It seems the previously bullet-proof reputation for reliability among German luxury brands is taking something of a pasting lately.

REPORTS ARE COMING THROUGH from the US that safety regulators have widened their investigation into tail-light failures on Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles.

The probe takes in almost 253,000 cars produced between 2008 and 2011. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the stop, tail and turn signal lights can fail due to a melted electrical connector. To date, there have been 402 complaints, with five resulting in fires and one resulting in injury.

Mercedes-Benz also reported more than 23,000 warranty claims that may be associated with the tail-light failure. The NHTSA has upgraded their investigation to an engineering analysis, one step closer to a recall, although to date no recall has been issued.

Investigators say the problem appears to be getting worse as the vehicles get older.

It will be interesting to follow Mercedes-Benz’s local response to the issue in light of the widely reported attitude of Volkswagen with apparent DSG gearbox problems which were well documented overseas, but ignored by the local company until public pressure forced a response.


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