really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 11
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,751 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.

2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #160

May 102016


  • miles


Steering column lock failure. This disabled the ignition not allowing the car to start. From a little reasearch on the internet I found this is a common problem on many of their vehicles. This left me completely stranded and Mercedes denied any knowledge of the issue although it is easy to find and diagnose with a few minutes on the internet. There is also a eis issue but mine is the electronic steering lock motor causing the problem. Mercedes needs to recall these and make it right. Thay could strand people in a bad situation. My car ran fine bit would not restart. All lock and unlock functions worked. I had a message on the dash to remove key. It had no accessory turn on or crank function.

- Pendleton, IN, USA

problem #159

Apr 092016


  • 92,000 miles
Electronic steering lock - known defect - car doesn't start no recall issued.

- Oak Park, CA, USA

problem #158

Mar 292016


  • 140,000 miles
Vehicle will not start. It is a common problem and it has left me stranded for several weeks. I get "remove key from ignition" when either key is placed in the ignition. This problem is consistent with other C300 owners around the country. When I told my service advisor at the dealership where I purchased the vehicle, J was told it could range from $475 to over $2000. The keys and the ignition system are the culprit and Mercedes has yet to issue a recall for this.

- Crestview, FL, USA

problem #157

Mar 072016


  • 100,747 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that after the driver driving the vehicle, it was powered off but failed to restart without warning. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where it was advised to have the vehicle diagnosed by a dealer. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electronic ignition switch and the ignition starter switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failures. The failure mileage was 100,747. The VIN was not available.

- Hobe Sound, FL, USA

problem #156

Feb 182016


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the electric lock needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were unknown.

- Greenwood, LA, USA

problem #155

Jan 222016


  • miles
The C-class has a surmountable amount of complaints pertaining to the ignition switch and steering lock. Both of which can go out at anytime, including while driving and being stranded in desolate locations without warning. I've had to replace both parts and the cost is unfair to the consumer because there is obviously a defect that is not being acknowledged. Both instances, I parked my vehicle, went into a business establishment, returned to my vehicle to leave and found myself stranded. Thank god, I was in safe locations but what if I wasn't. these cars are not reliable and these problems need to be fixed immediately. Also, Mercedes is not sure if this can go out while the vehicle is in motion which is even mor scarier.

- Pittsburg, CA, USA

problem #154

Dec 262015


  • 68,000 miles


My 2008 C300 with only 68,000 decided to die with no warning. I drove the car to the dealership had a taillight fixed then parked the car. The next day the car wouldn't turn on. All the lighting in the dash turns on but I'm getting a notification saying remove key from ignition. This shouldn't be happening! I have done some research online and am getting an idea that is is the eis. This system is designed to be operated multiple times a day, it shouldn't be failing.

- Clovis, NM, USA

problem #153

Dec 262015


  • miles
Car will not start, failure in the electrical steering system

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #152

Dec 212015


  • 65,000 miles
Waking up to go to work, I attempted to start my car. I have have no problems with the vehicle since I purchased it a year ago, and with only 65K miles I didnt expect any problems. Since im not a car guy I got it towed since it wouldnt start. No ticking no nothing, and no warning at all. The mechanic said the battery was in good order but it was the eis that was the problem. Looks to be a major concern and a common problem for other owners. What a way to start the week of christmas in Texas with 70 degree weather

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #151

Dec 032015


  • 100,000 miles
Woke up to go to my car and it would not start. I was headed into work and was late because of it. I tried relaxing everything thing from fuses to new key to new battery. Nothing worked. It kept making a ticking noise when I would turn the car on. The lights would light up but car would not turn over. I own a 2008 C300 and noticed it's a known issue with this part but Mercedes will it fix the issue.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #150

Dec 022015


  • 58,200 miles


Eis electronic ignition system or esl electronic steering lock. Put key in ignition and nothing happens. Steering wheel locked. Car won't come out of park. Car was parked all three times this happened, twice before the car was diagnosed at the my dealership on clark road, in sarasota, Florida, and once, so far, after problem was diagnosed and repaired. Repair lasted two days.

- Lakewood Ranch, FL, USA

problem #149

Nov 092015


  • 93,000 miles
Steering lock failed. 10 cent motor will not lock steering wheel. Causes car to think it is stolen, disables the entire car. Left me stranded in freezing temperature with no warning. I got gas, got in the car to leave to work, and nothing worked. This is very dangerous. Luckily I was able to get someone to pick me up, as my cell phone was about to die.

- Rathdrum, ID, USA

problem #148

Nov 112015


  • 160,000 miles
I parked the car in the garage early after noon in November 2014, and some time later that day the car would not start. I turn the steering wheel right then left thinking it might be a steering lock problem and kept messing with steering column trying to find problem being possibly a pinched wire and the the instrument cluster lights came on do a self check then car started. Used scan tool to retrieve codes and none were found. Second incident occurred when I parked at a gas station and paid for gas and the car did not start, nor did the usual instrument cluster lights come on when the key is inserted and turned as in the first time it happened. I started to adjust the steering column such as to raise the wheel and the lights came on, and I turned the key and the car started. Ran a diagnostic check for codes and still no codes stored. Third incident, parked the car after leaving church service and then was asked to move it from the lawn so the yard could be worked on. I started the car and turned the wheel as to back it up into a different location. I shut the car off with the wheel turned all the way to the right and then went to start it 2 to 3 hours later and it would not start and steering wheel is all the way to the right and locked in that position. Things I checked. Charged battery, both key fabs lock and unlock vehicle, the key is recognized by the security system but will not start the car. The key is also recognized when in the ignition. Audio warning comes on when key is left in ignition with door open. I believe the problem is in the steering column, only because every incident that has involved the adjustment of the steering column caused it to start and now with the steering wheel turned all the way to the right gave it the final failure status.

- Lehigh, FL, USA

problem #147

Aug 052015


  • 42,000 miles
A few months back, my wife was stranded in her office parking lot as the car won't start. When she put the key in the ignition it would simply make clicking sounds but will not start. She was able to lock and unlock the car. We called aaa who checked the battery and said it was working fine. The aaa rep said that he had seen this problem quite a few times before in the mb cars and we would have to call mb or they can tow it to the dealership. We then called Mercedes Benz (mb) road side assistance who came and checked the car. The mb rep said that there is an issue with the electronic steering lock and it will need to be replaced. They gave me a quote of around $1500 over phone. Finally I had aaa tow my car to my mechanic and got it repaired for around $800. While researching this problem, I was shocked to see that there were 1000S of threads online where the owners of 2008 and 2009 C class were complaining about the same issue and how each one had to shell out anywhere from $1200 to $1600 at the dealership to get it repaired. I called mb and they admitted that this is a common issue but cannot do anything about it. I was quite appalled at this situation where this being a known issue faced by 1000S of mb customers but mb would not fix it. Here is a sample of google search where you will find multiple people reporting this problem - https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=utf-8#Q=2008%20mercedes%20C300%20electronic%20steering%20lock even youtube has multiple videos where customers have recorded this issue. Electronic steering lock, electronic ignition lock and electronic stability control are known and very prevalent issues related to C class of year 2008 and 2009. As I customer, I would appreciate if the nha can look into this and help customers recover the money they have spent towards the repair of these issues.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #146

Oct 272015


  • 110,000 miles
I replaced the battery and key due to car not starting ($600 and 1 week in the shop). 2 days later, the new key failed to start the car due to the same issue. Eis failure will cost another $1200. This should be part of a recall, I was stranded twice and it is a common problem with this model.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #145

Oct 212015


  • 52,228 miles
We parked the vehicle in a store parking lot after driving for 40 minutes, went into the store for 30 minutes came out and car would not start, steering would not unlock and shifter would not come out of park. Towed to Mercedes Benz of san jose and was told electronic steering lock had failed. Contacted Mercedes Benz as vehicle only had 52,000 miles and Mercedes customer relations stated this was not the first time they had heard of this. They gave $200 toward the $1100 repair. I asked if this could of happened while I was driving and he stated he never heard of that but did not guarentee it was not possible. If this had happened while driving the wheel would have locked and I would not have been able to steer.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #144

Nov 072015


  • 100,000 miles
Hello, I inserted my key into my 2008 C300, but the car won't start. It turns as it should, but the car isn't starting. The battery for the car is new and reads 12.6 V when tested. The radio and lights work, but the windows won't roll up or the sunroof, and the glove compartment doesn't light up. With the key inside the ignition and the door opened, the car notifies me to remove the key from the ignition. I am not sure what's going on, any ideas?

- Montclair, CA, USA

problem #143

Jul 062015


  • 76,900 miles
Parked car left for an hour came back and tried to start vehicle and it would not start dealership said it was the eis (electronic ignition switch) and charged me $1900 to fix it, also before I took it in for that repair the sunroof would not work properly and rear right brake light went out they fixed that under recall free after that my sunroof worked fine. Now my serpentine belt broke and shredded while I was driving looked in my engine and the belt was all over engine in pieces.

- Pikesville, MD, USA

problem #142

Oct 192015


  • miles
Update: Oct 19, 2015 my car wouldn't turn over. The lights, radio and battery were fine. I tried to jump the car just in case (it wasn't the battery) had the car towed to the dealership the next day. The following day the dealership informed me it was the eis switch (electronic steering lock). Price tag $1212 and some change.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #141

Oct 192015


  • 68,018 miles
My 2008 C300 was parked. I came outside to head out and my ignition would not turn over but all lights, radio, seat, etc were working just fine. Windows and sunroof don't work. My car is stopped at 68,018 miles.

- Dallas, TX, USA

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