Why should you be concerned?
2007-2014 Sprinter Vehicles
Most of us have seen the news at fairly regular intervals about some sort of safety recall that has been initiated by a vehicle manufacturer; and many times we just move on with our lives not truly listening to the specific information. The recall information may not affect you personally with the vehicle(s) in your possession; but it could affect someone in your everyday life if you take a moment to listen to the broadcast information with purpose.
There are likely many reasons for a safety recall when it is developed by the safety governing authorities; it may be that a part design during initial production performed well in pre-production testing (extensive financial resources and government mandates require such rigorous testing) but once the part is subjected to conditions by the end user not expected during testing a problem develops that could not be foreseen by those building a vehicle. There could be an assembly that after installation over time interferes with another assembly on a vehicle (think of how many parts it takes to construct a vehicle). Unfortunately, sometimes these problems don’t get noticed until a problem persists in repeated occurrences by the end user. Maybe it’s a brake related issue, or maybe a software glitch in one of the many computer assemblies used in today’s more efficient vehicles, or maybe a batch of materials just doesn’t perform as expected. In any case, the recalls are there to protect all of us and attempt to keep vehicle occupants and others on the road safe according to the standards set forth by governing bodies. We are not in a position to say what happens in the determination of a recall, we are just glad to know there are people out there trying to keep safety a priority and notifying the end users of the vehicles that action needs to be taken to correct a problem that is found to exist.
There is a specific situation we encountered with one of our own vehicles, a 2010 Mercedes 3500 Sprinter Box Truck; and we hope this basic information might help you if a similar situation arises.
Our company deals with many different vehicles produced by various manufacturers. We were proactive to see if a truck currently in our possession might be included in the Takata airbag safety recall that was talked about in the news, so we inquired. This particular recall was for an airbag safety issue with the airbag inflator(s) specific to some 2007-2014 Mercedes/Freightliner/Dodge Sprinter Vehicles equipped with Takata manufactured Airbag assemblies and stated the following. The propellant wafers in some of the subject inflators may experience unusual signs of ageing over time, which could potentially lead to over-aggressive combustion in the event of airbag activation. The potential consequences may include an irregular air bag deployment or a failure of the airbag due to a rupture or breakage of the inflator module. An activation of the subject airbags can lead to an irregular airbag deployment and – in extreme cases – to a failure of the airbag due to a rupture or breakage of the inflator module. As a result, loose parts can potentially be propelled to the cabin potentially increasing the risk of injury for the passengers. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recall 16V-077 also said to contact our nearest dealer immediately to schedule a free repair. We checked on the website www.AirbagRecall.com to verify the status for our particular Mercedes Sprinter Box Truck and the airbag inflator recall was in effect for our truck. The authorized Mercedes/Freightliner dealer was contacted about recall 16V-077, the parts were ordered, the truck was taken in to have the free repair performed, and the process went very well and only took a couple hours to complete. You may also contact SPRINTER at 1-877-496-3691 to see if your SPRINTER is subject to this airbag recall.
We have all heard about this Takata airbag issue for quite some time and it should be taken seriously if you are contacted for this issue for your vehicle. If for some reason you don’t remember being contacted in some way regarding this recall for your Sprinter; please visit www.AirbagRecall.com and enter your specific Vehicle Identification Number (V.I.N.) in the search box provided to see if your Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter is involved this particular Sprinter airbag recall 16V-077. The Vehicle Identification Number is specific to your vehicle and provides specific detail codes to the production of your individual vehicle. The V.I.N. can typically be found on the driver’s side of the dashboard by the windshield or on the post located in the opening of the driver’s side door. Depending on the vehicle in question, the location may vary due to a particular construction of a vehicle but should be located in this general area(SEE OWNER’S MANUAL) or search online for the V.I.N. location for your particular vehicle(s).
Safety recalls should be taken seriously and we hope that if your Sprinter vehicle is found to have a safety recall issued; that the repair is performed as soon as possible to protect you and others that may also be riding in the vehicle.