US probes complaints of engine fires in tiny Smart cars

Markets Associated Press

U.S. safety regulators are reviewing eight complaints that the engines in tiny Smart Fortwo cars can catch fire.

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The investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 43,000 of the two-seat cars from the 2008 and 2009 model years.

The agency says in documents posted Tuesday that in six cases, owners saw smoke, the check engine light, or heard an unusual noise before seeing flames. The other two fires weren't observed until the cars were stopped. All eight owners told the agency that flames rapidly engulfed the cars. No injuries have been reported.

A recall is possible although none has been issued. A message was left Tuesday with Mercedes-Benz, which makes Smart cars.