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Sprinter Turbocharger Safety Issue

My husband and I were very interested in buying a Mercedes Sprinter van but before taking the plunge we decided to rent a Sprinter. I am very glad we did because I would NOT want to own this vehicle due to MAJOR safety considerations. Also, we had a VERY poor experience with one of the service advisor of this dealership. This is our story: We were traveling through Southern Oregon and were climbing one of the steep grades of I-5 heading into Grants Pass. Suddenly, we heard a loud “pop” and the Sprinter suddenly lost power. We were in the left lane and had to quickly try to get over. We barely missed getting rear ended by a car and then a big rig. It was terrifying. We managed to get off the Interstate near Hugo, Oregon. We didn’t know it at the time but the Sprinter’s computer deliberately put the van into “limp mode”. This means that the vehicle has a fraction of the power it normally has. When we found a safe place to park, we pulled over and contacted Mercedes Emergency Roadside Assistance. They told us that it would be 2 hours before a tow arrived to take the incapacitated van and us to the M-B Dealership in Medford. We called the M-B Dealership in Medford and let them know what was happening. While we were waiting for the tow, my husband accessed information on the Internet and learned that this was likely to be an issue with the Sprinters turbocharger connection to the engine. There seems to be a variety of ways that the turbocharger on this van fails. Some of these failures result in expensive maintenance issues BUT some of them make this van dangerous to drive. My husband told the M-B what he thought the issue might be with this van. Turns out that he was basically correct. We asked the Service Advisor to let us know what was happening with the repair as soon as she knew anything. Not ONCE did this Service Advisor contact us to tell us what was happening in the subsequent 2 days. We were fortunate enough to call and reach another Service Advisor who kindly told us that the problem WAS the connection between the turbocharger and the Sprinter’s engine and that it would take about 4 hours to repair. I later called the Service Manager and tried to figure out if there was a reason why the Service Advisor never bothered to return our calls. Of course, the Service Manager never called me back. Given the reputation M-B has for superior customer service, I was a little perplexed at this situation but later came to the conclusion that if you are frequently dealing with unhappy M-B vehicle owners, you probably learn not to return phone calls. In summary, I was so upset at this life threatening experience and the callous way the Service Advisor treated us that I would never buy a Mercedes vehicle and I will do what I can to warn anyone to stay away from the Sprinter van.
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ID
#1254454 Review #1254454 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Medford, Oregon
Product
2011 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Car
Cons
  • Limp mode of sprinter van
Reason of review
Bad quality
Loss
$300

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