights would stay on permanently.
Which Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models have these problems?
Mercedes-Benz first investigated its Sprinter vans and determined those from 2019 and 2020 model years had loose or missing washers in the brake light connections. Freightliner Sprinter vans also featured similar mishaps. In total, the automaker is recalling 63,000 vans, 6,440 of which are located in Canada. And based on the Car Complaints data, this is the 30th U.S. recall for the 2019 Sprinter and the eighth already for the 2020 model.
It appears the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Freightliner vans affected include both 2019 and 2020 model years. But RVTravel.com also suggests these brake light problems extend to 1500, 2500, 3500, and 4500 versions of these popular vans too. If you own one of these, you’ll want to be mindful of your brake lights.
The automaker is working on a solution to the failing washers and bolts. The recall is tentatively scheduled to begin on April 19, 2021. If you have concerns now or questions, you can reach out to the DVUSA customer service line by calling 1-877-762-8267. The recall number allotted for this particular problem is VS3BREBOL.
A popular van to have so many problems
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans are incredibly popular among consumers. In general, they’re super functional for work and hauling. But the increased surge in van-life experiences, where people take to traveling and sleeping in their camper vans, the Sprinter has also proved to be ideal.
Despite their popularity and overall reliable reputation, there are more than a few recalls and problems coming to light with the Sprinter vans. In a separate recall, other 2019 and 2020 models with optional electric sliding doors have the wrong auxiliary locks. And Cars.com reports a recall (number 20V802000) regarding the electric parking brakes. Apparently, the rear calipers are prone to brake fluid leaks, which in turn results in air penetrating the hydraulic brake systems.
Don’t let the problems and recalls deter you from buying your own Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. There’s plenty to enjoy with these reliable and sturdy rides. And while the brake lights might stay on for 2019 and 2020 models, a fix is coming soon. And in true Mercedes-Benz fashion, customers can expect to be satisfied with whatever remedy the company authorizes.