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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,301 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 042013

E320 6-cyl

  • 42,039 miles


On June 6, 2013, while braking on approaching intersection, brakes failed and transmission locked. Mercedes customer assistance towed vehicle to dealer, M-B greenway, houston, tx, where the service advisor explained that the pressure reservoir of the sensotronic brake unit had failed and must be replaced at a cost of $1,350. I complained that the sbc unit was the subject of NHTSA safety recall 05V0133 and two mbusa recall campaigns (2005070007 and 2005110001) resulting in the extension of the original warranty to 10 years with no mileage limitation. The dealer refused to honor the warranty or replace the entire sbc unit, because the electronic diagnostic code required by mb usa, llc for a dealer to file a warranty claim under the NHTSA 05V033 campaign did not appear on the diagnostic equipment. I paid the disputed $1,350 charge and drove the car about 6 miles on June 6, 2013, and the brakes again failed and the transmission locked. Mercedes customer assistance towed it back to M-B greenweay, where the service stated the entire sbc unit had failed and must be replaced at a cost of $2,030. I complained that the replacement was mandated at no cost by NHTSA 05V0133, but she said mb usa llc would allow the dealer to honor the sbc warranty because the car was "driven out of the shop." She also refused to credit the $1,350 charge I paid for the sbc pressure reservoir replacement, but offered to "discount" the replacement of the entire sbc unit to "$1,799."

- Houston , TX, USA

problem #3

Apr 022013

E320 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Car is used only for work and mostly highway driving for appointments. At 70,000 miles the transmission went out on the E320. An investigation reveled that a valve had failed in the radiator causing coolant from the engine to mix in with the transmission fluid which in turn burnt out parts in the transmission. Also there is hesitation when stepping on the gas pedal the car sometimes sputters to shut off when stopping.

- York, PA, USA

problem #2

Mar 112008

E320 6-cyl

  • miles
My 2003 Mercedes E320 had less than 40,000 miles when the transmission and struts started to present problems. The dealer was able to make repairs under warranty. Now at 78,000 miles, I'm being told that I need to replace the parking prawns due a leak in the back of the transmission. The bushing on the left side also needs to be replaced. I just had a bushing replaced about 6 months ago, which was a bit pricey. When they replaced one of the bushings under warranty a few years ago, they should have replaced all of them. I have encountered numerous with this car. I purchased it with only 37 miles on it in September 2003, but replacement of a number of parts while under warranty now leads me to believe that this car was a lemon from the beginning. Is it normal to have the air pump replaced at 73,000 miles? again, that was a pricey repair -- $1100.

- Lanham, MD, USA

problem #1

Feb 012004

E320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,164 miles
I purchased a Mercedes-Benz E320 in June 2003 and have continued to have an issue involving uncontrolled acceleration and speed "surges" since September 2003. The condition seems to be more prevalent when the vehicle is approaching low speeds or in a downhill plane the dealership has attempted to repair the vehicle during five (5) service appointments and has acknowledged they are aware of the uncontrolled power, or acceleration, fluctuations. They have attempted to repair the vehicle using M-B advice; without success. M-B representatives have acknowledged this condition exists as well; but, that it is not a "warrantable defect." This "surging" has further developed into "bucking" on several occcasions causing loss of control of the vehicle. This condition appears to be similar to other complaints filed with the NHTSA regarding the E320 where the torque converter lock up is described. I do believe it is a safety hazard due to the inability to control the power / speed fluctuations of the vehicle.

- Plano, TX, USA

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