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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 9
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,539 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.

2007 Mercedes-Benz GL450 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2007 Mercedes-Benz GL450 Owner Comments

problem #15

Mar 012016


  • 100,101 miles


While driving to work this morning, I turned on the drivers side seat warmer. Less than three minutes later, I noticed a strong odor followed by a considerable amount of smoke and heat coming from the side of the seat nearest the door. I felt what I thought was something poking me in the left rear pocket of my pants, and burned the back of my knuckle checking for the source of the heat. I immediately shut off the heater and pulled off at the first safe location. I exited the vehicle (a pall of smoke followed me) and knocked the smoking embers out of the vehicle (a hole larger than a quarter is burned in the seat). I also noticed a hole was burned through my pants. Apparently, I came very close to significant personal injury, not to mention the fact of possible loss of control of the vehicle. We called the dealer and they scheduled the car for next Monday. Researching into the issue, mine is not an isolated case as there are multiple class action lawsuits and complaints with the NHTSA. Obviously, these seats are defective, Mercedes is aware, the passenger seat is next and is not safe.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #14

Nov 302014


  • 115,900 miles
After starting vehicle and turning on seat warmers, the car smelled of a burning smell and I felt a very hot spot on my back. I turned off the seat warmers to find a hole burned into the leather. All occurred on the driver's side of 2007 mb gl-450.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #13

May 232015


  • 117,000 miles
Head lights went off in the while traveling due to defecting wiring system. According to experts mb used an inferior and unsuitable material for the insulation on the electrical wires of some of the GL450 models. This insulation prematurely disintegrates under normal use causing the wires it is designed to protect and insulate, to short causing many problems.

- Weston, FL, USA

problem #12

Aug 302012

GL450 8-cyl

  • 38,425 miles


When starting the vehicle, the horn intermittently goes off and will not stop. Must turn off the car to get the horn to stop sounding. Then, must turn on the car and turn off the car a few times to make it stop until it all starts happening, randomly, again. Took the vehicle to the Mercedes dealership where car was purchase and has been routinely serviced and they said the problem was a faulty steering wheel switch. The only way to fix the issue is to replace the entire steering wheel itself. The cost for an identical factory wood steering wheel (which is what the car was purchased new with) is $3,000; if we opted for a leather wrapped steering wheel instead the cost would be $1500. The other workaround is to pull the fuse and not have a horn at all. This is a safety issue and should not cost this much to have a steering wheel switch replaced! this is essential, basic equipment, and starting happening on a vehicle with less than 40,000 miles. Have continued to follow-up with dealer to see if there has been a recall or if they will fix, but Mercedes is not taking responsibility for the problem.

- Snohomish, WA, USA

problem #11

Dec 052014

GL450 8-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
I was driving my family to an afternoon lunch on the 5th of December, 2014, the day was chilly and it was a good time to have the heated seats on... after about 10 minutes of driving I noticed a burning smell and thought it was something in the area (it was actually my seat lighting me on fire), needless to say the smell continued to get worse and I knew something was wrong. I looked for a safe area to pull over and identify the source of the smell, before I was able to get off the road my side started smoking and lit on fire. I frantically pulled off the road and jumped out. I then proceeded to rip of my jacket and put out the smoldering section of it. After that I noticed the car was still smoking on the left side of the drivers seat about to go up in flames, at this time my wife was pulling our 2 year old twins out of the vehicle I got back to the car to turn it off and extinguish the fire. Once I was able to diagnose the scene I found the heated seat had malfunctioned in some manner and burned a nice hole in the seat which in return lit my jacket on fire. I will get it into the shop to have the fuse taken out and make the heated seats inoperable not taking any chances.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #10

Nov 162014

GL450 8-cyl

  • 107,260 miles
I was in my 2007 Mercedes GL450 and had driven approx. 2 miles with my front driver's seat heater on. I started to notice a strange smell and suddenly the cabin was starting to fill up with smoke. I immediately stopped the vehicle and discovered the left side of the back of my front drivers seat was on fire. Snow was on the ground so I scooped up snow to pack in the fire/hot spot which had burned a large hole through the vinyl and inside padding material. I later noticed that my jacket had burn marks and a hole in the exact location of the point of the fire.

- Ellisville, MO, USA

problem #9

Apr 022014


  • 140,000 miles


Driving in New Jersey on route 80 West for 1-2 miles there was a strong odor of burnt wires that smell so bad and have noticed that the smoke was coming from underneath the passenger seat. It went on for few minutes where the wires actually caught on fire and melted together. Stopped the car, shot the engine off, with windows open and tried to pull the wires apart to prevent further damage.... but could not separate the wires from each other. Called the mb dealer near our location and brought the car in after the mbusa suggested towing it in and later we were told that the vehicle was safe to drive to the dealer. The local mb dealer manager I talked to was very helpful and understandable and he tries to support me the best way he could where he agreed to look at the car at reduced rate to help out to try to figure out the issue. The car is at the mb dealer now. Mbusa sent an expert to inspect the car at the mb dealer and after a week I was told that no one knows what happened. Mbusa ruled out any connections to a previous work done mb dealer on the driver seat heater. I was also told, by mbusa, that the issue is an internal and they can"?T discuss that with me and I should go thru my car insurance since vehicle was out of warranty. The dealer told me that it?"S approx. $12,000 job to replace the main harness which was responsible for this damage. I have spent so much money to purchase this SUV which supposed to be safe and reliable for me and my family and never expect this to ever happen. Perhaps we brought a lemon.

- Fort Lee , NJ, USA

problem #8

Dec 122013

GL450 8-cyl

  • 132,000 miles
I was driving in my son [xxx] to his school in wayne New Jersey with my gl 450 seats warmer turned on in both the drivers and passenger seats. I started smelling smoke & thought it was from outside. I opened my window, and smoke started swirling inside my car and started getting thicker within minutes. I try to search for the source of the strange smell - but no obvious clue observed. When I reached my destination I noticed that the seat has burned a hole in my suit jacket back left side. The hole in the car is on the left side of the drivers seat. I have not contacted Mercedes Benz service and would like to know what I should do if possible. I would appreciate directing me to the appropriate line to fix my seat and electrical system of my Jeep and get compensated for my suit damage asap.

- Fort Lee, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jan 032014

GL450 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I turned on my 2007 Mercedes GL450 in my driveway to warm it up and 1 minute later the horn continually went off. I turned the car off and the horn continued. Smoke began from the passenger rear tail light, then a flame. 911 was called the moment we saw smoke. Within seconds the back seat was engulfed in flames and then the entire car. The flames were as high as my 2 story home. There is nothing left of this car. The amount of broken glass from all the windows blowing out down my driveway is unbelievable.

- Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #6

Nov 172013

GL450 8-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
My car caught on fire while driving on highway 580 eastbound in livermore, ca. Other drivers were flagging me to pull over. My car is totally destroyed. It took 3 fire trucks and 1500 gallons of water and foam to put out. There was just under 1/2 tank of gas.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 012013

GL450 8-cyl

  • 83,000 miles


My mb GL450 2007 cars horn started to randomly go off for no reason multiple times. This happened three times, once when I started the car in grocery store parking lot, second time while I was driving and scared other motorist to pull over. Only way I could make it stop was to pull over and turn off the car. When I turned on the car the horn started again, turned off, turned on drove to repair shop. Repair shop told me the spring for the horn had warn out and the electronic console in the steering wheel was shot. Told me you can't order the part anymore because it was discontinued, so, we have to order a whole new steering wheel for $1,200 plus $600 in labor.

- Bellevue, WA, USA

problem #4

Feb 132012

GL450 8-cyl

  • 44,396 miles
Driver side seat caught fire after heated seat button depressed on the dash. Approximately three minutes had elapsed when seat began to smoke. The smoke continued as the seat caught fire on the front left panel of the back portion of the seat. The fire projected through the seat, burning a hole through the seat about two inches in diameter. Driver's sweater was singed by the flame.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 162011


  • 48,000 miles
My car was parked in the garage. 90 minutes later engine fire began that nearly burned down my garage and house. No problems were noticed in the car 60 minutes after parking. Fire occurred 60 to 90 minutes after parking.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #2

Aug 082007


  • 17,000 miles
1. poor battery life and alternator life in 2007 gl 450 2. engine died and electronics died at highway speeds, reported to Mercedes Benz corporation with no resolve.3. lift gate constantly malfunctions and does not close.

- Niceville, FL, USA

problem #1

Feb 032009


  • miles
This complaint is in regards to a 2007 Mercedes GL450. I have had electrical problems with this car from the very beginning. 14 days after purchasing vehicle went into the shop. On 2 occasions my car shut completely down on busy road ways and both times Mercedes did not want to fix the car. Mercedes claimed a drink was spilt in the car on a computer system under the front passenger seat. On the first occasion lights started flashing and with in 30 seconds the car lost all power and had to be pushed off the road way. All of the doors were locked up we finally managed to climb out the drivers side. I had 3 kids in my car and the thought of not being able to get out of this car really concerns me. On the second occasion which was approximatly 2 weeks later the cars windows started rolling up and down and smoking. The car then shut down on us and at this point was smoking so bad my kids were coughing. The car then jumped out of park. Again the car was towed in the next day and Mercedes said we spilt a drink in the car that shut it down. Mercedes refused to fix the car even though it was still under warranty. This car is not safe. I have done much research and have talked to several people who have had the same problems and have been told they spilt a drink and that is why it shut down. One man's car caught on fire in a driveway another's gl was parked in the garage and burnt his house down killing his animals. The list goes on and Mercedes will not recall this model.

- Springdale, AR, USA

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