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NHTSA Recalls Mercedes Diesels and Investigates Mini Cooper S Models

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NHTSA logoThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is recalling 6,872 Mercedes-Benz clean diesel cars for the model years 2011 and 2012 because of faulty fuel filter seals that could leak from the area around the heating component. The flawed seals could result in diesel fuel leaking onto the road and causing the potential for a crash or a fire. In another matter, NHTSA is investigating Mini Cooper “S” sport coupe models to determine if they need to be recalled because of reports of engine fires.

The Mercedes recall affects diesel versions of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, GL-Class, ML-Class, R-Class, and 2012 Mercedes-Benz S Class. The car maker will inspect and replace the fuel filter, if necessary. The filter replacements are expected to begin next month.

Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield writes in Green Car Reports:

Earlier this year, it had to recall 2,297 of its 2011 model year clean diesels for exactly the same problem.

After the initial 2,297 car recall, Mercedes-Benz engineers were confident that they had fixed the problem, but after reports from unsatisfied customers started to trickle in it became apparent that the issue remained unresolved.

This latest recall comes hot on the heels of a 160,000 + car recall by the Volkswagen group earlier this month, where vibration on some of its clean diesel models was causing a fuel leak at the second fuel injector.

For more information about the recall, call Mercedes-Benz USA at (800) 367-6372.

As for the Mini-Coopers, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received 12 complaints about engine compartment fires in Mini Cooper S models from the 2007 and 2008 model years. They include the Clubman S and S Convertible models in addition to the Mini Cooper S, all manufactured by BMW of North America, LLC.

Although no one was injured in the reported fires, eight of the complaints allege that the engine fires started when the cars were parked with the ignition off. Five of the 12 fires destroyed the cars.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s,

The complaints show an apparent increasing trend with most complaints received within the past year. In addition, ODI has reviewed field reports submitted as part of Early Warning Reporting data that relate to the alleged defect. A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the cause, scope and frequency of the alleged defect.

To file a safety complaint about a vehicle, visit, or call (888) 327-4236 or TTY: (800) 424-9153 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Source: “Federal safety regulators checking into reports of Mini Cooper ‘S’ engine fires,” Associated Press via The Washington Post with Bloomberg, 10/17/2011
Source: “Mercedes-Benz recalling 6,800 diesel models,”, 10/17/2011
Image by U.S. Department of Transportation, used under Fair Use: Reporting.


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