UPDATE: A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson has responded to our request for more information, with an official statement that you can read, below. Mercedes also points out that "no accidents, injuries, or deaths have been reported" as a result of the taillight issue.
If you are behind a newer Mercedes-Benz C-Class, you might want to pay extra attention. The German automaker has issued a recall for 252,867 C-Class models from 2008-2011 in the United States, because of possible failure of the taillights. The repair is necessary on the C300, C300 4Matic, C350 and C63 AMG (pictured above). According to The Detroit News, an additional 31,000 cars in Canada are also affected.
In the company's recall filling with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it says vehicles from January 26, 2007, to July 13, 2011 could have a faulty ground connection for the taillights. Affected vehicles show a dimming or complete failure of them. Obviously, if other drivers don't know a vehicle is stopping or turning, it's harder for them to react and could cause an accident.
To fix the problem, the company will replace the bulb holder and any corroded connectors. Mercedes will begin notifying owners about the recall in June, but the new parts won't be ready by that time. It will send a second letter later to schedule repairs in August or September. Scroll down to read NHTSA's report.
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Statement From Mercedes-Benz
We are working very together with our NHTSA colleagues on this topic. Daimler AG has become aware through its worldwide product observation that on some model year 2008-2011 C-Class vehicles (204 platform*), the contact between tail lamp bulb carrier and tail lamp connector has deteriorated. The contact deterioration may lead from dimmed tail lamps to, in the worst case, a loss of tail lamp functions. In this case, the driver will immediately be informed by dedicated warning messages in the instrument cluster.
RECALL Subject : Tail Lamp Dimming or Failure
Report Receipt Date: APR 11, 2014
NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V177000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 252,867
Vehicle MakeModelModel Year(s)
MERCEDES BENZ C300 2008-2011 MERCEDES BENZ C350 2008-2011 MERCEDES BENZ C63 2008-2011
Manufacturer: Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC.
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (Mercedes) is recalling certain model year 2008-2011 C300, C300 4Matic, C350, and C63 AMG vehicles manufactured January 26, 2007, through July 13, 2011. In the affected vehicles, a poor electrical ground connection may result in the dimming or failure of the tail lights.
Dimming or failure of the tail lights reduces the ability to warn other motorists of the driver's intentions of stopping or turning, increasing the risk of a crash.
Mercedes will notify owners, and dealers will replace the bulb holders if not previously updated and replace any corroded connectors, free of charge. Parts are not currently available. Owners will be sent an interim notification in June 2014. A second letter will be mailed when parts are available, currently expected to be in August or September 2014. Owners may contact Mercedes at 1-800-367-6372.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.