The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced on its website that Mercedes-Benz is recalling certain 2008-2011 model year Sprinter vans for a passenger compartment seatbelt issue. The recall, which is only valid for Sprinter vans with a second row bench seat, concerns seat belts that might not lock as required. Additionally, NHTSA adds that "the assembly loop may not perform to minimum force requirements."
Seatbelt recalls are always serious considering that they are typically the first, best line of defense in the event of an accident. In such cases, passengers with defective belts may not be properly fastened, which could lead to increased risk of injury or death.
Since Mercedes-Benz took over responsibility for the sales and service of all Sprinter Vans (including Dodge-branded models) back in 2009, owners of affected vehicles will need to take their vans to the nearest Mercedes retail outlet for repairs. The dealers will inspect and replace any seat belt assemblies that don't meet requirements. Hit the jump to read over the NHTSA press release.
[Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration]
DODGE / SPRINTER 2500 2008-2011
DODGE / SPRINTER 3500 2008-2011
Manufacturer: MERCEDES-BENZ USA, LLC - DBA SPRINTER Mfr's Report Date: MAR 29, 2011
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V210000
Component: SEAT BELTS
Potential Number of Units Affected: 3,437
MERCEDES-BENZ IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2008-2011 2500 AND 3500 SPRINTER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH AN OPTIONAL THREE-SEAT BENCH IN THE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT. THE SEAT BENCHES IN THE SECOND SEATING ROW MAY HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED WITH SAFETY BELTS THAT DO NOT MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD 208, "OCCUPANT PROTECTION IN INTERIOR IMPACT," AND MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD 209, "SEAT BELT ASSEMBLIES." FIRST, THOSE SAFETY BELTS MAY NOT LOCK AS REQUIRED. SECOND, THE ASSEMBLY LOOP MAY NOT PERFORM TO MINIMUM FORCE REQUIREMENTS.
IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH, THE SAFETY BELTS IN THESE VEHICLES MAY NOT PERFORM AS REQUIRED SUCH THAT A SEAT OCCUPANT MAY NOT BE PROPERLY RESTRAINED, INCREASING THE RISK OF INJURY OR DEATH IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH.
MERCEDES-BENZ WILL INSPECT AND REPLACE ANY SEAT BELT ASSEMBLIES THAT DO NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING MAY 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 843-695-5000.