The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a preliminary investigation into reports that some 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans used for Amazon deliveries have dangerous parking faults.
The Mercedes fans, configured specifically for use as Amazon delivery vehicles or ambulances, can roll after being shifted to park.
According to a Reuters news report, the agency said it had 11 reports of the problem after vehicles were shifted to park using the Auto-P function.
Details of the Investigation
NHTSA said it got reports of eight crashes and one injury related to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500/2500/4500 vans. The agency has not said how many vehicles are involved in this investigation. Mercedes has said it has been in close communication with NHTSA about its concerns and will continue to fully cooperate with the agency. Amazon has not said anything yet about this investigation. NHTSA reports do not specifically state how many of the eight crash reports were in vans used as Amazon delivery vehicles.
In a March 16 complaint, a driver in Pittsburgh said the vehicle was turned off and in park when it rolled backward down a hill and hit another vehicle. That driver said that crash “could’ve killed someone.” He also said this was his second Amazon-branded Mercedes Sprinter accident on different vehicles “with the same exact faulty brake operating system.”
A complaint in February from Connecticut said the issue is with 2019 Sprinter vans rolling out of park after 10 minutes of idling. In that case, the person who complained said the situation was “extremely dangerous.” A preliminary investigation is the first step before NHTSA decides whether to upgrade its review to an engineering evaluation. NHTSA said a rollaway vehicle with no operator behind the steering wheel could potentially strike pedestrians, moving or parked vehicles or buildings resulting in injury, death, or property damage.
Rollaway Defects Are Dangerous
Rollaway defects can be dangerous not just for vehicle occupants, but also for others on the roadway such as bicyclists and pedestrians who could be struck and seriously injured by a vehicle that rolls away.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these or other defects, contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who can help you seek and obtain compensation for losses including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
The best auto defect law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to injured victims and their families.