US: NHTSA ends Mercedes fuel leak investigation without recall image

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced it decided to end a three-year-old probe that looked into 281,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles suspected of fuel leaks and fuel odors.

The US auto safety regulator decided to end the investigation without calling for a recall after the German automaker, the third largest in the world in the luxury segment, decided to expand warranties on the affected units. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the investigation back in January 2012, following on 20 reports that called into question the 2003-2006 E55 AMG model and later expanded it to include all 2003-2008 E-Class cars. According to customer complaints, owners experienced after refilling the fuel tank strong odors of gasoline fuel inside and outside of the vehicle, and according to some, the fuel leaked from the fuel filter/sender, situated on top of the fuel tank on the driver’s side.

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz told the NHTSA it decided to expand the original warranty coverage to 15 years and unlimited mileage on “Covered Fuel Tank Components” for the 2003-2009 E-Class and 2006-2011 CLS-Class models. Both Mercedes and the NHTSA negated some allegations that fuel entered the inside of the car under the rear seat bench – the components are well separated from the cabin.