2008-'09 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Probed by Feds for Taillight Failures


  • 2009 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Picture

    2009 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Picture

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into 218,000 2008-'09 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans after complaints of taillight failures. | July 15, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • NHTSA has opened a probe into 218,000 2008-'09 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans after complaints of taillight failures.
  • Federal safety regulators say they have received 21 complaints from consumers alleging rear lighting failures in the brake and/or turn signals of the 2008-'09 C-Class.
  • One consumer reported seeing "small flames emanating from the rear lamp connector when the trunk was opened," said NHTSA in a posting on its Web site on Monday.

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into 218,000 2008-'09 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans after complaints of taillight failures.

Federal safety regulators say they have received 21 complaints from consumers alleging rear lighting failures in the brake and/or turn signals of the 2008-'09 C-Class.

"Consumers allege a loss of one or more rear lamp assemblies possibly due to an overheated electric connector that, in some cases, resulted in melting, smoke or a fire," said NHTSA in its problem description.

"The failure can cause the lights to dim or cause the lights to not illuminate at all," said NHTSA. "The failure typically occurs in either the left or right taillamp assembly. However, some consumers have reported simultaneous failures.

"The reports typically indicate the failure is with the lamp connector, with many indicating a burnt and/or melted condition of the electrical components. In multiple instances, consumes have reported smelling smoke and seeing burn marks in the trunks of vehicles. One consumer reported seeing small flames emanating from the rear lamp connector when the trunk was opened."

NHTSA has opened a preliminary evaluation into the matter. Such an action sometimes results in a vehicle recall.

"We have recently begun working with NHTSA regarding this preliminary evaluation and can report that no injuries or deaths have been identified in this case," said Mercedes spokesman Christian Bokich when asked to comment. "Any customer with a tail lamp concern is invited to speak with Mercedes-Benz USA about the subject by calling 1-800-367-6372 or by contacting a local authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer to arrange an inspection."

Edmunds says: You will want to get your 2008-'09 C-Class into the dealership if you notice a problem. In the meantime, consumers will have to sit tight and wait for federal safety regulators to finish their investigation.

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