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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 1 of 9)

problem #171

Sep 052016


  • 81,000 miles


From a parked vehicle, I unlocked car and inserted key and turned to start position 2. no steering unlock, shift lever stuck in park and no engine start. Message "take your key from ignition" appeared as well when I opened door. Voltage from battery was 12.7 vdc. Had car towed to Mercedes Benz dealer and was diagnosed with eis failure (electronic ignition system). Cost for repair: $1,350.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #170

Aug 062016


  • 99,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock and ignition module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 99,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #169

Jun 012016


  • 50,000 miles
I took my C300 Mercedes Benz (with only 52,000 miles), to the Mercedes Benz of miami dealership to check the wiring in both head lamps, since the headlights were intermittently flickering on and off, while driving at night. This electrical problem was of serious concern for me as a 72 years' old senior, could be a dangerous safety issue, creating a life and death situation. Mercedes Benz dealership assistant service manager, juan obando, told me that the wiring to the headlamps was corroded and could not be replaced. I would have to buy two (2) complete new headlamp assembly units costing $1,890.- plus tax and labor installation. While driving at nights and unpredictably and intermittently losing head and low beam lights, is of grave safety concern to me and creates a hazard to pedestrians and other drivers on the roadway and highways.

- Hallandale Beach, FL, USA

problem #168

Jul 192016


  • 161,000 miles


Key is not recognized when inserted in the ignition. Therefore, car will not start. Dealership states that the electronic ignition switch (eis)is faulty. This problem is well documented through out the usa. The repair costs is estimated at $800-2,000 dollars. On July 19th, 2016, I ran several errands. Once at home, I tried to start my car. The ignition did not turn but battery life was strong. Dashboard read " remove key car will not start..."

- College Park, MD, USA

problem #167

Jul 222016


  • 93,121 miles
On July 21,2016 at 9am and I parked my car and went to work, 2 hours later came back and try to start the car, did not start. Car door locks and trunk locks open and close but when I turn the ignition on, no response, no display on instrument panel around speedometer gauges. No hissing or cranking or beeping noise also. Steering column was also locked up and inoperable.about 2 years ago command screen with lcd display that controls all functions smoked a little and was shut down display. Going to the last weeks problem steering column has locked me out and also eis that is the communicator from ignition switch and alternator or started do not function also. I happened to see more than hundreds of car with the same year group and model has smiliar car mileage was 93121. I would like make this as a manufacturing problem of unreliability of the parts and the manufacturer let it roll off assembly line with out doing diligent testing of the parts involved from the suppliers for reliablity and durability and in turn cost the consumers $2000-3000 of unnecessary expense/troubleshoot and fix/ than you very much for your help.

- Monroe, NJ, USA

problem #166

Jul 232016


  • 39,940 miles
Electronic ignition switch (eis) has failed twice! in 6 weeks and now the electronic steering lock must also be replaced. There is a concern that the esl may malfunction and lock steering while driving. This issue appears to be wide spread in 2008 and 2009 Mercedes C300 vehicles. No support from Mercedes after calls to NJ headquarters.

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #165

Jun 292016


  • 75,000 miles


Parked vechile to make a quick stop when I returned vechile will not start. Got a jump and it was confirmed it was not the battery car was only at 75000 miles

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #164

Jun 242016


  • 0 miles
Faulty ignition switch. Hundreds of forums online prove that with the same exact problem in C - class cars and others from Mercedes Benz their ignition switches prove to be faulty. Car because automatically stuck in park and requires thousands to fix the issue. Car ran fine to work and leaving work I was left in the dark and late hours having to get it towed. Which could not be towed due to it being stuck in park. I've been quoted $1500 to fix the problem and it appears this is common for these vehicles. Completely unacceptable. The nearest dealer to fix the issue was over 20 miles away.

- Biddeford, ME, USA

problem #163

Jun 242016


  • miles
Front driver seat belt make the airbag light come on and off when driving on the dash. Car will not start shortage that kill the battier this is my second battier in a week.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #162

Jun 032016


  • 100,000 miles
My car won't start, read online hundreds of others cars that have had the same problem for 2008 4matic C300. Why is this not a recall.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #161

May 172016


  • miles


Navigation screen started flickering on and off and then smoke started coming from it. There is an electrical issue with the radio/ navigation. If there is smoke then there is wires burning which can cause a fire.

- Sandy Springs, GA, USA

problem #160

May 102016


  • miles
Steering column lock failure. This disabled the ignition not allowing the car to start. From a little reasearch on the internet I found this is a common problem on many of their vehicles. This left me completely stranded and Mercedes denied any knowledge of the issue although it is easy to find and diagnose with a few minutes on the internet. There is also a eis issue but mine is the electronic steering lock motor causing the problem. Mercedes needs to recall these and make it right. Thay could strand people in a bad situation. My car ran fine bit would not restart. All lock and unlock functions worked. I had a message on the dash to remove key. It had no accessory turn on or crank function.

- Pendleton, IN, USA

problem #159

Apr 092016


  • 92,000 miles
Electronic steering lock - known defect - car doesn't start no recall issued.

- Oak Park, CA, USA

problem #158

Mar 292016


  • 140,000 miles
Vehicle will not start. It is a common problem and it has left me stranded for several weeks. I get "remove key from ignition" when either key is placed in the ignition. This problem is consistent with other C300 owners around the country. When I told my service advisor at the dealership where I purchased the vehicle, J was told it could range from $475 to over $2000. The keys and the ignition system are the culprit and Mercedes has yet to issue a recall for this.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #157

Mar 072016


  • 100,747 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that after the driver driving the vehicle, it was powered off but failed to restart without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was advised to have the vehicle diagnosed by a dealer. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic ignition switch and the ignition starter switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 100,747. The VIN was not available.

- Hobe Sound, FL, USA

problem #156

Feb 182016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electric lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Greenwood, LA, USA

problem #155

Jan 222016


  • miles
The C-class has a surmountable amount of complaints pertaining to the ignition switch and steering lock. Both of which can go out at anytime, including while driving and being stranded in desolate locations without warning. I've had to replace both parts and the cost is unfair to the consumer because there is obviously a defect that is not being acknowledged. Both instances, I parked my vehicle, went into a business establishment, returned to my vehicle to leave and found myself stranded. Thank god, I was in safe locations but what if I wasn't. these cars are not reliable and these problems need to be fixed immediately. Also, Mercedes is not sure if this can go out while the vehicle is in motion which is even mor scarier.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #154

Dec 262015


  • 68,000 miles
My 2008 C300 with only 68,000 decided to die with no warning. I drove the car to the dealership had a taillight fixed then parked the car. The next day the car wouldn't turn on. All the lighting in the dash turns on but I'm getting a notification saying remove key from ignition. This shouldn't be happening! I have done some research online and am getting an idea that is is the eis. This system is designed to be operated multiple times a day, it shouldn't be failing.

- Clovis, NM, USA

problem #153

Dec 262015


  • miles
Car will not start, failure in the electrical steering system

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #152

Dec 212015


  • 65,000 miles
Waking up to go to work, I attempted to start my car. I have have no problems with the vehicle since I purchased it a year ago, and with only 65K miles I didnt expect any problems. Since im not a car guy I got it towed since it wouldnt start. No ticking no nothing, and no warning at all. The mechanic said the battery was in good order but it was the eis that was the problem. Looks to be a major concern and a common problem for other owners. What a way to start the week of christmas in Texas with 70 degree weather

- Dallas, TX, USA

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