Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #86

Aug 122016


  • 75,250 miles


Electronic steering lock motor failure - car did not start and engine non-responsive. Only the dealer and Mercedes Benz authorized repair shops can fix this issue. Understand that this is a common problem. Vehicle was stationary.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #85

Aug 122016


  • 57,811 miles
This occurred in stationary position in my garage. Steering wheel locks up when parked with wheels forward / turning key to start engine does not work. Per the dealer, the electronic ignition lock anti-theft control unit is faulty. There was no indication of a problem prior. This could leave people stranded in dangerous situations.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #84

Aug 132016


  • 88,000 miles
I stopped at a kwik trip (2006 N spring St, beaver dam, wi 53916) to put gas in my 2008 Mercedes C300. Car would not start after filling up. My steering was locked and so was my shifting as I was stuck in park. After troubleshooting things such as the battery, fuses, etc I looked online and found out many people have been in the same situation. There are videos on youtube and forums with tens of thousands of views and numerous posts describing what seems to be a electronic steering lock (esl) or electronic ignition system (eis). I know Mercedes has acknowledged the problem and they have argued it is not a safety hazard but there are many instances where it can be a big safety hazard. Luckily it was summer here in Wisconsin where I was stuck at that gas station from 7:30pm - 1:00am. So essentially the problem has nothing to do with filling up with gasoline. It is just with the car suddenly not starting. It is a esl failure and it isn't only a safety hazard, Mercedes is charging 1300-1900 for what they acknowledge has been a known issue with certain models! I filed this thanks to a forum, as I mentioned earlier there is a lot of evidence of this on the web.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #83

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 #82

Jul 292016


  • 122,115 miles
Tried to start the car totally dead, steering column locked, towed it to the mechanic the mechanic states that he is trying to purchase the part from Mercedes. Mercedes states that the car might have to towed there because it is a safety issue and they have to handle the repair. Waiting to hear if Mercedes will sell the part 8/1/16. Obviously a recall issue how can the government help us with this obvious safety issue.

- Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #81

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 #80

Jul 192016


  • 87,000 miles


I went to the cinema as regular day, no rain nor hot. When I'm back after 2 hours, the car suddenly could not start without warnings or anything else. The light still good, battery is good, radio still on. So I went on research and there are tons of complaints about this C300 model on the steering lock problem. I don't know why Mercedes Benz let it happen, there are no fault from customers; they should recall to change the steer wheel, which easy cost you $1,600. I would not happy at all for Mercedes Benz quality control since it let the C300 has that default without any notices or attempt to alert consumers.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #79

Nov 112014


  • miles
Malfunctioning electronic steering lock control unit which seems to be a common defect for mb W204

- Schaumburg, IL, USA

problem #78

Jul 032016


  • 90,000 miles
08 Mercedes C300W -- went into H.E.B for 5 mins, car was stationed on flat surface. Returning to vehicle I inserted the key, all of a sudden the car would not start, no crank what so ever. Lights and radio worked, but the windows, steering and shifter would not move at all. Dealer says its the steering lock and lots of customers have had the same problem; unfortunately, Mercedes has not put a recall on it as of yet. Total cost $1,500 as of 07/05/2016. Part $575 diagnose $175 and labor $750 wow. I will never own another Mercedes. I now know how to respond to those who ask how I feel about Mercedes. Very disappointing.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #77

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 #76

Jun 042016


  • 65,000 miles


My wife was driving to a soccer tournament with the girls while I was out of town. She got gas in an area unfamiliar and went to start the car and the remove key from ignition appeared. She had to have the car towed and they were left stranded at a fast food restaurant in an unfamiliar and seedy area until her parents could come get them. They missed the tournament. When I got home I was able to identify the problem because of how common this is. Very frustrated at mb. This is my second C300 and it's funny because after the airbag recall I get calls from the dealer once a week to upgrade this car because supposedly they are worth good trade in right now.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #75

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 #74

Mar 062016


  • 92,956 miles
On 3/6/16 the vehicle was parked at gas station for a few minutes. Upon my return to the car, the car wouldn't start. Contacted road side assistance and they tried in vain to start car. Had to tow vehicle to repair shop. Next day, mechanic tested and ran diagnostics - found bad ezl steering lock assembly. Mileage was 92950 at time of failure. Cost $1200. Had to wait a week to get parts and for repair. Rental expense was an additional $200. Grand total - $1400.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #73

Mar 192016


  • 118,000 miles
Could not start my car while stationary. Put key in the ignition and got a message on the dash to remove key from ignition. No dash lights came on. There was no clicking or was just dead. The alarm system and headlight and interior lights were all working so it was not the battery. I called roadside and the gave me a jump, but confirmed that my battery was not the problem. My car had to be towed to the dealership on Saturday night after waiting for 5 hours. The dealership did not even conduct the diagnostics on the car until Tuesday afternoon. They determined that the steering lock was defective and needed to be replaced at the cost of $1000. They did not even offer to loan me a car, or ask if I needed transportation. So essentially they left their customer stranded! this is not the service that is expected from Mercedes! I have had cars (Acura and BMW) longer than my 2008 C300 with more miles which did not require a replacement of the steering lock. This is a common problem among all Mercedes and should be recalled by the manufacturer.

- Narberth, PA, USA

problem #72

Feb 142016


  • 63,000 miles
Electronic steering lock failure. Couldn't get car started. Only 63K miles. Why has this issue not being recalled yet?

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #71

Jan 182016


  • 50,000 miles
Cars steering column locked up while car was parked several times and after numerous attempts with the keys it eventually started up. But one day I parked it and it would not start up at all. Had to have the car towed to Mercedes service department and was informed that it was the eis and that it would cost 1300 dollars to repair. Did research online and noticed that this is a common occurrence for this vehicle years 2008-2009 and that this is more a manufacturing defect that should be covered under a Mercedes Benz recall rather than passing this cost off to the consumer. I talked this over with the service tech and he stated that he gets numerous vehicles in for this service and that he anticipates that this will eventually be a recall in the future but presently I would need to pay up front and wait for the recall to be generated by Mercedes. This is unfair that a defective part is being passed on to the customer, my vehicle only has 50,000 and it is apparent that this part goes bad on the vehicle just about the time the warranty expires. Mercedes needs to stand behind it's vehicle and satisfy its customers with a recall of this part.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #70

Jan 262016


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300. The contact stated that the remote key failed to start the vehicle. The brake pedal locked up, the steering wheel seized, and the gear shifter failed to come out of park. The instrument panel indicated to remove the key from the ignition switch. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Manville, LA, USA

problem #69

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 #68

Dec 262015


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

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #67

Dec 182015


  • 78,921 miles
I was driving my 2008 Mercedes 300C, parked the car for less than 10 minutes returned to leave and it would not start. The key locks and unlocks the doors, the lights come on, the radio turns on, and the dash lights up. You can insert and turn the key but the car will not start. The steering wheel is locked and the drive is locked in park. I tried jumping it and it did nothing I didn't think it was the battery but had it checked anyways. Now I'm stranded and had to call aaa and wait for 2 and 1/2 hours to have it towed on a flat bed by a 2nd tow driver(the 1st tow truck couldn't tow it because the car wouldn't shift in neutral) to the repair shop and was told that the eis and steering lock needed to be replaced and the cost was $1647.24. After researching eis replacement this is a common among among many models and Mercedes should be responsible for this.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?