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Feds investigate Mercedes-Benz C-Class models for fire risk

Feds investigate Mercedes-Benz C-Class models for fire risk
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz C350 is one of 218,000 C-Class models from 2008 and 2009 that are being investigated for a fire risk. (Mercedes-Benz)

Federal safety regulators are investigating an estimated 218,000 Mercedes-Benz C-Class models for a potential fire risk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said C-Class models from 2008 and 2009 could have an electrical malfunction in the taillights. This issue could result in the electrical components melting and causing smoke and sometimes fire.

"In multiple instances consumers have reported smelling smoke and seeing burn marks in the trunks of the vehicles," NHTSA said in a statement.

The malfunction has also caused the taillights to dim or fail to illuminate at all.

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Twenty-one owners have reported the issue, NHTSA said, with three instances of fires. No injuries or deaths have been related to this issue, Mercedes-Benz said in a statement.

The models affected are the C300, C350, C36 AMG, C43 AMG and C63 AMG sold as 2008 and 2009 models. The automaker encouraged customers who thought their car may be affected by this issue to call 1-800-367-6372 or to contact their local dealer.

The investigation is only a preliminary step in NHTSA's process to learn more about the issue. No recall has been issued as a result of this malfunction at this time.

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