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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
76,388 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #66

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 #65

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 #64

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 #63

Nov 272015


  • 87,000 miles


My C300 was functioning perfectly with no issues. When I came out to start the car, it would not recognize the key. I had it towed to a dealer and they informed me that it's the electronic steering lock fail. I looked this up and it is something very common with the 2009 model. There are several post on the internet asking for this to be a recall item. This is the second or third time. This needs a recall.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #62

Nov 072015


  • 95,000 miles
Electronic steering lock fail or eis the car will not start

- Pace,, FL, USA

problem #61

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 #60

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 #59

Nov 042015


  • 102,000 miles
Electronic steering wheel lock failed

- Seymour, TN, USA

problem #58

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 #57

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 #56

Sep 112015


  • 65,367 miles


Park this car on my daughter school after class turn off when tray to star engine nothing happens the steering lock doesn't work and shut down all car cost me 1600 plus two week rent a car because de part have to buy on germany believe it or not the part cost $350 two hrs dealer work $1250

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #55

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 #54

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 #53

Aug 202015


  • 65,000 miles
My car did not respond when I tried to start and the steering was locked and I could not fire the ignition. I towed the vehicle to the nearest Mercedes showroom and they said that the steering was locked and should be replaced which will cost me $1100. I have read couple of posts online and I see this is a known issue and it is really bad that Mercedes did not fix this and not even taking care of the vehicles which are effected.

- Blythewood, SC, USA

problem #52

Aug 202015


  • 78,000 miles
I have been driving my C300 for the last 3-4 years and have multiple issues ranging from steering pump failure to condensor issues and lighting issues including a recall for the tail lights. Yesterday after having parked my car for almost 4 days since I commute for work and take train, upon starting the vehicle there was no ignition. I could see the lights inside the car including the speedometer was visible and I can activate the locks with key, but engine would not start. Car is standing in park position so I cannot even move it to neutral. I called mbenz road side assistance and they diagnosed it is related to steering lock. Now that I got it towed, checked with mecedes Benz dealership I have to pay almost 1000$ just for this steering lock malfunction. This issue has been occurring to a lot of C300 2008 models. This should be seen as a serious issue as vehicle is totally non-functional. My work is effected and missed a couple business meetings.

- Philadelphia , PA, USA

problem #51

Dec 122014

C300 6-cyl

  • 64,890 miles
These parts pose a risk vehicle safety and may exist on other vehicles of this design and manufacture. Please review air bags, steering lock. Electrical main system. And tires used on this car.....updated 03/15/16 updated 03/17/16.

- Miami Gardens, FL, USA

problem #50

Jul 282015


  • 67,000 miles
The car cut off and then would not star tor go into gear after that. Tried using both keys with no response from the vehicle.

- Antioch, TN, USA

problem #49

Mar 032015


  • 91,319 miles
The key locks and unlocks the doors the lights come on and the dash lights up. You can insert and turn the key but the car will not start. The stering wheel is locked and it is stuck in park. I tried power jumping and it did nothing, I didn't think the battery was the problem but had it checked anyways. The battery checked out fine. I check the fuses that are associated with the starter and all was fine also. Only thing left was get it towed to the Mercedes dealership, found out that the steering wheel lock issue is a common thing with my car model, eis failure seems increasingly common on 2008 models for some reason.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #48

Jul 272015


  • 70,000 miles
Parked the car and went to work. Came back and the car couldn't start. Had to tow to the dealers place last night. Today, got a call from them saying the steering got locked and said tat it is very common on these cars. It will cost about $1200 to tear up steering and change the esl. By checking online Y'day evening and today, I came to know, this is not new and most of the 2008/2009 C300 have this issue. We asked dealers not to repair it as they are waiting on our word. I am planning to contact the Benz customer service first and see what they say. Then I will go an attorney and file the complaint. I do see that customer service did not even respond to the request. So, I do not want waste my time by calling them and getting upset. They have the details and contact info if they want to contact me. We buy Benz for reliability and that very point is not true looking at this issue and checking the online complaints. Luckily we do have a 3rd car that our son uses and I can leave Benz in garage until this issue gets fixed from Benz corporation.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #47

Jul 232015


  • 65,000 miles
Car will not start - did a search common fault steering wheel lock fail - Mercedes needs to recall fix for free

- Orlando, FL, USA

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