A total of 52,993 Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner-branded Sprinter vans from the 2019 and 2020 model years produced between September 16, 2017 and February 3, 2020 are being recalled. According to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) blower motor circuit may be shorted, which may allow the wiring harness to overheat.” Mercedes-Benz’s recall acknowledgment states that “a wiring harness that overheats increases the risk of fire.” A change to the fuse layout that went into production in February 2020 resolved the issue.
Due to the potential for fire in affected vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is advising owners to “operate the HVAC front blower only in manual (not automatic) mode whenever the engine is running.” When used in manual mode, owners are instructed “not to use maximum blower or lowest/highest temperature settings unless remedied.” Mercedes-Benz notes that vehicle occupants may note what it calls an “unusual odor” (we would imagine that would be the smell of burning plastic and fuses) due to “increased transitional resistance between the fuse and the fuse”. holder” in the HVAC wiring harness before the cause failure.
Mercedes-Benz says it is currently aware of 11 reports of overheating incidents involving Sprinter vans in the United States. Dealers will relocate and replace the fuse and wiring harness in affected vehicles at no charge.