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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,991 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.

2004 Mercedes-Benz E320 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Mercedes-Benz E320 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Jun 102016

E320

  • 65,000 miles

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

Gas smell all the time, main computer keeps on and drains battery, brakes lights

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #23

Oct 052016

E320

  • 133,000 miles
I am an owner of a 2004 Mercedes Benz E320 that I have bought 3 years ago in November. When I purchased the vehicle I elected to also buy a 3 year 36K warranty. Over the past 3 year I have had no to very little trouble with the vehicle and have maintained a very positive and optimistic attitude towards the vehicle never having to utilize the warranty. Well until last week... I was driving the vehicle on the interstate when suddenly I lost all braking power out of nowhere. I was petrified and very scared for myself and everyone in the vehicle, only getting a "reduced braking power" notice on the dash after brake loss. Recollecting that if this occurred in heavier traffic we could have been seriously injured and or killed in an accident due to the reaction of the sbc unit that failed in the vehicle. Come to find out my vehicle had a recall for this specific failed unit and Mercedes Benz offered a 10 year 150K mile warranty to fix this issue in the vehicle. Unfortunately by the time that I had purchased the vehicle, had I know this was an issue, I would have only had a short period of time for the unit to fail before I could have taken advantage of this "warranty".. but I was unaware of this issue and honestly would have not purchased the vehicle if I would have known. I commuted with this vehicle 60 miles a day for the last year and even drove it to California over the summer as a family trip, with no negative thoughts or malfunctions. I cannot say that I can drive this vehicle in confidence any longer with the knowledge that I have now of the sbc braking units. My vehicle warranty is no longer valid because my vehicle exceeded mileage..this issue should be covered by Mercedes I should not be held liable for correcting this issue. This is a major saftey issue and is not being address appropriately.

- Kent, WA, USA

problem #22

Feb 042016

E320

  • 100,000 miles
Takata recall. The brake light on dashboard came on few months ago. We had replaced brake pads etc, earlier and was told the sbc needed to be replaced. I went to 2 dealers in my area and they both stated it is not under warranty. I have read many comments about the faulty design from mbenz and do not understand why they do not want to replace it at their cost. Are they waiting for lawyers to sue for a fatal crash" I do not want to be the one dying nor anyone in my family. The car has only 106,331 miles. Can you help"

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #21

Jul 152016

E320

  • 197,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2004 Mercedes-Benz E320. The contact stated that the brake pedal was depressed and traveled close to the floorboard. The contact stated that the brake pedal required excessive force to stop the vehicle. In addition, the "brake longer distance visit workshop" warning message appeared in red on the instrument panel. The contact was concerned that the failure could result in a fatal crash. The failure occurred every time the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the sbc hydraulic unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The dealer offered to cover ten percent of the cost, but the offer was declined. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign numbers: 05V133000 (service brakes, hydraulic) and 04V296000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The contact stated that a recall remedy could not be performed unless the vehicle received a service not related to a recall, which was why the manufacturer's recall remedy for the fuel tank was not performed. The contact felt that the failure occurred due to high mileage. The manufacturer stated that there was an extended warranty related to the failure that expired. The failure mileage was 197,000. The VIN was not available.

- Oceanside, CA, USA

problem #20

Aug 202016

E320

  • 144,514 miles
While driving on the freeway at around 60 mph my instrument message display suddenly turned red, started beeping continuously, and displayed the message "stop break defective stop vehicle". the car had zero breaks, pumping them did no good, and I had to immediately put on my hazards, downshift to slow the car, and pull off the freeway and park using the emergency break to avoid a potentially life threatening accident. While waiting for help I turned the car back on after 15 minutes and everything appeared to be working fine. My car is serviced regularly and very well maintained and it gave no indication of any break problems prior to this failure. It had a full break job at the Mercedes Benz dealer less then 30K miles ago and was serviced for another issue in the last 1.5 years. At no time were my breaks mentioned as needing maintenance. Mercedes Benz is aware of this issue, see "2004 Mercedes Benz E class brake foundation components tsb (bulletin sb-090930)" where it is mentioned. This is a serious life threatening issue that because of the design of the break system is completely unpredictable. My car is not within the 10 year warranty covered in the tsb referenced above. This sbc breaking system should have never been permitted on the road. Mercedes Benz realized the mistake and discontinued the use of it after 3 years due to all of the issues. Any car with this system is a ticking time bomb that could put any number of lives at risk with absolutely no warning. At least with a standard break system you have some chance of stopping the car.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #19

May 052016

E320

  • 79,564 miles
I was pulling out of a drive way and brakes completely failed with no warning. I could not change gears or stop. I only came to a stop when the car finally rolled to a stop. This was unbelievable terrifying. I had car towed to nearest Mercedes mechanic. I paid the $1394 and Mercedes Benz customer services says I have no recourse because I am out of the 10 year warranty. I could have been killed as car pulled out blindly onto the city street. This happened late at night with no warning. I am still shaken up by how suddenly this happened on a vehicle that I once held in such high esteem.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #18

Jan 012013

E320

  • 70,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2004 Mercedes-Benz E320. While driving approximately 30 mph, the brake pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to stop and all the warning lights on the instrument panel illuminated. In addition, an error message displayed and informed the contact to immediately stop the vehicle. The brake pedal was depressed to the floorboard, but failed to respond. As a result, the contact crashed into the curb, which caused the vehicle to stop. The vehicle was towed. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the computer system related to the brakes was reprogrammed. The failure recurred. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the sbc system failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Seaford, NY, USA

problem #17

Aug 042016

E320

  • 80,000 miles
Merecedes Benz usa customer service would not honor NHTSA campaign 04V296000 (sbc brake pump failure) claiming failure was beyond the limit of the campaign. Car was always serviced at Mercedes dealership however this part was never replaced. Due knowledge of potential defect in the brake unit, I have requested the part be replaced at Mercedes expense which has been denied. I was told my car is unsafe to drive and the repair is quoted at $2200

- Mineola, NY, USA

problem #16

Jul 092016

E320

  • 39,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mercedes-Benz E320. While driving approximately 20 mph, the brake pedal was applied and failed without warning. The vehicle was pulled over into a parking lot and the emergency brake was applied to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, but was not diagnosed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that there was a brake failure the sbc/electro hydraulic brake system component, which needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 39,000.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 042016

E320

  • 180 miles
Berberian stockton dealer wants $2,400 to fix the sbc (sensotronic brake control) $740 to fix front brakes. The rep ralph carrasco said the dealership cannot comply with the remedy for recalls as the time period for recalls has expired. Really" repair of faulty brakes expire? I was waiting for the light to turn green when the bright red message "stop! brakes unsafe stop the car immediately" [ can't recall exact verbatim]. to stop the car because the brakes had become unsafe to drive.the car froze up, restarts but will not shift gear to drive. Why does mb sell outageously expensive but defective cars? what about consumer protection law" NHTSA (national highway traffic safety) published on 4/05/2005 this sbc issue as Mercedes-Benz recall no. 2004 050014. The recall began on October 21, 2004. Owners should contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372. NHTSA summarized the recall on certain vehicles, the electronic monitoring system of the sensotronic brake control (sbc) is designed to monitor the pressure gradient within the high pressure line of the brake system. If an unacceptable pressure gradient is detected, the system will switch, as it is designed to do, into the hydraulic function mode. Hazard: If vehicles are not routinely serviced and have extremely high mileage combined with a high number of brake actuations, or frequency, the pump motor of the sbc may run out of permissible tolerances, thereby triggering the hydraulic function mode.customers may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (tty 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 122016

E320

  • 10 miles

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

The sbs sytem has gone out when there was a recall on the item. Sbs sytem is not good. Now I'a out to 2000 for a recall part this is not fair

- Compton, CA, USA

problem #13

Dec 082015

E320

  • 1 miles
Recall was performed in 2004 on sbc hydraulic system and has gone out again, 12/08/2015, and the dealer said the recall "expired" in 2013. Vehicle was diagnosed at autohaus in royal, oak, mi.

- Southfield, MI, USA

problem #12

Nov 082015

E320

  • 70,100 miles
Brakes failed three times today. At one point, we were forced to use emergency brake to stop, and at another point, we were forced to drive off into the grass to stop.

- Mechanicsville, VA, USA

problem #11

Oct 022015

E320

  • 95,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mercedes Benz E320. While driving at approximately 20 mph, the power brakes failed without warning causing, which caused the brakes to go into backup mode. The VIN was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 05V133000 (service brakes, hydraulic) however, the failure continued. The failure recurred three times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the ABS pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 95,000. Updated 01/27/16

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 032015

E320

  • 140,000 miles
While driving on the highway, the (sbc) systems failed with a red stop sign on the dash board. I managed to bring the car to a complete stop by pushing the pedal all the way to the floor with no resistance and applying the emergency brake with my left foot simultaneously. It was a scary experience as it was a stormy late night with 10% visibility due to the rain. I managed to park/towed the car to my house and it has been in my drive way ever since the incident. This vehicle is equipped with sensotronic brake control (sbc) 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.

- Rosedale, MD, USA

problem #9

Apr 012015

E320

  • 132,000 miles
This was one of 4 accidents or fender benders I've been in in the last 14 months due to brake malfunction. I have changed my brakes 2 in 14 months and its not the brakes its a malfunction the brakes loose pressure the brake pedal goes completely down but do not actually brake with this I have hit 4 vehicles from behind.. I contacted mcb coral gables and they said they do not have any recalls therefore can only service it if I pay. I feel like I will likely get into a terrible accident, something needs to be done I am in danger..I do not have means of other transportation.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #8

Mar 242015

E320

  • 68,209 miles
At the annual service the Mercedes dealer tested the brakes and informed me the brake system sbc has failed. This is a problem with this model and has been the subject of a recall/extended warranty. It's an approximately $4,000 dollar repair and they claimed to have just discovered it only months after the recall/extended warranty has ended. They do not want to repair the brakes under the recall/extended warranty issue to do so but have said it needs to be repaired. The vehicle just underwent a recall/extended warranty authorized repair for a long standing fuel leak problem the month before. There remains a strong smell of fuel in the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

- Palm Desert, CA, USA

problem #7

May 252015

E320

  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mercedes Benz E320. While driving at 75 mph, the brakes failed to respond and the ABS warning light illuminated. The vehicle was towed, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 131,000. The VIN was not available.

- Harvey, LA, USA

problem #6

May 082015

E320

  • 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. Look for 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.

- Bailey, CO, USA

problem #5

Mar 162015

E320

  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mercedes Benz E320. The contact stated that the brake warning light illuminated and the brake pedal became very loose. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and it was determined that the sensotronic brake control module needed to be replaced along with the entire hydraulic brake system. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 109,000.

- Newington, CT, USA

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