Report: NHTSA investigates taillight failures on 250,000 Mercedes-Benz C-Class models

It’s not every day that you hear one that one of the most storied and most established marques in motoring has its foot in its mouth. Mercedes is under investigation for fitting inoperable taillights to one of their higher volume models, the C-Class. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration is investigating complaints from 114 C-Class owners over failing and sometimes fiery tail lights.

Though the minutia of most claims is not exciting, one owner reported fire coming from the wires connecting the lights and Mercedes has conceded in accordance with an NHTSA bulletin that the ground wire connecting the lights is prone to corrosion and to overheating. Other owners have simply reported taillight failures and burn marks in the trunk. Due to the unique way that American agencies work, the investigation must proceed to the “Engineering Analysis” phase before an official recall may be issued.

In the meantime, 2008-2011 C-Class owners have the option of taking the bus, getting rear ended, or renting a British car with Lucas electrics while their ‘Merc is in the shop.

- By: Sawyer Sutton

Source: DetroitNews


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  • Todd

    Hi my name is Todd and I had a 2006 ML350. On November 30 2013, It spontaneously caught fire as it was parked two hours after I had driven it. The firemen state in the report it was an electrical fire and started from a short in the rear taillight harness, much like the investigation in the C-class. They could determine that in only twenty minutes time. Look at the pictures below and see what you think. I brought this to Mercedes Benz USA’s attention and they were careless about the safety dangers that this caused/posed. They said it wasn’t a manufacturers’ defect. Might I remind you the car had been parked for 2 hours. God forbid if consumers found out that the ML-class would be involved in the same investigation as the C-class. They were of more concern about this being leaked or exposed and tried to sweep my case under the rug. They held my vehicle for about 2 months for their “investigation” and not to have any conclusion of the manufacturers defect is complete BS. They told me that the fire was inconclusive and not a manufactures defect. Get this! They only gave me one case manager and limited me only to speak with her. After I had asked to speak to numerous other managers and higher ups they told me I strictly couldn’t. After being trapped in this corporate cover up I had no where else to turn.

    Susan M.
    Case Manager
    Phone: 1-800-367-6372 ext. 6324
    Fax: 201-476-6213
    E-mail: Mercedes_benz@mailca.custhelp.com

    ( my west coast regional case manager) How many other vehicle cases did they sweep under the rug like mine? I do not expect this kind of cover-up from Mercedes and would expect them to stand behind their vehicles. I only had 76,000 miles on it. An absolute nightmare!! See the pictures below. THIS WENT TO CBS2 KCAL 9 THE BBB, NHTSA, numerous auto blogs ,CAS and the Federal Trade commission and the department of justice attorney general. I’M STILL NOT DONE!!