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Old 06-28-2017, 08:01 PM   #1
white whale
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Default T21 Emissions Recall Notice

FCA letter indicates for 2004-06 Sprinter models. My VIN did hit. Parts not currently available and they give no indication of when they are expected. So I assume will not just be a computer reprogram fix.
Basically the OBD might not catch if the tailpipe emissions are too high. Maybe a residue of the Volkswagon hanky panky episode. MB is getting more scrutiny. It does not indicate what parts are being replaced. Question is , would it be smart to check or service other items while this work is being looked at? Any others getting this notice?

April 2018. My opinion. The T21 Recall Procedure going correctly is still not a slam dunk. Reports are that some dealers have suspended doing the recall until the problems are corrected. AP/vic

Added October 12, 2019:
Reports are that there are no more Instrument Clusters IC available. The IC is needed for most NAS aka NAFTA 2004 and some 2005 Sprinters. If the T21 recall procedure causes the need for a new IC, they won't be able to acquire it. Unless a dealership has the proper IC part IN HAND, I would follow Bcolins' advice in his recent post #814.

Originally Posted by bcolins View Post
Save yourself a LOT of headaches!

No reason to do it [The T21 recall.]. The recall had little or nothing to do with how cleanly your van runs. There has been a bit of speculation that it may actually have been MB erasing evidence of software similar to VW's dieselgate software.

It has recently been mentioned here that at least one dealer has stated that there are no more replacement instrument clusters available,....so if you have the recall done,....even if you were able to find a dealer familiar with the issues created by the recall,.....there will be no remedy available from a dealer,.....even if they knew how to and were willing to fix the problems they had just created with the recall.

In a state with no mandatory state inspection. No reason to do it,......and furthermore if your van ever needs to go to a dealer for any work,....be aware that dealers have been told to do the procedure regardless of why the van is there,....so in that scenario, MAKE CERTAIN THAT EVERYONE AT THE DEALERSHIP KNOWS YOU DO NOT WANT THE RECALL TO BE DONE.


A simple key on, key off procedure to address the 2004 T21 Recall power down problems.
Thanks goes to MMS.

Originally Posted by MillionMileSprinter View Post
Hey guys, I just posted a video to YouTube that helps explain the T21 recall AND HOW TO STOP YOUR BATTERY FROM DYING OVERNIGHT if you don't feel like reading back through all the posts on this and countless other threads:
Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you get notified when new videos are posted (right now, that's about one a day!).
Thanks to Marklg, more great news for model years other than 2004/2005.

Originally Posted by marklg View Post
The dealer that did my 2006 absolutely knew this recall was a problem. They asked me multiple times "you really want to do this?". I did want to get it out of the way, but on a 2006 there is not the problem with the instrument cluster, but the flash programming sometimes goes wrong, requiring a replacement ECU, which are also hard to get. On mine the programming went fine.

So, if you really want it done, talk to the dealer and even ask to talk to the Tech to make sure he has done some successfully on a 2004 and knows all the issues and remedies. My dealer would have gone to the used market if parts were needed, but said it could take weeks if that was required.


Info from Jrod5150. Apparently another glitch related to the T21 recall.
Originally Posted by jrod5150 View Post
Yes [MAF DTC issues] solved but Requires proper tooling to fix it. It stems from the T21 update.

T21 Recall aka Mercedes Campaign 2016040001

ADDED1 October 30, 2018.

Some official Dodge information.
Thanks goes to Bcolins.

Originally Posted by bcolins View Post
Hey Guys,

Here is the formal Dodge T21 recall doc ( 5 pages) issued and updated this past June 2018. On page 3,...It does state that in some instances, after the recall is done,...there will be an ongoing issue with the van not completely powering down (instrument back light and EGR valve?) and that in those instances, replacing the instrument panel is the remedy.

Anyone have the Freightliner or Mercedes Equivalent of this document. I would like to forward a copy of it to my Local Freightliner dealer who so far is telling me that I need an ECU and It will be at my expense.

Vic, wondering if this doc should be posted at the beginning of the thread with your update notes?

Sprinter Recall pdf.pdf

Brian in San Antonio

Added May 7, 2019: Freightliner IC included.
Originally Posted by bcolins View Post
Vic / All who own 2004 or 2005 T1N Sprinters badged as Freightliner

Dodge released a similar update last summer,....now posted at the beginning of the T21 Thread by Vic,.....

Mercedes had to eventually follow,....and here is the "Updated" document. Now mentions that some T1N Sprinters may require a replacement Instrument cluster in order to correct the post T21 (Dodge) / #2016040001 (Mercedes/Freightliner) recall issues (Constantly illuminated Instrument cluster back light and constantly running EGR)

MB 2016040001 recall Update doc.04182019 (1).pdf

Instrument cluster replacement is specifically mentioned on page 5.

Brian in SATX

Vic, I didn't know where the best place to post this would be. Feel free to move this wherever you think it should be and would get the most visibility.

ADDED2 by Aqua Puttana December 23, 2017

Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Originally Posted by Zymurgy View Post
FYI I had service done on 11/29/17. I went back and looked at the bill they performed the recall notice. [There was no discussion/ notice given before or after they did the T21 recall.] Now I am having the same problems as others are having. ERG running continuously after shutting off engine. Same code popping up, and the dash lights stays lit. I would refuse this recall until the have the problem figured out. Now I need to try and have this problem firgured out without them trying to charge me.

For now my cluster light fuse is unplugged along with the EGR when not driving it will kill the battery.
Originally Posted by Zymurgy View Post
I am taking my van back to the dealership, at the end of next week. They will hook it up to the computer while I wait and then said they will contact Freightliner for the solution. I will post what ever results I find out.
Beware the Ides of T21.

Apparently the dealership will perform the recall without request and more importantly without informing the owner.

A January 9, 2018 summary by Type2Teach.

Originally Posted by Type2Teach View Post
This message has been writing itself in my head for the last week or so as pieces of this puzzle have been coming together and I’m reading this thread.
If you have Freightliner or Mercedes T1N and get the recall notice, this “issue” is really a non-issue. Nothing to worry about AT ALL.
If you have a Dodge T1N, the recall is frustrating and will be until Dodge implements the FULL recall service, which Freightliner and Mercedes are already doing. But it’s not debilitating as long as you pull the instrument cluster fuse and EGR plug every time you park for more than a day.
The GDE Tune cannot and will not affect the recall.
The long story:
As a Sprinter mechanic, I see lots of Sprinters come and go, mostly T1Ns. A friend contacted me about 6 months ago wanting to buy a Sprinter and I helped him find an ‘04 Long/Tall 3500 with about 120K miles for cheap. I can’t remember why, but there was no access to the original owner, nor any documentation about the van’s previous life.
It needed some lock work and some door work and all the fluids changed, but otherwise was a solid van and he loved it. Shortly afterwards, he called me complaining that the battery kept dying. And that a dash light would stay on all night long and there was a whirring coming from under the hood even after the key was removed from the ignition.
You see where this is going…
No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the odometer light to turn off nor the egr valve from cycling constantly. Short of removing the fuses, that is. But sometimes they would turn off by themselves for no apparent reason. The guy had me install an aux battery for his living space behind the cab, so I also installed an emergency start button like RVs have and he was happy with that backup even though the problem wasnt solved. He doesnt work in the winter, so we had decided that I would replace his ignition switch in the Spring.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I saw this thread.
Finally the puzzle pieces started falling into place.
Turns out the van is a Freighliner. It had the initial recall done and then was put up for sale. My friend purchased the van and the problems that people are complaining about stemming from the recall popped up.
The recall, according to the earlier posts in this thread, has to do with the monitors so that they will close easier for emissions tests. But the two unintended consequences of the recall is that the “timeout” function of the EGR and Odometer light does not usually happen. There seems to be some talk of cycling the key off and on twice on shutdown to get the one minute “timeout” clock to start, but I have not found that to be the case with the Sprinters I have seen.
The T1Ns drive exactly like any other T1N of the same age and mileage, so I cannot speak to there being any other driveability issues stemming from this initial recall.
The worst (and really, only) downside of having this recall done is a dead battery.
Mercedes, being Mercedes, has been relatively responsive to the issues caused by the recall and have since issued a 2nd recall to remedy the first. As far as I can tell, it involves a new instrument cluster and possibly another ECU reflash, although the recall letter that I have seen only mentions the instrument cluster.
Because Mercedes does warranty and recall work on Freightliners, if you have Freightliner, you are in luck and should experience none of the issues complained about here and you should have NO CONCERNS about getting this recall work done.
If you have a Dodge T1N, you might want to hold off on getting the recall work done until Dodge officially recongnizes the issues caused by the initial recall and issues a 2nd recall.
If you live in California, this may present a problem because California apparently requires all recall work completed on any vehicle being registered in the state. If you find yourself in this situation, you can argue your case with the DMV or you can get the first phase of the recall work done and live with having to unplug your egr and instrument cluster fuse every night, unless you want to risk a dead battery the next time you hop in your T1N.
In the middle of all this with my customer, we installed the GDE tune. It installed just fine and gave the normal “pep” to the engine. It did NOT, however, keep the EGR from cycling nonstop when the key was removed.
So when my customer goes to get the 2nd recall work done, we are going to uninstall the GDE tune so the dealership won’t see it.
I just called GDE and they said that the old tune programming would not work with the updated dealership ECU flash. If you have already purchased the tune from them, they will upgrade your old tune to work with the new ECU flash for $100.
I hope this is helpful to someone and if anything is incorrect, please feel free to correct me.
ADDED4 sikwan 2/22/2018, T21_Recall.pdf (attachment) courtesy of white_whale.

Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post

Apparently Dodge has issued the followup post cards. To date I've not heard of any followup by Freightliner.

A video which may be worthwhile.

Originally Posted by superstardj View Post
EGR incomplete can be fixed with a tune or

ADDED5 sikwan 11/9/18 California DMV enforcement has finally trickled down...


Additional documentation added by vic.

Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Good find.

I've attached the PDF in case the link goes stale.

Freightliner V-RC-2016040001

Attachment 107345

Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
The EGR will stay around 5% whenever throttle levels are varying. During steady state idle or cruise, it *should* open more.

However, there is a known software bug, where the MAF sensor does not get initialized by the ECM. So the EGR valve never openings fully (except during the shutdown cleaning cycle). This is part of the issue the T21 recall (now suspended) was supposed to fix. Best we can tell it does no harm (except higher NOx emissions).
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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 02-22-2020 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Occasional info updates. vic
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Emissions Recall Notice

Got a hit off Carfax, 2005 T1N in Ontario Canada. They are NOT touching my van

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Old 06-30-2017, 03:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Emissions Recall Notice

is this because of Canada's "EPA" regulations not being respected by the T1N models? As brokecanadian says I suppose the possibility exists that the fix cause exhaust system problems down the road (?)
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Emissions Recall Notice

Originally Posted by 3rdGen2019 View Post
is this because of Canada's "EPA" regulations not being respected by the T1N models? As brokecanadian says I suppose the possibility exists that the fix cause exhaust system problems down the road (?)
I can't remember who posted, but it started in the USA first, and someone on here was unhappy about the troubles after calling it a half baked update. Canada copies the EPA, we have no original thought here

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Old 06-30-2017, 12:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Emissions Recall Notice

I got a recall as well.
No parts available.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Emissions Recall Notice

Some info is here.

T1N ECM Recall "Upgrade" Comments

1st *^%# trip to dlr in 4 yrs -new key, mandatory update to ecm, now efn CEL!????



Approx. December 18, 2017

Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
My opinion. [As to whether MB/Freightliner/Dodge aka FCA has their act together.]

Some recent positive comments/feedback have been encouraging, but then a negative one pops up eg. - Some Dodge dealerships refuse to/can't do the work. At this time they seem to be able to refuse. If they are forced by government/corporate pressure to try anyway, that may not work so well for Sprinter owners. So for me the jury is still out and I'm patiently waiting for the final verdict.

My best hope lies with the California owner feedback because California DMV requires a document for emissions compliance. You would think that will force MB, Freightliner, Dodge aka FCA Fiat Chrysler America to get their act together in California.

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Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 12-18-2017 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 06-30-2017, 05:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Emissions Recall Notice

I received the recall and had MB the upgrade, no cost, I have put over 3000 miles after the upgrade and still running great
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Old 06-30-2017, 05:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lloyd Crochet View Post
I received the recall and had MB the upgrade, no cost, I have put over 3000 miles after the upgrade and still running great
Good to know someone had no issues, is there an existing thread tracking this?

Edit: followed the link above, that's what I was talking about in the second link posted (effen CEL)

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Last edited by Brokecanadian; 06-30-2017 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Emissions Recall Notice

I also received the recall but got the following advice off a sprinter Facebook site:
"Be a little careful with this recall. They are having problems with the communication with the instrument cluster after the CDI reflash. It creates a "time out" error that is discussed in the January and March Shop Foreman notes on CV tech info. I don't really see much benefit for the van owner with this one. I can't officially recommend not doing the recall but be aware some owners are having problems with the "time out" fault in the cluster and the egr cleaning function doesn't shut off unless you cycle the key twice after the recall."
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Old 07-04-2017, 03:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Emissions Recall Notice

I started a thread about my 04 2500 in January. MB did not get their update right. It caused much grief. They did own up to it and corrected it but it was a long painful process. Cant say what your dealer will do for you if you have problems after the update. Dont do it until you absolutely have to if ever.
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