WASHINGTON, Aug 6 - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it opened a preliminary investigation into reports that some 2019 Mercedes Sprinter vans, configured for use as Amazon.com Inc delivery vehicles or ambulances, roll away shortly after being shifted to park
The agency said it had 11 reports of the issue after vehicles were shifted to park using Auto-P function. NHTSA said it had eight crashes and one injuries related to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 3500 4500 vans. The agency did not disclose the total number of vehicles under investigation.
Daimler and Amazon have not responded immediately to comments.
The agency reports do not specify how many of the eight crash reports were in vans being used as Amazon delivery vehicles.
In a March 16 complaint, a driver in Pittsburgh said the vehicle was closed and in park and it turned off a hill on top of someone's car and could have killed someone. This is the second Mercedes Sprinter accident on identical vehicles, with identical specific brake operating system, Amazon supplied.
A complaint from Manchester, Connecticut said the issue is Sprinter vans rolling out of park after 10 minutes of idling in February 2018. The complaint said it believes the issue is potentially an extremely dangerous situation.
A preliminary investigation is the first step before NHTSA decides whether to upgrade its review to an engineering evaluation. NHTSA reported that a rollaway vehicle with no operator behind the steering wheel could potentially strike pedestrians, moving or parked vehicles and buildings resulting in injury, fatality and or property damage.