Design Con 2015

Rear lights fail and catch fire

-July 16, 2013

U.S. safety regulators are investigating rear lights that fail and sometimes catch fire on 218,000 Mercedes C-Class luxury cars.  It appears that the investigation is limited to 2008 and 2009 editions and that there are to date, 21 reports of brake/turn signal lights failing completely or dimming dangerously. Burn marks in trunks and the smell of smoke have also been reported and an obvious smoking gun is one report of small flames coming from the rear lamp connector.

So far, although Mercedes is “checking “ into the problem—no recall has been issued. Given that the NHTSA just opened the investigation on the 11th of July, I wonder if that recall will speed up. No injuries have been reported so far.

I found a lot of change-your-lights to LEDs articles and have been looking at specs and reports so far, but haven’t been able to determine if these are LEDs that are failing. Anyone know?

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