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DETROIT (AP) - U.S. safety regulators are investigating about 218,000 Mercedes C-Class luxury cars because the rear lights can fail and even catch fire.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe affects cars from the 2008 and 2009 model years.

The agency says it has 21 reports of the brake lights or turn signals lights dimming or failing to light. In many cases the drivers reported a burning smell or melting of electrical parts.

Some also reported smelling smoke or seeing burn marks in the trunks, and one reported small flames coming from the rear lamp connector when the trunk was opened.

The problem hasn't caused any injuries.

Investigators will look into whether the problem happens often enough to cause a recall.