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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,292 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.

2005 Mercedes-Benz E320 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2005 Mercedes-Benz E320 Owner Comments

problem #20

Aug 172016


  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Mercedes Benz E320. The contact stated that when the brake pedal was depressed, the vehicle hesitated to respond and an extra effort was needed to stop the vehicle. The failure occurred without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 115,000.

- St Paul, MN, USA

problem #19

May 262016


  • 68,000 miles
While driving, the car's display turned red with warning message "brake defective stop vehicle"- brakes became stiff. Car was in limp mode. I took vehicle to the Mercedes Benz dealer in fresno. They diagnosed the problem as an "sbc brake controller failure". they told me that these had been troublesome for years, they have since been discontinued because of unreliablity of the brakes, and Mercedes would not cover repair cost.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #18

Jun 012016


  • 110,400 miles
I had sudden and almost total loss of breaking. Fortunately, this happened in a left turn lane at a traffic light in a rural area so there was little danger. However, it could have been much worse had this happened in interstate traffic. I was on a slight hill and was able to get the car stopped without hitting the car in front of me, but I had to press the pedal all the way to the floor. I then put the car in park to try and diagnose what had happened and then the car locked up in park so it couldn't even be pushed. The deal wound up replacing the sbc pump and the left front brake caliper which was damaged during my efforts to stop the car. The car has 110,400 miles and has been dealer maintained the entire time.

- Davidsonville, MD, USA

problem #17

Apr 212016


  • miles


After being told by my mechanic that sbc going into emergency mode he stated he thought there was some sort of recall called Mercedes in laguna niguel told me there was no problem with that model car blow off. But there was extended warranty 10 years no letter now red warning other day and could barely stop the car should have been fixed when I bought the car 2007 now they told me ohh there was one now expired very very unhappy and scared to drive now

- Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #16

Mar 192016


  • 154,809 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mercedes-Benz E320. One day after the vehicle was serviced for routine maintenance, the service brake warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was returned to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the hydraulic brake pump was defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign number: 05V133000 (service brakes, hydraulic), but the VIN was not included. The failure mileage was approximately 154,809.

- Lewisville, TX, USA

problem #15

Mar 122016


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mercedes-Benz E320. While driving at an unknown speed, the brake pedal was depressed and failed to respond. In addition, all the warning lights illuminated. The contact had to place the gear into park and turn off the vehicle in order to stop. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the sensotronic brake control pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #14

Oct 162015


  • 130,000 miles


Hydraulic brake pump may fail with no warning, reducing braking power by 80-90%. pump has "known" service life but dealers are unable to scan for remaining life. Pump failure renders the car non-drivable, with towing required, and replacement of pump is typically between $1,500 and $2,500.

- Milford, NH, USA

problem #13

May 252015


  • miles
With less than 90K miles, the hydraulic brake pump went out. Mbusa knew about issues with the part and extended its warrant until 12/24/2014 but did not notify affected vehicle owners.

- Ovilla, TX, USA

problem #12

May 152015


  • 105,350 miles
Our car's brakes have been maintained because stopping is an essential function. E.g. pads and rotors as needed plus fluid flush periodically. Now we've learned we may be at risk of careening out of control with no brakes - perhaps into oncoming traffic or pedestrians - just because the Mercedes' sbc (sensotronic brake control) software predetermines when the brakes have reached end of service and disables them. Worse, it may do this without warning! since the warranty on the sbc was extended from 4-yr/50K miles to 10 years/unlimited, and considering the life of these cars is significantly more than 10 years, shouldn't the replacement warranty be extended further, to perhaps 15 or 20 years" or better still, shouldn't they be retrofitted with non-eletrohydraulic brakes... like models prior to and subsequent to Mercedes' sbc experiment? moreover, when these cars are sold, is the public on the hook for the liability of a car sold with defective brakes? e.g. one, which has brakes capable of being disabled by Mercedes' software" please help!

- Sanford, FL, USA

problem #11

May 112015


  • 82,000 miles
While driving to work the vehicle displayed several warnings of problems with sbc, ABS, esp. The brakes then required a great deal of pressure to effectively stop the vehicle and the vehicle became much harder to steer.after pulling off the highway and placing the transmission in park, I was unable to get the transmission out of park.the vehicle was taken to my mechanic where they diagnosed a problem with the sbc, and esp modules. I have discovered that this is a common occurrence with Mercedes Benz vehicles with this braking system, so much so that the discontinued using it. This creates an extremely dangerous situation for the drivers of these vehicles and Mercedes should either repair all effected vehicles or remove them from the road.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #10

May 072015


  • 140,000 miles


I received the red dash warning at the same time as the complete braking failure (not before) and there was maybe 2% braking capability remaining (useless hydraulic fail safe). That's with the pedal on the firewall at 5 mph. Even with force enough to push the pedal into the firewall it was still a gradual slow down. This was at around 5 mph! now imagine coming off a steep off ramp from 70mph that ends abruptly and perpendicular to a busy intersection when this happens... not good. After sitting in the car off for a few minutes I decided to start the car up again, the message was gone and full braking pressure restored. Talk about a game of russian roulette, I have no idea when this time bomb is set to go off again. This is not even remotely acceptable and is incredibly dangerous. Mercedes knew this and moved back to a standard braking system in 2006 leaving very little assistance to those with the sbc modules installed. These should be replaced by dealers at their expense indefinitely. It was a terrible mistake and they admit it, now it's time to take responsibility for those with malfunctioning units and save some lives. Check Mercedes service bulletin S142.46-P-0012A for more information.

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #9

Apr 232015

E320 6-cyl

  • 55,900 miles
This vehicle is equipped with sensotronic brake control that has a service threshold. When this threshold is reached, the vehicle's brake system defaults to non power assisted hydraulic mode to the front wheels only. This occurs without any prior warning and results in greatly increased stopping distances along with much longer time interval for vehicle speed reduction due to loss of brake effectiveness. Mercedes (hereinafter referred to as mbusa for Mercedes Benz usa) service bulletin S142.46-P-0012A addresses this issue. Mercedes discontinued installing this type brake system on new production vehicles at the end of my 06. Suggested cure - mbusa should issue a mandatory recall to interrogate these vehicles with star das to determine how close to the service threshold (I.e. brake failure) the sbc unit is. If mbusa is unable to assure the vehicle owner that (due to the design of the system) the vehicle's brakes will not default to basic hydraulic mode for front wheels only without prior notice of imminent failure, mbusa should retrofit & replace the necessary brake system components to insure vehicle safety at the expense of mbusa. This is a major life-safety issue that needs to be immediately addressed. A major reduction of efficiency in a vehicle braking system occurring without prior warning can cause property loss, personal injury and death, especially at interstate highway speeds.

- Rockledge, FL, USA

problem #8

Oct 072013

E320 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
There was a message that the brakes needed attention. I could feel something inside the brakes. I took it and they replaced my brakes, but the issue kept happening. Then one day, while going 55 miles an hour, the brakes would not fully operate. The whole dash went red and it came to a slow stop. Luckily no one was immediately in front of me. We called the dealership and they said they had a 10 year recall of the sbc unit but I don't see the recall anywhere. This is a serious issue!

- Carrollton, VA, USA

problem #7

Feb 282015


  • miles
The well known brake safety issue of numerous mb cars, also called the sbc system, is cycling way to often and fear its past is predetermined "life cycles". for some reason mb puts a # of actuations on the system before is quits or must be replaced. Mb has instructed dealers to not replace the system unless a particular code shows up under a diagnostic read. Problem is that from the dealer own service techs.....'failing pumps don't always throw a code that will be stored in the computer, or there is a reset facility built into the computer self diagnostic system that is to reset a code for issues with the sbc system when car is cycled off then restarted.' Mb refuses to fix such safety issue if repair is needed beyond their 10 year warranty period. For secondary owners the repairs that are needed for the safety of occupants of the car and all those around them presents an issue. This is such a safety issue that mb quickly stopped producing vehicles with the new braking system even after they had touted this as being the next break through in braking for all their vehicle line. They know it is a safety issue which is why they moved away from producing it further. The problem is they are not being held responsible for replacing all 'sbc' braking systems which have an inherent defect for failures. A non safety issue I can understand a warranty recall expiration, but not for something like this.

- Riverview, FL, USA

problem #6

Oct 302014


  • 25,070 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mercedes Benz E-320. The contact stated that a warning message illuminated on the instrument panel stating ┐reduced braking power┐. the vehicle was taken to a dealer, where the technician diagnosed the spc control unit needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 25,070.

- Woodland Hills, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 122013

E320 6-cyl

  • 113,107 miles
A little less than 2 years ago, vehicle's sensotronic brake control (sbc) system failed. It was replaced by Mercedes dealer with a re-manufactured unit under the ten year warranty for that brake system. That system is very well known to break down without warning which renders car a moving hazard to occupants and other motorists. On mb forums, it is stated by commentators/owners that unit has a life span of 300,000 actuations; brake pushes. This is not anywhere in the mb literature or owner's manual. Car electronics have no meter to measure or gauge those actuations, so a catastrophic failure could occur without me the driver being prepared for it. Mercedes Benz needs to warranty this safety related defect for the life of the car.

- Hercules, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 172014

E320 6-cyl

  • 99,200 miles
I was slowing down to exit the highway and when I stepped on the brakes, I felt no pressure on the pedal brakes. I pressed harder on the brakes and still the car didn't slow until I got to a slight incline at the end of the ramp. Then a red warning light on the dashboard appeared reading "reduced brake power". I turned off the engine and waited a couple of minutes. I managed to get home safely. I called a certified mechanic and he told me to call the Mercedes Benz dealer because of a possible recall. As per the mechanic, this are the faulting codes: C2131 - pressure reservoir faulty C249F - operating time of component A7/3 (sbc left hydraulic unit) is exceeded C25D5 - hydraulic fault malfunction in pressure supply as of this writing, my brakes have not been repaired.

- South Bend, IN, USA

problem #3

Nov 102014


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mercedes Benz E320. While the vehicle was undergoing maintenance, the technician notified the contact that the rear driver side brake line was severely rusted. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of this issue. The approximate failure mileage was 81,000.

- Brunswick, ME, USA

problem #2

Oct 232014


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mercedes Benz E320. The contact stated that while driving approximately 60 mph, the ABS warning light illuminated. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. The mechanic stated that the ABS control module needed to be replaced. The vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 70,000.

- Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 272013


  • 166,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Mercedes Benz E320. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the brakes failed with the illumination of the press pedal warning light. The failure recurred on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis where it was stated that the switch lamp light and the hydraulics spc pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 166,000.

- Davie, FL, USA

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