The era of camera-equipped and internet-enabled smartphones means we're never more than a few taps of a thumb away from events across the world. That's not so great for Mercedes-Benz though, as it's the latest automaker to suffer a very public fire incident. Images on German website Merkur Online capture firefighters dousing a two-week old S-Class luxury sedan, which caught fire in Rottach-Egern, south of Munich.

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The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the 100,000 euro car (around $138,000) is a total loss. The damage is extensive--a huge hole in the hood illustrates the power of the fire, while the charred engine bay and sagging front suspension suggest heat has reached much further. The interior too is heavily smoke-damaged. The fire-damaged engine looks like a six-cylinder unit, and the word on the street is that it was an S350 BlueTEC diesel.

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The two passengers, a retired couple, were able to get out of the car in time, and passers-by and local business owners extinguished the flames before emergency crews arrived. A police spokesman told Merkur that fires in new passenger vehicles are still very unusual--so it may potentially be a technical defect. So far, it looks like an isolated incident--but the wonders of the internet mean we'll know soon enough if other S-Class start catching fire...


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