A Mercedes-Benz after a vehicle fire.

We Didn’t Start the Fire. But Mercedes-Benz Might Have!

By Erik K. Schmitt, Esq.

A vehicle fire can be one of the most dangerous (and stressful) occurrences in a person’s life. Not only can it lead to potentially fatal injuries, but such a traumatic experience can have lasting psychological and emotional consequences on a driver. At a minimum, your vehicle will likely be destroyed.  At CCA, we assist California consumers with lemon law recovery when they have suffered a vehicle file that was caused by a manufacturer’s defect and/or negligent repair.  

Vehicle fires can be caused for a number of reasons, from simple fluid leaks to difficult-to-diagnose electrical problems. While consumers, rightfully, do not expect their vehicles to become engulfed in flames, these types of fires do happen from time to time, even in luxury vehicles.

In 2017, German automaker Daimler AG announced a major worldwide auto recall (Campaign #17V114000) on approximately one million Mercedes-Benz vehicles at risk of catching fire. Over 300,000 of these vehicles were sold in the United States alone. Vehicles affected by the recall include certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles from model years 2015 to 2017, including C-class sedans, E-Class sedans, CLA sedans, and GLA/GLC crossover SUVs, among others.

In a statement made by Mercedes-Benz, the recall was apparently issued over a defective fuse that can lead to overheating and fires. Specifically, a faulty current limiter in vehicles’ starter motors can cause the push-button start feature to become overloaded and fail. Following multiple failed attempts to start a vehicle, the current limiter can overheat, melt, and start fires.

A safety recall report released by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) further stated the risk is most concerning in vehicles that have experienced damage to the engine or transmission serious enough to block the starter motor. Drivers who experience a failed start should be careful about repeated attempts to start the engine, as it can lead to overheating and, in the most serious cases, potentially cause a vehicle fire.

If you own one of the affected models and it suffered from a vehicle fire, you may still be eligible to be compensated by Mercedes-Benz under California’s Lemon Law. Contact a CCA attorney today at (833) LEMON-FIRM for a free consultation.