It seems like German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is facing legal troubles across the globe. We previously reported that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken the German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz in its scope and has alleged that the company has downplayed the actual risks posed by the defective airbags. Moreover, in the US, the government’s highway safety agency has launched a probe against the carmaker, alleging that Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans can shift out of park and unexpectedly roll away.
The probe was launched by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and it covers an unknown number of Sprinter vans that were rolled out of the production line after the 2019 model year. The agency has claimed that it has received 11 complaints about the problem including eight crashes and one injury.
What actually happened?
It might sound like the alleged Sprinter vans were haunted but ruling that out logically, it is more of a mechanical failure. The complaints say that the gearshift indicator indicates that the van is in Park mode but surprisingly, they were able to roll away! In one such instance, a Mercedes Sprinter van hit a house in Salt Lake City in September of 2020. The injury crash happened in February near Pittsburgh, but the complaint gave no details.
Mercedes has claimed that it will look into the matter and is cooperating with the agency. The agency says in documents posted Friday that it will investigate how often the problem happens and the safety consequences. The probe could lead to a recall. What makes this situation even more life-threatening is the fact that these vehicles are frequently used as Amazon delivery vehicles, with an estimated 19,000 on American roadways or in operation.
While we are slowly drifting towards attaining complete autonomous driving, such instances remind us that we are still far away from achieving that dream. Especially when esteemed carmakers like Mercedes-Benz are becoming a part of such grave legal probes. It seems like rather than trusting the mechanicals of the car to make it stay in one place, we will have to retort to the archaic method of putting a big stone behind the wheel of the car to prevent it from rolling away.