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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 3
Average Mileage:
8,105 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Owner Comments

problem #8

Jun 112006


  • 9,000 miles


1. exiting a curve on a windy road at approx. 30mph, driver applied throttle causing an automatic downshift into a 516ftlb torque lunge. With no steering control in 1-second we were in the opposite lane. Driver fought to regain control during second no. 2. then a limo blew through a stop sign on a merge landing right in front of us. Both driver's braced on their gas pedals. 2. the Mercedes cl & sl classes have the same front seats with an integrated seat belt system. Since it was only connected to the seat, the seat failed without even a bruise to my right shoulder (by over 30-40 degrees). I was left against the dash board (with my seatbelt on) throwing limbs at my survival. To add insult to injury, after breaking my left femur twice, smashing two knees, breaking my forearm, hitting my head atop my left hand on the dash and leaving my body when I pushed back and returned I had enough time to think the air bag has yet to go off. Then it did, picking me up by my head, smashing it against the moonroof before finally coming to rest in a mangled seat position. 3. in the 2.75 years it took to get to writing this correspondence, Mercedes has increased their cl power options by another 150hp and 250ftlbs of torque to 650hp/750ftlbs of torque with the same seat/belt arrangement. Nhra rules require 5-point harnesses attached to frame/rollcage components for a car capable of traversing the 1/4mile in 12 seconds or less. The CL55-65's range from mid 12's to mid 11's. and fail to connect any portion of the belt to the vehicle's frame. It makes no sense especially in a car that weighs 4400lbs to leave their occupants fending for themselves in mid flight while "buckled up".

- Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #7

Jun 292008


  • 24,000 miles
Transmission failure. Rusted and corroded trans at 24,000 miles caused by faulty Mercedes valeo radiator. Mercedes own star bulletin tells dealers about this issue but my dealer decided not to check it out and now Mercedes and dealer are refusing to help when this is a known problem on many of their models and should be a recall.

- West Jordan, UT, USA

problem #6

Oct 122005

C230 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
I am the owner of a C-230 4 door sedan VIN#[xxx]. I have an issue that I was looking into addressing when another major issue just arose that I need help from the manufacturer who I have contacted but not received a response. 1) last week I decided to quote insurance and make a change to allstate. Once they put in the VIN# major issues came. The price was way different then what I was paying with Mercury. To make this short, after talking to my broker at Mercury, it turns out my 4 door has the VIN# of a 2 door coupe. I called beverly hills ltd where I purchased the car new. They did nothing. I have the original temp registration from the day I purchased the car new, and the dealer typed coupe not four door and on the lease agreement. I did not notice this. Here are my issues. The coupe is more expensive on insurance - I have been overpaying since 2/2003. 2nd, am I paying a fair lease rate if the VIN# is for another body style. This car has been nothing but nightmare to deal with since the day I purchased it. It has been serviced 8 times, transmission work, 2 computers, camshaft, new radio, idle issues, brake system failed, and so on. It's a complete lemon. It is going in next week again. I have only 21,000 on the car, and drive my 2nd car more a 79 300sd Mercedes as it is more reliable then this new car. I need somewhere, someone to go to, any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, [xxx] - phone or email updated 07/18/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Marina Del Rey, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 302004

C230 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles


Rough idle; rattling noise in engine area, harsh shifting, no throttle response, hesitates when accelerating with a clicking sound, window contros scratch window tint

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 172003

C230 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
A year ago, I brought a C230 compressor at Mercedes-Benz and since then, I had to repair my A/C twice, the ABS light has been fixed twice in one week, and now my transmission is acting out. Although I have brought my car in a great deal, the problem(s) still exist. In one month alone, I brought my car in about 3 times to fix almost the same problem(s). My last visit was this past week, and just today, I got my car back and the transmission still feels funny. It jerks when I step on the accelerator and for some reason, I feel more unsafe now then before.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 192003

C230 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 380 miles
2003 C230 has transmission that jerks, and requires excessive effort to get vehicle to move when in reverse, also has weak rim design, and bend easily, hit pot hole on highway and bent front rim.

- Columbia, SC, USA

problem #2

May 282003

C230 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80 miles
Vehile is an automatic. Vehicle "jerks" hard when lightly applying gas. This can be compared to starting in first gear (manual transmission) when not fully depressing the correct combination of gas and clutch. This happens when traveling from a dead stop at a traffic light or pulling into a parking space. Have had several near misses in hitting other vehicles.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #1

Jul 282003

C230 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 380 miles
I bought my Mercedes C230 kompressor 9 days ago. It has only 380 miles on it. 2 days in a row when the car is placed into drive the entire vehicle shakes violently. Mercedes is going to attempt to fix the problem. Ss.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

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