Feds Upgrade Probe Into 2008-'11 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited February 2016 in Mercedes-Benz
Feds Upgrade Probe Into 2008-'11 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has upgraded an investigation into 252,867 2008-'11 Mercedes-Benz C-Class cars for loss of rear lights that could result in a fire.

Read the full story here


  • scubadiver84scubadiver84 Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2016
    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
    [contact information removed]

    ( 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!!
  • getoverurselfgetoverurself Member Posts: 1
    Hi Todd.

    I am truly sorry about your SUV... But also sorry that your story does not jive. For starters, you posted this under a story related to Mercedes Benz C-Class tail light recall update. Emphasis on "C-Class". Which means not only was your ML not included in this recall, but the story you tell about how your car allegedly caught fire defies simple logic as well as a details electrical explanation. Unless your car was parked with the tail lights on, then there is not electric current running through them which also means that an electrical fire starting there 2 hours later is virtually impossible.

    Moreover, and while many Mercedes Benz models may share the exact same parts, some even for consecutive years, the C-Class tail lights are completely different that he ML Class tail lights. And in such a case, they were manufactured subject to a different set of criteria, possibly by a different manufacturer may be even at a different factory. And just as soon as you hear about a tail light recall for one model, you jump at the chance to try and bad mouth a manufacturer in an attempt to make yourself feel better at failing to protect yourself from your own shortcoming... (I'll explain this in a bit).

    So what would happen if the ML was involved in the same recall as the C-Class? A better question is, why wasn't the ML included in the tail light recall? If it were such a serious matter, and if these "fires" were truly a cause for concern for ML owners, why is it that the NHTSA only has 2 complaints that were reported about fires caused by tail lights on the MB ML series? Let me elaborate further on the 2 complaints on record with the NHTSA... One, was likely filed by you, in which you included your vehicle's VIN # as well as your location; the other was likely to have ALSO filed by you, wherein you did not include your vehicle's VIN# (listed as "Unknown") or your location (listed as "Unknown"). The stories vary slightly but of course that is expected...

    This leaves us with a few possibilities. One, you may have had some aftermarket lights in that vehicle's tail lights, you (or a previous owner) may have modified those connections somehow... amongst other possibilities that would simply allow a reasonable person to conclude that Mercedes Benz owed you nothing at the time (reportedly somewhere around the end of 2013 and into 2014). Your car is a 2006 model which, you stated you had 76,000 miles on it, meaning its warranty had expires 26,000 miles before you reported this matter and aside from mileage, reporting it in 2013 means it was approximately 8-9 years after it was put into service, i.e. it was 3-4 years out of ANY sort of warranty by Mercedes Benz. Yet you somehow assumed that you had some entitlement to getting the problem fixed by Mercedes Benz?

    Lastly, we are down to one single question... You stated that you brought this up to the attention of Mercedes Benz, but that (quoting you) "they were careless about the safety dangers that this caused/posed". All while you were clearly aware of such "safety dangers this caused/posed"... And yet you failed to take this problem to a person qualified to diagnose the fault and help you put together a plan to properly correct it? OK, I said "one question", lets make them two... In other words, you knew there was a problem, you knew the dangers it posed, you knew it could cause a fire and burn your vehicle down, but because Mercedes Benz denied any liability as far as repair costs, you decided to sit on your hands and do nothing to resolve it??? What the heck, lets go for three... Because in the end, when your vehicle caught on fire, it suddenly became Mercedes Benz's fault because you failed to take care of your own property?

    So you reported this matter to a long list of entities... Question is, if you feel justified in having a claim against MB, why not sue them in court? I know why, because no lawyer in his right mind would take your case. Unless you were willing to pay him hourly but no person in their right mind would do this knowing full well they have no case.

    If you had insurance, and assuming your insurer never became aware of your negligence to properly minimize your loss potential, they may have reimbursed you for the value of the vehicle at the time. This would be all that you would be entitled to... And certainly, you were entitled to nothing from Mercedes Benz. So Get Over Urself...
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