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Feds want to know why 2008-2009 smart fortwo minicars have engines that catch on fire.

Posted in Investigations

Feds want to know why 2008-2009 smart fortwo minicars have engines that catch on fire.

— smart fortwo engine fires have earned an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after eight owners reported their tiny fortwo cars went up in flames.

NHTSA says nearly 43,000 model year 2008-2009 smart fortwo minicars are affected by the engine fire investigation that was opened after reports of cars burning down to nothing more than metal frames.

One fortwo owner said their son was driving when he noticed smoke around the floor and then saw fire in the back of the car. He ran out of the car and to a house to call 911 and as the homeowner was making the call, they heard the car explode.

The owner said the metal frame was all that was left standing.

Another owner says they heard a loud bang from the back of the car and saw flames shooting from the engine. Within minutes the car was engulfed in flames, convincing the owner the car is a "death trap."

The smart fortwo owner blames parent company Mercedes-Benz for knowing about the worldwide fire risk but still not recalling the minicars.

NHTSA says six of the smart fortwo complaints say the drivers dealt with smoke, unusual noises and "check engine" warning lights before pulling over and finding the engines on fire. Two other complaints say the drivers didn't know about the fires until the cars were stopped.

All of the complaints say the engine fires completely and quickly engulfed the cars, with three of those reports being submitted since October 2016. Average mileage on the fortwo cars when the fires occurred is 54,000, with total ranges between 29,000 and 86,000 miles.

Safety regulators didn't say more about the investigation, but NHTSA will be interested to learn what is causing the problems considering how serious and deadly those problems are.

CarComplaints.com will update our website with results of the 2008-2009 smart fortwo engine fire investigation.

Read complaints about smart fortwo minicars.

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