Wed, 11 Aug 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said, on Friday, it has launched a preliminary investigation into reports that some 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans used as Amazon delivery vehicles and ambulances have rolled away after being parked using the Auto-P function.

The agency said it has 11 reports of vans moving after being set in park, and received reports of eight crashes and one injury related to Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500/3500/4500 vans. It did not disclose the total number of vehicles under investigation.

In an email, Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans said it "has been in close communication with NHTSA about its concerns and will continue to fully cooperate with the agency."
Amazon did not comment.

The agency's reports did not specify how many of the eight crashes involved vans used as Amazon delivery vehicles.

In a complaint on 16th March, a driver in Pittsburgh said a vehicle was turned off and parked but "it rolled backwards down a hill on top of someone's car and could have killed someone. This is my second Amazon-branded Mercedes Sprinter accident on different vehicles, with the same faulty brake operating system."

A complaint in February from Manchester, Connecticut said the problem is seen in 2019 Sprinter vans rolling after being parked for 10 minutes, which is "potentially an extremely dangerous situation."

The first phase of a preliminary investigation will be completed before NHTSA decides whether to upgrade its review to an engineering evaluation.

"A rollaway vehicle with no operator behind the steering wheel could potentially hit pedestrians, moving or parked vehicles and buildings, resulting in injury, fatality and/or property damage," NHTSA stressed.

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