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C Class tail lights can catch fire

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C Class tail lights can catch fire

 
Old 07-16-2013, 10:08 AM
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C Class tail lights can catch fire

Just saw this in the news re: 08-09 rear tail lights

http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/fla...icle-1.1398866
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:22 AM
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Hopefully as a result we all get sent updated SAM modules for the new 2012+ rear lights

I think a member here had his SAM catch on fire....?
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:48 AM
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Old news, both of mine already caught fire and have been replaced (okay, smoldering, no actual visible flame.)

It is the connector for the tail light that is the problem, not the SAM module.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:54 AM
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I hope you reported your case! The article says NHTSA opened the investigation on July 11. Hopefully it becomes a recall so 08-09 owners dont have to worry about smoking tail lights lol
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:07 AM
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I did not. It is a known issue, MB has a TSB for it. However, I guess now that NHTSA opened an investigation, it will likely result in a recall.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:46 PM
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Yeah my left one got fried a couple months ago. My SA said it was a common issue with the 09.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:55 PM
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Lost the driver side tail on my old C300 last year.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:18 PM
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did MB fix it at their expense?
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:33 PM
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My car was under warranty, so yes. I'm not sure what their policy is for cars out of warranty.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:55 PM
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you've got to be pretty ignorant to let it catch on fire. Typically it will just start to melt the connector at the ground wire since its overloaded, and give you a warning message for taillamp bulb failures. Its not something that just instantly ignites, it would take a long time. plastic and copper dont make good fuel for fire. Im sure the fire cars if there are any, are ones that warned that the lights were burnt out and didnt give a **** about. They drove around for years without taillamps or brake lamps because they dont care about anyone but them selves. Preying to get rearended and a nice lawsuit setttlement bam there car caught fire.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:41 AM
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I did get the tail light warning, and then I took it to MB. Wierd thing was, before I got the tail light warning, I was getting a front parking light warning, and there was nothing wrong with it. The moment I got the tail light warning I took it in and they gave me a loaner. I did not drive around extensively with a fire hazard tail light as I already knew what the problem was when my passenger side light did the same thing about 2 years ago.

FYI, the warning only pops up once the wires are actually shorting. The fault is actually high resistance in the ground connector, not an overload. The high resistance causes heat which melts the molex connector, once the connector comes into contact with the wires around it, then a short occurs and you get the warning. So unless you look at the connector daily, you would not notice it. You would also not smell it as melting != burning, until the short, then you get that lovely electronics on fire smell.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jvanbrecht View Post
I did get the tail light warning, and then I took it to MB. Wierd thing was, before I got the tail light warning, I was getting a front parking light warning, and there was nothing wrong with it. The moment I got the tail light warning I took it in and they gave me a loaner. I did not drive around extensively with a fire hazard tail light as I already knew what the problem was when my passenger side light did the same thing about 2 years ago.

FYI, the warning only pops up once the wires are actually shorting. The fault is actually high resistance in the ground connector, not an overload. The high resistance causes heat which melts the molex connector, once the connector comes into contact with the wires around it, then a short occurs and you get the warning. So unless you look at the connector daily, you would not notice it. You would also not smell it as melting != burning, until the short, then you get that lovely electronics on fire smell.
thanks for the description. will keep an eye out for any warning lights.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:29 PM
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Anyone know what owners who are out of warranty do ? Should we still be covered ?

Since it seems like a recall I would venture to guess so.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:59 PM
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I assume that once an investigation is opened NHSTA requests the incidence data from MB so no individual needs to report their case separately?
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:16 PM
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Well tonight I got a error on my instrument cluster. It said my right hand blinker was not functioning correctly. I had previously just fixed my car by turning it off then back on and the problem would go away. Tonight that didn't work and since I read about the recall on autoblog I decided to check out my lights. Here is what I found in my trunk...



Well that don't look too good lol.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jvanbrecht View Post
FYI, the warning only pops up once the wires are actually shorting. The fault is actually high resistance in the ground connector, not an overload. The high resistance causes heat which melts the molex connector, once the connector comes into contact with the wires around it, then a short occurs and you get the warning. So unless you look at the connector daily, you would not notice it. You would also not smell it as melting != burning, until the short, then you get that lovely electronics on fire smell.
All bulbs in a cluster are connected to the ground using only one connector, which is melted. Too much current.
I fixed mine by putting a wire parallel to this connector, unloading it. Never had this problem after.
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