The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has upgraded a probe into the rear taillights of 252,867 Mercedes-Benz C-Class models from the 2008 to 2011 model year. The upgrade means the investigation is now an engineering analysis, the results of which will determine if a recall is issued.

The probe began in July when NHTSA received 21 complaints alleging a failure of the rear lights. Mercedes informed the agency that corroded connectors in the ground circuit to the taillight were causing connectors to overheat and melt, and that could lead to smoke and fire. Since July the number of complaints has risen to 402, one reporting an injury and five reporting fire. With older cars more prone to the situation, the engineering analysis has been initiated "to further study the risks and frequency of the issue." Mercedes says it is cooperating fully with the investigation.


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  • 22 Comments
      Eggshen
      • 11 Months Ago
      This seems to be a problem with many German cars. I see many Audi's, VW''s and Mercedes on the road with one brake light perpetually on, or when the drives steps on the brakes one whole bank of lights goes out completely. I also notice parked German cars with one tail light dimly lit as the car sits there parked and shut off. Electrical gremlins can be the worst.
        Unanything
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Eggshen
        That one light is a rear fog light not a brake light, but I agree on the rest.
          aatbloke1967
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Unanything
          Eggshen, German cars have a safety feature which allows one bank of lights to be switched on when the engine is off and the indicator stalk is applied either left or right. It is designed for parallel parking in dimly lit streets. When the ignition is switched on, the lights turn off and revert to the standard directional indicators instead. All German marques, from Mercedes to Opel, employ this system.
          The Friendly Grizzly
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Unanything
          And the schmuck owners drive around in clear weather with them turned on.
        Unanything
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Eggshen
        " I see many Audi's, VW''s and Mercedes ON THE ROAD with one brake light perpetually on" I'm pretty sure I didn't misread anything. The light you see when they're driving is a rear fog light not a perpetually on brake light. European and many Japanese vehicles are required to have them Europeans typically just leave them on their cars even though they aren't required in the US.
        S40Powered
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Eggshen
        LOL that rear foglamps. That's a standard equipment for many europeans cars, including the parking light.
      kontroll
      • 11 Months Ago
      Maybe our beloved pro asian junk NHTSA should revisit the POS Toyota and the more expensive toyota also known to american bozos as lexus for the renewed SUA problem. In Saudi arabia this company recalling more than 400,000 vehicles for sudden acceleration. Maybe it's not only the stupidity of the toyota owner that caused the problem, it's probably a combination of toyota owner stupidity (after all only a stupid person would own or lease a toyota) and a corrupt low class garbage car company called toyota
        Danial Sheikh
        • 11 Months Ago
        @kontroll
        You hating on the world's largest car maker doesn't affect them at all. Lexus has the best quality, best in class everything.
          kontroll
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Danial Sheikh
          look, I'm just trying to illuminate the uninformed herd of toyota followers. Maybe you'll believe Reuters, better source than your typical english tabloid garbage: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/27/us-autos-toyota-saudiarabia-idUSBRE9BQ0FI20131227 you toyotafile live in denial of reality and facts..it's your money after all...I'm done helping you, you are on your own
          aatbloke1967
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Danial Sheikh
          Daniel ... Kontroll is one of a number of pseudonyms used by one of a plethora of vacuous children on here. Once he's out in the big, wide, world fending for himself without the sanctity of his parents' wing, he might think twice about the rubbish he types and which he believes is a "contribution".
          kontroll
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Danial Sheikh
          have fun with your self drive contraption...larges or smallest car maker...doesn't matter to me, may be to you, garbage is garbage large or small
          kontroll
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Danial Sheikh
          Dear Denial, the only thing "best" that i'm aware of regarding your expensive toyota is that it is the "best joke for your money" Other than that there is another "best" regarding your toyota...THEY HAD THE MOST NUMBER OF RECALLS IN 2013!!!!! 5.5.million cars...now that's what i call the "BEST" Denial is the quickest way to stupidity and you are well on the way...for God's sake they still couldn't fix their famous sudden UNINTENDED acceleration ...maybe the are also the best liars and the best procastinators (at least it cost them 15million US dollars in fines for trying to hide the problem from the public...yeah, the "best"
      Sergio Alvarado
      • 11 Months Ago
      Normally, I'd expect to see many of the newer gadgets and safety systems recalled, but TAILLIGHTS?? That's bad enough coming from any automaker, but a German (or any other) luxury marque?
      adam1keith1980
      • 11 Months Ago
      You know what's wrong with ALL German cars? The German manufacturers expect people to trade in their cars when warranties expire or to pay through their noses for repairs, and they design their cars to last 4 years or so with some safety factors. I am glad the US government is onto them.
        Dean
        • 11 Months Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        Did you fail to read "Mercedes informed the agency that corroded connectors in the ground circuit to the taillight were causing connectors to overheat and melt"...my understanding from reading that line is Mercedes-Benz informed NHTSA about the issue... I don't think they would have done that had they been out to screw everyone over.
        aatbloke1967
        • 11 Months Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        Dean, I'll hedge money on the fact that "adam1keith1980" is irked by German cars generally and simply browsed the opening sentence of the article and looked at the pictures.
        Jim Pease
        • 11 Months Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        I have a friend that has been leasing MB's for as long as I've known him. Admittedly he's loaded but his position has always been "I don't want to own this thing when the warranty is over."
      a2zlifestyle
      • 11 Months Ago
      You know what there is some problem with the German cars as there quality is not that great which causes problem in the cars later. This has been sometimes harmful for the person in the car too so NHTSA should take some action on it so that
        a2zlifestyle
        • 11 Months Ago
        @a2zlifestyle
        sorry the sentence was left incomplete. So that they improve their quality
      adam1keith1980
      • 11 Months Ago
      Funny how the new C-class is just out. The Germans are indeed great engineers - except they are great at making money and not great for customers' interest.
        aatbloke1967
        • 11 Months Ago
        @adam1keith1980
        The one flaw on your argument - German cars are extraordinarily successful worldwide with in increasing customer base.
      Todd Hummel
      • 11 Months Ago
      Hi my name is Todd and I had a 2006 ML350. It spontaneously caught fire as it was parked two hours after I had driven it. The police and firemen stated in the report it was an electrical fire and started from a short in the rear taillight.Much like the investigation in the C-class. I brought this to Mercedes Benz USA's attention and they were careless about the safety dangers that this posed. God forbid if consumers found out that the ML-class would be involved in this suit as well. They were of more concern about this being leaked or exposed and tried to sweep my case under the rug. They told me that the fire was inconclusive and only gave me one case manager and limited me only to speak with her even after I had asked to speak with other managers and higher ups. They held my vehicle for 2 months for their "investigation" and not to have any info for me is complete BS. It only took 30 minutes for the fire department to determine that the fire started in the taillight after they put the fire out. Totally a conspiracy which I am not letting go. It could have killed my" kids" if I had the vehicle parked in the garage overnight. With them in the upstairs bedrooms. I do not expect this kind of carelessness from Mercedes and would expect them to stand behind their vehicles. I only had 76,000 miles on it.
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