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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
106,302 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.

2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #45

Sep 122016

E320

  • 67,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I own a 2003 E320 Mercedes Benz with 67,000 miles. I took my car to a dealership and was told my sbc unit needs to be replaced. I was also told that the warranty on this component was extended but is now outside the extended warranty period. Why was not covered by a recall rather than just an extended warranty? this seems to indicate Mercedes is acknowledging a faulty component. This appears to potentially affect safety so I would hope Mercedes would be eager to replace the sbcs.

- Moraga, CA, USA

problem #44

Sep 012016

E320

  • 122,000 miles
I been driving Mercedes for passed 20 years but never experienced scary moment like this. Thursday 09/01/16 on my way home from work out of nowhere red brake warning light lid up my whole dash with big stop sign in the middle, flashing with esp and ABS saying visit workshop and I lost 90% of braking power.luckily, it happened on open road with cars far ahead of me. Pulled aside and after few restarts warning went off and I made it safely home without towing service, keeping my left foot close to emergency brake pedal. Google search revealed to my surprise very common problem with Bosch sbc units installed in this model. Is this even possible for one of the top names in the world to limit their service cycle to 300,000 brake pedal applications" are some of the top engineers involved out of their mind? Mercedes, is it safe to drive this car in highway speeds with two kids in it? would one of the engineers like to take my car on the autobahn now to proof their point? I believe the counter is up with 13 years and 122K miles of service because all other brake components checked fine. Unbelievable??? where is the safety recall??? ended in 10 years??" what a shame for both Mercedes and Bosch names.

- Lake Zurich, IL, USA

problem #43

Sep 052016

E320

  • 161,000 miles
ABS brake system failure. While operating the vehicle a warning light blinks in the cluster panel. Then the vehicle loses all braking power. On Monday September 5th, I was driving on the highway, 110th South bound 1 mile South from downtown los angeles, suddenly a warning light appear with the following message ¿brakes defective stop vehicle¿ the cars begins to downshift and it slows down. However the brake does not work in full. It appears that the brake works enough to come to stop after the vehicle has downshifted to the lowest gear. All braking ability is disable. After I research the code and narrow to the problem that I had, I noticed that merecedes Benz had extended the warranty for the ABS pump for these models for 10 years, since my vehicle is 2003 the warranty had expired on 2013. This is an electronic braking system so if an electric failure occurs there is no way to stop the vehicle. There is no manual brake power other than the emergency brake in order to stop this vehicle.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #42

Jul 282016

E320

  • 130,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes-Benz E320. While driving 30 mph down an incline, a "brakes are defective" message appeared. The contact depressed the brake pedal, but the vehicle did not stop. The contact had to shift into neutral and apply the emergency brake lever to get the vehicle to come to a complete halt. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the sensatronic module for the brake system needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and stated that the failure was previously repaired per a voluntary recall. The failure mileage was 130,000.

- Baldwinsville, NY, USA

problem #41

Jul 122016

E320

  • 174,000 miles
Recently on today 7-12-16 at 174,000 miles the display on my 2003 E320 4S Mercedes Benz all of a suddenly displayed an illuminated message in bright white : "brake" service brake visit workshop. My vehicle was in motion on a busy major highway when the hydraulic brake system exhibited this message. Shortly prior to this messaging, I notice my brakes were more hard to apply pressure, . I am glad I wasn't driving fast, this could have been a serious tragedy to myself as well as those others on the expressway just a as I was. 2. problem with my gas tank after I fill the tank, the gas fumes become so intense after parking this vehicle inside my garage. I didn't know there were a recall. Is this fuel safety hazard recall still in effect" if so, whom do I contact to have it repaired at no cost to me the owner? 3. 4 months prior in March 2016 I incurred a problem with the coolant fluid leaking into the transmission resulting in a major monetary expense out of my pockets above $5000. Can this be covered by the manufactuer so I may be able to be reimbursed"

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #40

Jun 252016

E320

  • miles
Sbc brake unit which control the brakes just failed when driving on highway, very limited braking, very scary when you are driving 70mph. I have read that this is major issue with Mercedes Benz, some kind of penalty should be assessed to them because this is a dangerous situation. It just cost me $2380.73 to get my car fixed and I understand this is a problem that will keep happening over and over again. Hopefully it's a situation that the ntsb can look into about this defected unit from Mercedes Benz. Thank you.

- Somerset, NJ, USA

problem #39

Apr 122016

E320

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The sbc unit for the brake system is bound to fail there was a 10 year recall on this but not all vehicle where done now Mercedes attitude is oh well bad luck pay us and we will fix our faulty part

- Hot Springs, AR, USA

problem #38

Mar 202016

E320

  • 108,000 miles
Sbc pump went out in the middle of the night, on a lonely, dark two lane road without any notice that there was a brake issue, approximately 200+ miles from my home. Message indicator in car started beeping and an emergency message displayed stating brake malfunction, stop vehicle. Car hardly any brake power and could not be driven over 35 mph. Pulled over and now car would not come out of park. Had to wait 3 hours for a tow truck! luckily I did not have my family with me of which includes small children!

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #37

Jan 222016

E320

  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes-Benz E320. While driving at various speeds and attempting to depress the brake pedal, the brakes failed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the hydraulic pump failed and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 144,000.

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #36

Dec 232015

E320

  • 100,000 miles
The sbc brake unit failed while I was on vacation. The rest of the brake system works fine. Mercedes recalled this brake system and knew it was unsafe, however now they will not replace the part unless I pay and the cost is $2,500 per the dealer. Without it the car is garbage. It is an electronic braking system.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #35

Nov 152015

E320

  • 120,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Brakes just when out on it and they have a recall but is good for just 10 they need to be respons for this problem making cars with no brakes is a deith wish I hope you guys do something about it is not safe at all

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #34

Oct 062015

E320

  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes Benz E320. While parked, the vehicle's "service brakes-visit workshop" light illuminated. The warning light illuminated intermittently. The contact also stated that there was an abnormal noise coming from the engine. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #33

Sep 082015

E320

  • 60,000 miles
I was traveling on a secondary road at a speed of 30mph when the mfd turned red, started beeping and stated brake failure, stop driving. When I attempted to stop, the brake pedal went to the floor and the transmission automatically down shifted. After pulling the car to the side of the road, I put the transmission in park where it locked in place. After fifteen minutes the sbc reset itself and the transmission unlocked. The vehicle was removed to the Mercedes dealer where I purchased it. The Mercedes tech stated that the sbc needs to be replaced. I was told there was a 10 year warranty on the sbc unit, but it expired in June 2013. I am the original owner and Mercedes Benz usa stated that they did not notify the owners of the warranty extension or of the problems with the sbc. The cost to replace the sbc is $2,000.

- North Massapequa, NY, USA

problem #32

Aug 122015

E320

  • 130,000 miles
When I'm stoping the car, the breaks did not work as it should, and the stop distance increased by 50% !! on August 10th I was in the on the way between charlotte and nashville, in the mountains curves way down, I used the breaks, the car almost got out of control.... I felt like the front and rear breaks don't do any synchronization to stop the car, its making the car losing control on the curves..... I red on this issue on internet I found that Mercedes has used a new breaking system for this car and stop installing this system it in 2006! the reason why they stop using this because it 100% electronic breaks system, it called sbc (sensotronic brake control ) when this threshold is reached the brake system defaults to non power assisted hydraulic mode to the front wheels only. This occurs without any prior warning and results in increased stopping distance. I have sent a copy of the Mercedes service bulletin S142.46-P-0012A which addresses this issue. Mercedes stopped installing this system in 2006. At the very least, Mercedes should issue a mandatory recall to interrogate these vehicles with star das to determine how close to the service threshold the sbc unit is and replace them at the dealer's expense. This is a major safety issue that needs to be addressed.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #31

Jun 132015

E320

  • miles
Vehicle presented with red light indicating to take vehicle to workshop in red. Braking was extremely difficult, SRS system stalled the vehicle, emergency mode was activited, we were unable, at first to turn on the ignition switch. The vehicle operated as if it was paralyzed. We finally got the vehicle to run and reset the code by turning the steering wheel. The vehicle is very dangerous to drive if you are not prepared for longer stopping distances, thankfully my husband was able to get the vehicle to the dealership. I found myself not strong enough to press on the brake pedal for adequate braking distance. This car left me with no brakes at all driving with children in the car. This I'd not safe!

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #30

Nov 222014

E320

  • 125,000 miles
Vehicle presented with red light indicating to take vehicle to workshop in red. Braking was extremely difficult, SRS system stalled the vehicle, emergency mode was activited, we were unable, at first to turn on the ignition switch. The vehicle operated as if it was paralyzed. We finally got the vehicle to run and turned vehicle into mb dealership. We were informed that the sbc unit was in need of replacement, we were beset with $1,800 repair. The vehicle is very dangerous to drive if you are not prepared for longer stopping distances, thankfully my husband was able to get the vehicle to the dealership. I found myself not strong enough to press on the brake pedal for adequate braking distance. Fuel: Upon fueling vehicle, the fuel handle will stop and immense amounts of fuel will spurt out from fuel tank. There is also a smell of gas/fuel in the cabin after fill up. This creates a huge spill and notification to attendant. Takes up a great amount of time to fill up tank. Surprisingly we haven't been charged for fuel spills. SRS: Light on for safety response system, shortly after visit at mb dealership. Have not taken vehicle to mb dealership for fear of another expensive repair.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #29

Apr 092015

E320 6-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
This vehicle is equipped with sensotronic brake control that has a service threshold. When this threshold is reached the brake system defaults to non power assisted hydraulic mode to the front wheels only. This occurs without any prior warning and results in increased stopping distance. I do believe that this issue is relayed in the Mercedes service bulletin S142.46-P-0012A which addresses this issue. Mercedes stopped installing this system in 2006.I purchased the vehicle in December of 2007 as a used vehicle with aprox. 40,000 miles. I have not been sent anything from mbenz notifying of this issue.vehicle put in shop 4-16-20015 at Mercedes. Diagnosis was faulty sbc pump system at a cost for repair $2400. At the very least, Mercedes should issue a mandatory recall to interrogate these vehicles with star das to determine how close to the service threshold the sbc unit is and replace them at the dealer's expense. This is a major safety issue that needs to be addressed.lastly, passenger air bag light has been on since shortly after purchasing the vehicle. Known as the SRS system.this issue is spelled out as a major safety concern in Mercedes E class operator's manual, told by Mercedes service dept, this is a $800 bill to have repaired. Question, , does something tragic have to happen before, Mercedes Benz live up to their obligation of keeping those who purchase their vehicle, ,,,,safe.

- Joliet, IL, USA

problem #28

Jan 012015

E320

  • 153,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes Benz E320. The contact stated that the brake warning indicator illuminated continuously without the ignition being turned to the on position. The failure recurred continuously. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the sbc united needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 153,000.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #27

Feb 032015

E320

  • 120,000 miles
This vehicle is equipped with sensotronic brake control that has a service threshold. When this threshold is reached the brake system defaults to non power assisted hydraulic mode to the front wheels only. This occurs without any prior warning and results in increased stopping distance. I have sent a copy of the Mercedes service bulletin S142.46-P-0012A which addresses this issue. Mercedes stopped installing this system in 2006. At the very least, Mercedes should issue a mandatory recall to interrogate these vehicles with star das to determine how close to the service threshold the sbc unit is and replace them at the dealer's expense. This is a major safety issue that needs to be addressed.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #26

Feb 012015

E320 6-cyl

  • 93,580 miles
I was driving down a side road by a college in lowell MA and my dash board lite up and starting beeping. Said brake failure sort stopping distance, visit work shop asap. I tried to stop the car but it was very hard stopping it, I honked the horn because I was coming up on a school crossing( thank god) they all moved out of the way because I would have ran over them all. I got the car stopped and shut it off, police over saw the whole thing and pulled up behind me and I explained what happened, we went to go start the car up and all the light where off and the car seemed fine, there was no way I was taking that chance again so I called a tow truck and had it towed to my garage, mechanic just called me and said nothing was stored in the computer system and the brakes are working fine now. He checked on line to see if there where any other complaint about this issue and informed there a lot of problem from Mercedes Benz owners on this issue. I will not drive this car again, I could have killed all those people in the walk way because of this problem that Mercedes is aware of. Please help ! I just looked up the same information on google and there are hundred of complaint about the same issue, my brakes are new. It is a electrical problem that they are aware of.

- Nashua, NH, USA

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