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Mercedes cars checked for fuel leak

DETROIT — Federal safety regulators are investigating reports of fuel leaks in about 250,000 Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Mercedes have received 533 complaints from owners about a strong odor of gasoline, mainly after refueling. The agency says fuel may be leaking from the upper part of the gas tank.

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No fires or injuries have been reported.

The investigation affects vehicles from the 2003 to 2008 model years. The agency is looking into whether the leaks were caused by a 2008 pollution control recall.

The problem surfaced last year with complaints about 2003 to 2006 E55 AMG cars.

On Friday the safety agency expanded the probe to other E-Class vehicles. Investigators will determine if a recall is needed. E-Class cars start around $51,000.

Mercedes said it is cooperating with NHTSA in the probe. Anyone who smells gasoline in their car should contact a dealer, the company said.

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