NHTSA has launched a preliminary investigation into complaints of Smart Fortwo engine fires. So far, the agency has received eight complaints about the rear engine compartment catching fire in model year 2008 and 2009 Fortwos and quickly engulfing the car. Six of the fires occurred while driving and were preceded by a check engine light. "The safety of our customers is our primary concern, and we are cooperating with NHTSA in its inquiry," says parent company Mercedes-Benz. "We are not aware of any injuries related to this inquiry." Read more from Automotive News.

Volkswagen will pay $1.6 billion (US) in Canada as part of a settlement of its diesel emissions scandal. The funds will be used to fix or buy back some 105,000 affected cars, compensate owners between $3,815 and $4,451 above the buyback price, and pay a $11.2 million civil fine. So far, VW has agreed to spend over $18 billion in North America in connection with its diesel emissions cheating, and is expected to settle on a resolution of its 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the US soon. Read more at Hybrid Cars, or from Automotive News.

Tesla is one of three finalists for the Extole Advocacy and Customer Experience Award. The award recognizes companies that turn customers into brand advocates through referral programs. In Tesla's current program, customers who buy a car using a referral link get $1,000 off the price of their car, while referring owners are awarded prizes including a signed Powerwall 2 and invitations to unveiling events. Referring owners are also entered into a drawing to win a Model S or Model X. "With a disdain for paid advertising, Tesla Motors is leading the trend of reaching new customers through existing ones," says Extole. The other finalists are Hanna Andersson and Ulta Beauty. Read more at Teslarati.

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