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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 11
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,855 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.

2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #151

Dec 032015


  • 100,000 miles


Woke up to go to my car and it would not start. I was headed into work and was late because of it. I tried relaxing everything thing from fuses to new key to new battery. Nothing worked. It kept making a ticking noise when I would turn the car on. The lights would light up but car would not turn over. I own a 2008 C300 and noticed it's a known issue with this part but Mercedes will it fix the issue.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #150

Dec 022015


  • 58,200 miles
Eis electronic ignition system or esl electronic steering lock. Put key in ignition and nothing happens. Steering wheel locked. Car won't come out of park. Car was parked all three times this happened, twice before the car was diagnosed at the my dealership on clark road, in sarasota, Florida, and once, so far, after problem was diagnosed and repaired. Repair lasted two days.

- Lakewood Ranch, FL, USA

problem #149

Nov 092015


  • 93,000 miles
Steering lock failed. 10 cent motor will not lock steering wheel. Causes car to think it is stolen, disables the entire car. Left me stranded in freezing temperature with no warning. I got gas, got in the car to leave to work, and nothing worked. This is very dangerous. Luckily I was able to get someone to pick me up, as my cell phone was about to die.

- Rathdrum, ID, USA

problem #148

Nov 112015


  • 160,000 miles


I parked the car in the garage early after noon in November 2014, and some time later that day the car would not start. I turn the steering wheel right then left thinking it might be a steering lock problem and kept messing with steering column trying to find problem being possibly a pinched wire and the the instrument cluster lights came on do a self check then car started. Used scan tool to retrieve codes and none were found. Second incident occurred when I parked at a gas station and paid for gas and the car did not start, nor did the usual instrument cluster lights come on when the key is inserted and turned as in the first time it happened. I started to adjust the steering column such as to raise the wheel and the lights came on, and I turned the key and the car started. Ran a diagnostic check for codes and still no codes stored. Third incident, parked the car after leaving church service and then was asked to move it from the lawn so the yard could be worked on. I started the car and turned the wheel as to back it up into a different location. I shut the car off with the wheel turned all the way to the right and then went to start it 2 to 3 hours later and it would not start and steering wheel is all the way to the right and locked in that position. Things I checked. Charged battery, both key fabs lock and unlock vehicle, the key is recognized by the security system but will not start the car. The key is also recognized when in the ignition. Audio warning comes on when key is left in ignition with door open. I believe the problem is in the steering column, only because every incident that has involved the adjustment of the steering column caused it to start and now with the steering wheel turned all the way to the right gave it the final failure status.

- Lehigh, FL, USA

problem #147

Aug 052015


  • 42,000 miles
A few months back, my wife was stranded in her office parking lot as the car won't start. When she put the key in the ignition it would simply make clicking sounds but will not start. She was able to lock and unlock the car. We called aaa who checked the battery and said it was working fine. The aaa rep said that he had seen this problem quite a few times before in the mb cars and we would have to call mb or they can tow it to the dealership. We then called Mercedes Benz (mb) road side assistance who came and checked the car. The mb rep said that there is an issue with the electronic steering lock and it will need to be replaced. They gave me a quote of around $1500 over phone. Finally I had aaa tow my car to my mechanic and got it repaired for around $800. While researching this problem, I was shocked to see that there were 1000S of threads online where the owners of 2008 and 2009 C class were complaining about the same issue and how each one had to shell out anywhere from $1200 to $1600 at the dealership to get it repaired. I called mb and they admitted that this is a common issue but cannot do anything about it. I was quite appalled at this situation where this being a known issue faced by 1000S of mb customers but mb would not fix it. Here is a sample of google search where you will find multiple people reporting this problem - even youtube has multiple videos where customers have recorded this issue. Electronic steering lock, electronic ignition lock and electronic stability control are known and very prevalent issues related to C class of year 2008 and 2009. As I customer, I would appreciate if the nha can look into this and help customers recover the money they have spent towards the repair of these issues.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #146

Oct 272015


  • 110,000 miles
I replaced the battery and key due to car not starting ($600 and 1 week in the shop). 2 days later, the new key failed to start the car due to the same issue. Eis failure will cost another $1200. This should be part of a recall, I was stranded twice and it is a common problem with this model.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #145

Oct 212015


  • 52,228 miles


We parked the vehicle in a store parking lot after driving for 40 minutes, went into the store for 30 minutes came out and car would not start, steering would not unlock and shifter would not come out of park. Towed to Mercedes Benz of san jose and was told electronic steering lock had failed. Contacted Mercedes Benz as vehicle only had 52,000 miles and Mercedes customer relations stated this was not the first time they had heard of this. They gave $200 toward the $1100 repair. I asked if this could of happened while I was driving and he stated he never heard of that but did not guarentee it was not possible. If this had happened while driving the wheel would have locked and I would not have been able to steer.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #144

Nov 072015


  • 100,000 miles
Hello, I inserted my key into my 2008 C300, but the car won't start. It turns as it should, but the car isn't starting. The battery for the car is new and reads 12.6 V when tested. The radio and lights work, but the windows won't roll up or the sunroof, and the glove compartment doesn't light up. With the key inside the ignition and the door opened, the car notifies me to remove the key from the ignition. I am not sure what's going on, any ideas?

- Montclair, CA, USA

problem #143

Jul 062015


  • 76,900 miles
Parked car left for an hour came back and tried to start vehicle and it would not start dealership said it was the eis (electronic ignition switch) and charged me $1900 to fix it, also before I took it in for that repair the sunroof would not work properly and rear right brake light went out they fixed that under recall free after that my sunroof worked fine. Now my serpentine belt broke and shredded while I was driving looked in my engine and the belt was all over engine in pieces.

- Pikesville, MD, USA

problem #142

Oct 192015


  • miles
Update: Oct 19, 2015 my car wouldn't turn over. The lights, radio and battery were fine. I tried to jump the car just in case (it wasn't the battery) had the car towed to the dealership the next day. The following day the dealership informed me it was the eis switch (electronic steering lock). Price tag $1212 and some change.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #141

Oct 192015


  • 68,018 miles


My 2008 C300 was parked. I came outside to head out and my ignition would not turn over but all lights, radio, seat, etc were working just fine. Windows and sunroof don't work. My car is stopped at 68,018 miles.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #140

Oct 172015


  • 96,000 miles
2nd time with same eis issue in one year. Ignition would not turn over but all lights, radio, etc were working just fine. It cost me $1300 to get it fixed the first time after having it towed to a dealership. Was not covered by warranty. A year later I have to do it all over again"!"! it is ridiculous that Mercedes does not recall this issue as it is so common after reading so many posts about it.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #139

Sep 102015


  • 103,000 miles
Drove my car home and it ran fine. The next morning the car would not start. Dash lights and radio came on but engine would not turn over. Took my vehicle to dealer and found out it was the eis switch that is bad which seems to fail in the model. It cost me $1500 to replace switch. Mercedes needs to do a recall or reimburse for repairs because there are over 2,000 complaints on this part and year vehicle.

- Cedar Hill, TX, USA

problem #138

Oct 122015


  • 51,000 miles
Ignation switch complely dead. Battery ok. Vehicale was in my driveway. Used vehicale in morning ran fine. Went used vehicale afternoon. Ignation switch complely dead. They must be recall on this ignation switch problem. Please look into this matter.

- Malverne, NY, USA

problem #137

Oct 022015


  • miles
Having problems with the electronic ignition switch and/or steering wheel locking mechanism. Vehicle will not start. This is a problem with many C 300's

- Cleveland Heights, OH, USA

problem #136

Oct 032015


  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. While driving approximately 30 mph, the fuel gauge failed. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V303000 (electrical system). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- Indianopolois, IN, USA

problem #135

Sep 302015


  • 74,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. While driving approximately 20 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning and failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the ignition switch or the computer system needed to be replaced or updated. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic steering ignition and lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 74,000.

- New Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #134

Sep 122015


  • 86,400 miles
Same issue as literally thousands of others are complaining fails to start due to either a faulty steering wheel ignition lock or eis not recognizing the key and therefore not starting. It has happened twice to me, dealer service advisor knew immediately and even guessed at the model and year of my vehicle, which tells me that this is a prevalent issue, supported by the thousands of posts I have read on various forums. This is a potential safety nightmare waiting to happen, similar in nature, if not scope, to the GM ignition switch recall! the same thing could happen if the failure occurs at highway speed.

- Marshfield, MO, USA

problem #133

Aug 192015


  • 86,381 miles
Last week 8/11/2015 I drove to the lumbar store, parked the car and upon returning to the car, the key turned completely to the right, the dash lights came on, the ringing noise sounded, but the car did not turn over, nothing happened. The dash read remove the key from ignition. I called my mechanic with the issue and he said use your key fob to lock and unlock the car; that did not work, still nothing. I called the tow company the battery was fully charged ( I purchased it last year 2014). The tow company disabled the cable to the battery waited 30 seconds and reconnected the battery, still the key would not turn the engine over. Because the lumber yard locked their gate at 5 pm the car was scheduled to be towed the next morning. The car started the next morning, I allowed the tow company to tow it anyway and have their mechanic assess the problem. Thorough-out the day the tow mechanic attempted to turn the car on and determined the car would intermittently start. The next day I drove the car to a foreign car service shop, they stated the eis system is not always recognizing the key and only a mb dealership can fix ignition related problems. I called and got a quote, the eis part and labor will cost me $872.31 includes taxes (assuming this is the problem). As a note, I used my other key and still had the same problem. This morning I used the key I always use and it started. Off to the mb dealership.

- N Charleston , SC, USA

problem #132

Aug 152015


  • miles
Car has faulty steering lock and has to be replaced at a high expense. This seems to be a very common problem as I learned visiting various websites and forums.

- Irvine, CA, USA

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