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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,908 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 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #32

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 #31

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 #30

Nov 142014

C300 4WD 6-cyl

  • 217,000 miles
C300 2008 with 217,000 miles. Went to start car and it would not turn over. Power everywhere but the engine. Towed to dealership for diagnosis. Steering locked and had to be replaced. Same complaint as hundreds of others on this site and many more read online at various sites. Should be a recall from Mercedes. Over $1,500 in repair costs. Also problems with front lights same as rear lights that are on recall. Mercedes would not repair the front lights and wanted to charge over $700 to fix one light. With 217K miles and barely any other repairs I suppose I should be happy but this seems to be a recurring complaint from so many it is obviously an issue.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #29

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 #28

Oct 272014


  • 100,005 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start and the steering seized. The contact stated that the failure recurred multiples. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the steering wheel lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 100,005.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #27

Nov 042014

C300 6-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
Parked in the garage at night in the morning it would not start, steering locked, transmission locked and the worse the tires were half turned, after 3 hours we were able to get it out and tow it to mbz dealer, after 2 days diagnosed as ignition failure and steering locked, it took 5 days to get repaired at a $1000, from day one this car only serviced by mbz dealer and I see so many same complaints by owners and cannot believe mbz wont do anything about this issue, now I'm kind of scarred if it happened again while I'm driving.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #26

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 #25

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 #24

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 #23

Sep 092014

C300 6-cyl

  • miles
I parked & locked my car walked away from it for 10 mins, when I cam back I was able to unlock the car the side mirror folded out. When I placed the key in the ignition the key turned but the engine did not start nor could I take the gear out of park. The dash had a message stating remove key from ignition. Thinking that the battery was dead I had the battery replace. I took it to a mechanic and was told that the problem was with the ignition switch & steering lock assembly.

- Hayward, CA, USA

problem #22

Sep 012014


  • 110,000 miles


Mercedes electronic steering lock (esl) failed. Car would not start due to the key not being recognized. I was able to close and open the doors, lights came on, but would not start. Battery was tested was is fine. Starter was fine. All fuses were fine. Towed to Mercedes and the esl is being changed at the cost of $1200. The automobile is still at the dealership one week later. Heard a lot of similar complaints online about this particular failure with the same models. I have spoken to Mercedes Benz of America in montvale NJ, but they insist since the auto is past the warranty period they cannot help me financially with the repairs, there should be a recall as Mercedes is aware of this and is not owning up to their mistake. There are many similar experiences and complaints from other owners with the C300 2008, 2009, and 2010 models. I knew what the mechanical/electrical issue was from reading the varied stories online and experiences from other owners, before it was diagnosed and looked at from the Mercedes dealership.

- Stamford , CT, USA

problem #21

Sep 072014

C300 6-cyl

  • 85,056 miles
Mercedes electronic steering lock (esl) failed. Car would not start due to the key not being recognized. Everything else in the car works electronically, radio, windows, lights, etc. Battery was tested was is fine. Starter was fine. All fuses were fine. Towed to Mercedes and had esl changed for more than a thousand dollars. Heard a lot of similar complaints online about this particular failure with same models. This should be a recall as Mercedes is aware of this and is not owning up to their mistake.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #20

Aug 312014


  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated the vehicle failed to start and no warning sensors illuminated. The vehicle was towed to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the electronic steering lock failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 101,000.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #19

Sep 022014


  • 51,918 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes C300. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The technician stated that the steering wheel lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available.the approximate failure mileage was 51,918.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

problem #18

Aug 292014


  • 112,324 miles
Parked by car as usual, came out an hour later and my car wouldn't start. The key fob locks and unlocks the door and the lights still come on but when I put the key in the ignition and turn the key the car won't start. The road side service technician stated the key fob is not being recognized and that is the reason the car won't start.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #17

Aug 222014

C300 6-cyl

  • 97,500 miles
Eis steering failure, car unable to start! this happened less that a month after bringing my car in for expensive dealership service and everything checked out! buyer beware!

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #16

Aug 082014

C300 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Car would not start morning of 8/8. aaa was called. Tow truck driver determined it was not the battery and towed the car to mb service. Mercedes diagnosed the following issues with my 2008 C300 with 55K miles: Replace electrical ignition switch, $561 for the part. Replace electronic steering lock, $384 for the part. Reprogram both keys, $595. Labor for all of the above, tbd, as my car is still with Mercedes as I file this complaint with NHTSA on 8/15. These are obviously major and ongoing issues experienced by many C300 owners, and Mercedes is very well aware of the problem. They have simply found a great way to extort money from their customers, rather than doing the right thing and recalling these faulty parts before someone really gets hurt.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #15

Jun 052013


  • 66,000 miles
Many people have complained about the same issue in many forums. I wonder if someone has to be injured or killed (if not already) before something is done. The car arbitrarily and without notice dies and will not restart. It leaves the driver completely vulnerable, wherever it occurs. This is what happened in my situation. Nothing worked, I had to call, to be told that this is a battery issue. It was not, as determined by the tow truck company and the dealership, after the car was towed to them. Is this ever going to be investigated and recalled before further damage and/or injury occurs ?

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #14

Aug 082014

C300 6-cyl

  • 69,069 miles
Car would not start or shift gears. Battery was found to be fully charged. Gears and steering completely locked out. No dash board lighting. Mercedes Benz dispatched but could not jump start. Towing only after forcing cover off gear shifter and overriding gears to put vehicle in neutral. 69K miles.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #13

Aug 012014


  • 112,000 miles
Car would not start. Drove vehicle to work and worked perfectly but later that morning when I tried to turn on the vehicle nothing would happen when I attempted to turn it on. The lights and locks worked. Road side assistance attempted to jump vehicle but was told battery was not the issue. Had vehicle towed to dealership. Was told steering lock needs to be replaced. Seems this is a typical problem for this model year.

- Dallas, TX, USA

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