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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 6
Average Mileage:
40,784 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Owner Comments

problem #6

Jul 282009

C230 6-cyl

  • 20,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes Benz C240. The contact stated while driving 15 mph the vehicle in front of him suddenly stopped causing him to crash into the rear of the vehicle. The passenger seat belt did not hold the passenger in the front seat which caused her head to hit the windshield. Both the driver and passenger side air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was destroyed. The passenger was taken to the hospital for a head injury. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed by the insurance company. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 20,000. Updated 07/08/11

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #5

Jun 112006

C230 8-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
The contact was a passenger in a 2003 Mercedes CL55. The contact stated that on June 11,2006, they were involved in a head on collision with another vehicle( limousine) at 45 mph. When the driver down shifted, the driver drove into oncoming traffic at approximately 35 mph. The front end of the Mercedes was destroyed and caught fire. The air bags did not deploy until the vehicle came to rest after the crash. The front of the limousine was "sheered" off. There were three fatalities and one injury. The contact was severely injured and taken to the hospital by ambulance and admitted to the icu. The police responded and filed a police homicide case report # 246/7/9-06. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure mileage was approximately 15,000. The consumer who was a passenger in the Mercedes Benz, stated the seat back failed during the accident. According to witnesses, the driver of the Mercedes Benz was traveling at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of the road. The driver and rear passenger in the Mercedes Benz were pronounced dead and the driver of the other vehicle also expired. Updated evoq 08/26/10 updated 11/05/10 info received 01/19/11 updated evoq 03/28/12 updated 11/25/13 the consumer stated the seat belt did not properly restrain him. Updated 12/02/13

- Melbourne , FL, USA

problem #4

Nov 112009

C230 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes Benz C230. The contact stated that he was driving approximately 30 mph when he crashed into a tree that had fallen in the street. The air bags did not deploy and he suffered four broken bones as a result; the vehicle was also destroyed. He was told by the manufacturer that the secondary thresholds were not exceeded to deploy the air bags. An independent inspector stated that the air bags should have deployed. The vehicle identification number was not available. The current and failure mileages were approximately 120,000. Updated 3/24/10 updated 06/11/10.

- Williamsburg, VA, USA

problem #3

Jun 212006


  • 12,000 miles


2003 Mercedes-Benz CL55 low-speed (25-35mph) high-acceleration head-on impact with a limousine (approx. 45mph) where the CL55 dash mounted airbags deployed after the vehicle came to rest, and the CL55's integrated seatbelt worn by the passenger and sole survivor resulted in the displacement of the seat-back by 45-degrees without imposing a notable injury to the passenger's right shoulder. Due to the instantaneous nature of this incident the driver instinctively braced himself....on the accelerator before impact. The 516ftlbs of torque of the CL55 speared through the front end of the limousine shearing the limo's entire front clip, engine and transmission off under the vehicle and folding the limo where its driver sat. To my amazement I watched this occur with very little resistance even as the front end of the CL55 also crumpled with no airbag deployment. Thus safety systems designed for the CL500 are being applied in the amg versions of the same vehicles with power increases now over 100% above a 302hp '03 CL500. Such power is able to cause adverse affects on the ability of an accelerometer to measure deceleration during an impact under a full throttle condition. A simple push-button crash sensor would have solved this matter. Likewise, such power increases are overcoming the integrated seatbelt's ability to restrain an occupant. Other than a skirmish attempt to hide behind federal statutes, nothing has since been done to amend the design flaws associated with applying the CL500 safety systems in the amg version vehicles. Power options available however, keep increasing. Consequences are rear-head injuries to both front-seat occupants after sustaining a series of frontal injuries. Restrained passenger chose to sacrifice his limbs against the dash while the driver braced outward. Old part was salvaged by insurance company without notice in Dec. 2006. Case report with photographs and medical records are available.

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #2

Sep 072008


  • 65,704 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes Benz C230. The contact stated that the SRS warning light illuminated on the instrument panel and the vehicle was taken to the dealer four days later. The mechanic performed a diagnostic and stated that the SRS control module was defective. The mechanic also stated that if the SRS control module was not repaired, the air bags would not deploy in a crash. The manufacturer has not been notified. The current mileage was 66,000 and failure mileage was 65,704.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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problem #1

Jan 172005

C230 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
The contact states the airbag system failed twice in the past ten months. The onboard computer said SRS warning did not drive at that time, . the vehicle had to be towed to the dealership. There was a code reset in the computer. This happened again, and they replaced a fuse box in the dashboard. The gas gauge has also gone out twice in one month. The dealership drained the gas and reset a computer code. When it happened again they had to replace a part in the gas tank and reset the computer code again. Both items were working correctly at this time.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

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