Fleet News

Sprinter van brakes: fleet fears allayed

CONCERNED fleets are being urged to contact their dealers or leasing companies following reports casting doubt on the safety of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans after faulty brakes caused the deaths of two bikers.

Allan Benton and Vanessa Fenwick were killed on the A16 near Louth, Lincolnshire, on June 21 last year after being hit by a Sprinter owned by Fenland Laundries. The van had braked suddenly, veered into a barrier and then into the couple’s Honda motorbike.

During an inquest, professors from the University of Manchester revealed that a load sensor on the Sprinter had seized because of corrosion.

Louth coroner Stuart Fisher said: ‘This meant that full braking effort would be applied to the wheels irrespective of the load carried.’

A Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles spokesman told Fleet NewsNet: ‘The braking systems on Mercedes-Benz vans are industry-leading. This is the only incident that we are aware of where this component allegedly led to an accident. We will carefully consider the investigation results and take appropriate action if required.’

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