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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 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #111

Mar 222015

C300 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles


The vehicle would not start, the key turned in the ignition with no crank. All other electrical features worked and the battery tested as being ok. The electrical ignition system just did not respond. In addition, the wheels were locked thus requiring a special dolly to tow the vehicle.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #110

Mar 132015

C300 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles
Upon entering my vehicle after pumping gas late one evening, I proceeded to turn the key in the ignition and the key would not allow the car to start. All the lights on the dash, radio and headlights were operative at that time. I attempted a jump start to no avail. I proceeded with having he vehicle towed to a local dealer where it was determined that there was an issue with the electrical steering/ignition system that was electrical in nature and "common" for the year and model of the car. If this potential defect is common then it is "known" to the manufacturer and its dealers who can be held strictly liable or any manufacturing or design defect, or inadequate warning. That being said, if the product is defective, what prevents the recurrence of the issue after replacement of the part, which would essentially be replacing it with another defective part. This matter is serious to the consumer, and the manufacture could easily reduce the risk of harm to its consumers by altering the design in a much more cost effective manner than allowing its consumers to bear the costs of its manufacturing error.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #109

Mar 062015


  • 74,900 miles
I entered my 2008 Mercedes Benz C300 after work, and it would not start. I was stranded for 2 and 1/2 hours waiting for the complimentary tow truck Mercedes Benz was sending. I had it towed to the Mercedes Benz dealership at 7pm where it sat all weekend until they checked it on Monday 3/9/15. They called on 3/9/15 and stated it was the electrical steering device and would cost $950. This is a common malfunction in the 2008 C300 that Mercedes is not taking ownership of. There are numerous individuals who have faced this problem, and are charged extreme amounts to have it fixed. (see mbworld) this is not a defect due to wear and tear, this is a problem with manufacturing, a defect which is unfair to the consumer. There needs to be a recall on the electronic steering device and electronic ignition system on this make and model of car. Campaign number 2008020003 (NJ) to: All Mercedes Benz centers, model 204, model year 2008, replace electronic ignition switch was published in March 2008 noting "daimier ag has determined that the eis may malfunction preventing the electric steering lock and the central locking from functioning. Dealers will replace the eis on the affected vehicles during the next workshop visit." Consumers are left shouldering the cost of a problem Mercedes Benz is aware of, yet will not do a recall.

- Grayson, GA, USA

problem #108

Jan 242015


  • 73,685 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the key needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 73,685.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #107

Jan 012013

C300 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
For unknown reason, a warning about SRS restraint system driver side failure. Unsure if this is air bag, or seat belt related. Dealer wanted $2200. To fix. Outrageous safety issue. From online search this seems to happen regularly to mb products. Why has dot not taken action. Thank you for a response.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #106

Jan 162015


  • 160,000 miles
I drove car to work in the a.M. when I got ready to leave for the day the car would not start. The lights and locks and radio worked, but the engine wouldn't turn over. It was towed to the dealership and has been there for a few days. Just got a call that they think it is both the eis and esl, but they need my second key to be sure. After reading multiple forums with this problem, and calling another dealership, it seems the real issue my only be the esl. I say only because it cuts my cost in half, but it really sucks that this is obviously a very common problem and Mercedes has yet to do anything about it.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #105

Jan 082015

C300 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


Car wont start. Computer recognizes key in ignition but doesn't turn on any instruments or start the car. Tried a spare key - same issue. Remotes unlock and lock fine but ignition wont turn on.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #104

Dec 222014


  • 107,000 miles
Electronic ignition switch and steering lock rendered us completely stranded in our car. Could not even put it in neutral without using the manual override. After researching in the internet it seems this is somewhat common in this vehicle, and unfortunately is costing me $1350!! only the dealership can do this. I had my car towed to my local mechanic only to have it towed again to Mercedes dealership.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #103

Sep 242013

C300 6-cyl

  • 32,050 miles
On September 24, 2013, my 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 with 32,050 miles would not start despite multiple attempts. Each time I would try and start it everything came on in the cabin but there was a complete disconnect to the engine which would not even crank. Roadside assistance came out my home and determined the battery was fine, I then had to have the vehicle towed into the dealer. During this visit, they replaced the electrical control unit and it was there for a full week. In October 2014 and at 39,000 miles, the problem began again in that the car would not start intermittently and I had to go back to the dealer. They again replaced the electrical control unit which took another week. A few days later, the car would not start again for an entire day despite multiple attempts and I was stranded. Another tow and back to the dealer again, this time they stated it was also the electronic ignition switch (eis) and eletronic steering lock (esl) that were faulty and would need to be replaced at an approximate cost of $2000. I argued with them extensively on why all these parts were failing on a vehicle with such low mileage and they acknowledged this was a known problem on this model year. After two additional weeks in for service, the vehicle was just returned to me. Besides a known mechanical problem with these parts which mb has not addressed, this also represents potential safety hazards for drivers if you become stuck in a remote or dangerous area or in inclement weather when this happens and cannot call out for assistance. Based on this experience and the many similar reported at the forum, the NHTSA should coordinate a safety recall on these vehicles with mb. There has already been one recall on this model year related to electrical problems with the tailights which could catch fire, my vehicle also had this problem. Thank you.

- Bensalem, PA, USA

problem #102

Nov 242014


  • 53,900 miles
Car won't start. Key will turn but nothing happens. Tried jump starting the car but did not work. Brought to the dealership and was told that the steering lock is the problem and needs to be replaced.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #101

Nov 232014


  • 107,000 miles


My car was parked in my garage when I turned the key in the ignition and tried to start the car. There was nothing. I tried several times, turning the key back and forth, taking it out, turning it. Still nothing. I called aaa. They tested the battery. It was functioning. The aaa technician noted that the door locks and audio locking signals were working. I called, bill, my service tech at the mbz dealership and left a message for him to phone me. In the meantime, I called a local mechanic that had repaired other family vehicles. He said he would take a look at it. So I had it towed to his shop. Bill called me back late afternoon and asked me to try the spare key to see if it would start. I had my neighbor drive me to the shop where my car was and tried the spare key. Still nothing. I spoke with the family mechanic. He was not able to start the vehicle, nor had he serviced it. He believed that it was a problem with the eis and said the dealer needed to do the repair. I called bill back. Let him know the spare did not work and arranged to have my car towed to the dealership the next day. Later the next day, bill called me and stated that the issue was with the electronic ignition system. I needed to replace the steering lock. He could order the part. The cost would be $1,100. I asked what would cause the part to fail. He said that electronic systems, like his tv, just fail over time. I authorized the repair. I have always taken my car into this dealership for its regularly scheduled maintenance and was surprised that it would need such a critical and costly repair. I checked online and noted that this is a common problem with the 2008 mbz C300. I am surprised that the manufacturer has not notified vehicles owners and taken responsibility for this apparent defect.

- Gold Canyon, AZ, USA

problem #100

Nov 262012


  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes C300. The contact stated that the vehicle hesitated to start. The failure recurred multiple times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnosis. The technician diagnosed that the electronic ignition switch needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 80,000.

- Sayrezille, NJ, USA

problem #99

Nov 202014


  • 123,002 miles
I was driving listening to my music and all of a sudden smoke started coming from my monitor I then quickly turned my music off and pulled over and turned the car off. I now have a black screen and Mercedes said the whole unit will cost 2,000 dollars I said you are crazy this should be covered by Mercedes.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #98

Nov 192014


  • 30,896 miles
Car year: 2008 model: C300 4matic sport mileage at time of failure: 30,893 warranty: Expire on due to age of car, not mileage estimate cause: Manufacturing defect part effected: Eis (electronic ignition switch), esl (electronic steering lock), ECU estimated effected vins based on extensive online research and customer complaints: Thousands estimate cost of individual repairs per incident due to defect: $1,200. To $1,990. Estimate profit for dealerships: $100mm+ research keywords: Mercedes Benz, eis, esl, C300 source of 99% of complaints: & independently owned and operated mb dealership. "service campaign bulletin" campaign no. 2008020003, March 2008 recall: Not issued this is regards to a consistent and repeated know manufacturer defect in several years Mercedes Benz models, that the company, Mercedes Benz (mb) is aware of and has issued a "service campaign bulletin" campaign no. 2008020003, March 2008. Unfortunately mb claims that this issue only affects "approximately 10 vehicles". a 08 Mercedes C300 that I bought on 6/12/2013 with 9,025 miles when I bought it and now has about 30,896 miles today 11/20/2014. On 11/19/2014 my car stopped working. \ after researching online I noticed hundreds upon thousands of people are having the same issue with the 08 C300 knowing as the eis, esl, or the ignition failure and repairs up to $2000 in some cases. I will need to have my car towed to a mb dealership to have this fix. Thank you for your assistance, your time and consideration.

- Southampton, NY, USA

problem #97

Nov 082014

C300 6-cyl

  • 80,684 miles
Hello I am a owner of a 08 Mercedes C300 that I bought on 5/26/2014 with about 77700 miles when I bought it and now has about 80600 miles today 11/12/2014. On 11/8/2014 I was running my usual weekend errands ( buying groceries, paying bills, etc.) when I stopped to buying some things from a corner store and when I got back into my vehicle the car would not start when I put my key in. I notice there was not "clicking noise" from when I put my key in the ignition and I could not lower my windows but I still had power now knowing that it was not a power thing I know it had something to do with the ignition. After researching online I noticed hundreds upon thousands of people are having the same issue with the 08 C300 knowing as the eis, esl, or the ignition failure and repairs up to $2000 in some cases. I got my car towed to a mb dealership here where I live and they are not listening to what iam telling. I already told them what it wrong and they forced me basically to do the diagnostic ($130) and to get a key replacement ($300) so now I am in the whole by a total of $2000. I told then that these issues are happening with other customers and this is a common issue and they don't care at all. How is there not a recall for this? something has to be done about this customers cant be treated like this especially if you bought a car in great condition less than 6 months ago. Mercedes needs to own up to the mistake and do what is right for thousands of people for this issue hopefully there is a recall for this soon because right now I have to take a bus to work everyday instead of having a vehicle and O ya they didn't wanna give me a complementary vehicle for the meantime.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #96

Oct 252014


  • 30,000 miles
I drove to the store and when I got in my car to leave the ignition would not start when I put the key in and tried to turn it on. The steering wheel was locked and I could not change the gears of the car to neutral or any other gear. I had my car towed to the nearest Mercedes Benz dealership and they performed a full inspection and found that the steering is locked.

- Moreno Valley, CA, USA

problem #95

Oct 152014


  • 68,500 miles
Electronic steering lock malfunctioned. I'm now out $1100 because of a problem so common, a guy who hadn't even seen my car was able to guess the make, model, and year of my car just by telling him the issue. How has a recall not been made on this problem? car worked fine just two hours before it wouldn't start... unbelievable.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #94

Oct 112014

C300 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
This vehicle has had a trend among many people with their steering randomly defaulting. To get it fixed they quoted me 1300 dollars. Many people seem to have this problem right after their warranty expires. The person who contacted me said "there was a faulty steering problem". please correct me if I am wrong, but to me faulty means working badly or unreliably because of imperfections. I feel that this is a ridiculous thing to pay for especially knowing that this car is only 6 years old and I bought the car 6 months ago.I have never experienced something so vile and crooked from a company like this in my life. The car seemed to be working perfectly fine minutes before it decided to give out, 3 minutes to be exact. If I were to have been driving and the steering wheel where to have locked up on me on an interstate like that it could have been fatal. Someone needs to do something about this because it is getting out of control for a company to be able to scam customers like this.

- Del Rio, TX, USA

problem #93

Oct 102014

C300 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Walk home scenario due to vehicle not starting. Parked the car at work in the morning and in the evening going back home the car would not start. The ignition key turns but there was no cranking. Has an 8 month old battery. All electricals -like head lamp etc work. Checked all the fuses and they were ok. Googled on the internet and found that eis (electronic ignition switch) problem is a very common one on the C300's. could be a potential safety issue if the ignition switch doesnt work while the vehicle is running and vehicle stalls.

- Northville, MI, USA

problem #92

Sep 292014

C300 6-cyl

  • 80,053 miles
Parked car in the garage from the day before. Was leaving for work the next morning and it would not start. I called for a tow truck. When the driver arrived, he tested the battery and said that its not the problem. So I drove my other car to work. A co worker has the same model car stated that she had the same problem. Her car was towed to dealership and she was told it was an ignition issue. What a coincidence!! after work I went home to see if the car would not start. The first attempt...nothing...the second attempt it started right away. Someone has to look into this. Two same model cars with the same issues. Had it been a dire situation where I need to flee from injury, the car could possible not start. NHTSA could you please check into this more thoroughly.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

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