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 4 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #120

Jun 082015


  • 74,000 miles


I came home from work on 6/8/2015 and later returned to my car to meet a friend for dinner. The doors unlocked and the lights came on but the car will not start. The steering wheel turns but the car will not start. I have tried both keys, checked th battery. After speaking with my mechanic I have found out that is is the ignition switch. I will have to have the car towed to the dealership. I have seen on the Benz forum that this is a common problem that Mercedes will not take ownership of. I will never by a Mercedes again.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #119

Jul 012014


  • 140,000 miles
My lcd navigation screen does not turn on anymore. It randomly flashes when I'm driving and causes a distraction. After some research, it seems like an extremely common issue with many C300 models of the 2008 year. Some owners have reported smoke coming out of the corner of the screen.

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #118

May 022011


  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The contact mentioned that the key was stuck in the lock position and the key was not programmed to the ignition switch. In addition, the steering wheel failed. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine ignition lock fractured and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 42,000. The VIN was not available.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #117

May 022015


  • 70,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. While the vehicle was parked, the key was stuck in the lock position and the key was not programmed to the ignition. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was in the process of being repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000. The VIN was not available.

- Simivalley , CA, USA

problem #116

Jan 022012

C300 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Belt tensioner makes loud metallic noise around the engine area. Car wouldn't start. Camshaft adjuster magnets replaced. Water leak from sun roof drain side mirror cracked under cold weather.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #115

May 012015


  • 99,000 miles
Got in my car last night to go home and attempted to crank it. It would not start. The key turned in the ignition and lights worked but the engine would not turn over. Last year in February I had to have the car towed to the dealership by roadside assistance and have ignition switch replaced for a similar situation at my cost. I am awaiting news from the dealership as to the problem this time but this is ridiculous for this vehicle to have this type of complaints from so many consumers and Mercedes not stand behind this product by recalling it. I am a woman and had no one to assist me or provide transportation home. You buy a product thinking that it is dependable but this car isn't it.

- Pike Road, AL, USA

problem #114

Apr 172015


  • 61,688 miles


Same as everyone else. The car would not start and we had it towed in. I researched the complaints online and saw that Mercedes has a problem with this issue (eis/sis) they sold me a new key for $547 and said that it was fixed. Picked it up on Saturday and had it towed back in on Tuesday. Now they say it's the eis to the tune of another $1500. I will not buy another Mercedes until I see how they stand behind the one I have...I hope that we do not have to call the news stations and file a class action suit to get it fixed. Mercedes needs to do the right thing and repair their defect.

- Hutto, TX, USA

problem #113

Apr 162015


  • 57,000 miles
The vehicle would not start, the key turned in the ignition with no crank. All other electrical features worked and the battery tested as being ok. The electrical ignition system just did not respond. Tow to the dealership. $1350 to fix it.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #112

Apr 152015

C300 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
The electronic ignition system also known as eis is broken. I turned if the car and it did not read my key. After looking in the internet and speaking with the mechanic it is obvious that the models 2008 09 10 have this defective part. I also spoke to a service technician at the dealer who wished to remain anonymous and he admitted that just at his dealer thousands of vehicles are brought in for this same issue and yet Mercedes Benz refuses to recall. The government needs to police this matter which is costing minimum $1300.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #111

Mar 222015

C300 6-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
The vehicle would not start, the key turned in the ignition with no crank. All other electrical features worked and the battery tested as being ok. The electrical ignition system just did not respond. In addition, the wheels were locked thus requiring a special dolly to tow the vehicle.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #110

Mar 132015

C300 6-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


Upon entering my vehicle after pumping gas late one evening, I proceeded to turn the key in the ignition and the key would not allow the car to start. All the lights on the dash, radio and headlights were operative at that time. I attempted a jump start to no avail. I proceeded with having he vehicle towed to a local dealer where it was determined that there was an issue with the electrical steering/ignition system that was electrical in nature and "common" for the year and model of the car. If this potential defect is common then it is "known" to the manufacturer and its dealers who can be held strictly liable or any manufacturing or design defect, or inadequate warning. That being said, if the product is defective, what prevents the recurrence of the issue after replacement of the part, which would essentially be replacing it with another defective part. This matter is serious to the consumer, and the manufacture could easily reduce the risk of harm to its consumers by altering the design in a much more cost effective manner than allowing its consumers to bear the costs of its manufacturing error.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #109

Mar 062015


  • 74,900 miles
I entered my 2008 Mercedes Benz C300 after work, and it would not start. I was stranded for 2 and 1/2 hours waiting for the complimentary tow truck Mercedes Benz was sending. I had it towed to the Mercedes Benz dealership at 7pm where it sat all weekend until they checked it on Monday 3/9/15. They called on 3/9/15 and stated it was the electrical steering device and would cost $950. This is a common malfunction in the 2008 C300 that Mercedes is not taking ownership of. There are numerous individuals who have faced this problem, and are charged extreme amounts to have it fixed. (see mbworld) this is not a defect due to wear and tear, this is a problem with manufacturing, a defect which is unfair to the consumer. There needs to be a recall on the electronic steering device and electronic ignition system on this make and model of car. Campaign number 2008020003 (NJ) to: All Mercedes Benz centers, model 204, model year 2008, replace electronic ignition switch was published in March 2008 noting "daimier ag has determined that the eis may malfunction preventing the electric steering lock and the central locking from functioning. Dealers will replace the eis on the affected vehicles during the next workshop visit." Consumers are left shouldering the cost of a problem Mercedes Benz is aware of, yet will not do a recall.

- Grayson, GA, USA

problem #108

Jan 242015


  • 73,685 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start on several occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the key needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 73,685.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #107

Jan 012013

C300 6-cyl

  • 34,000 miles
For unknown reason, a warning about SRS restraint system driver side failure. Unsure if this is air bag, or seat belt related. Dealer wanted $2200. To fix. Outrageous safety issue. From online search this seems to happen regularly to mb products. Why has dot not taken action. Thank you for a response.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #106

Jan 162015


  • 160,000 miles
I drove car to work in the a.M. when I got ready to leave for the day the car would not start. The lights and locks and radio worked, but the engine wouldn't turn over. It was towed to the dealership and has been there for a few days. Just got a call that they think it is both the eis and esl, but they need my second key to be sure. After reading multiple forums with this problem, and calling another dealership, it seems the real issue my only be the esl. I say only because it cuts my cost in half, but it really sucks that this is obviously a very common problem and Mercedes has yet to do anything about it.

- Richmond, TX, USA

problem #105

Jan 082015

C300 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
Car wont start. Computer recognizes key in ignition but doesn't turn on any instruments or start the car. Tried a spare key - same issue. Remotes unlock and lock fine but ignition wont turn on.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #104

Dec 222014


  • 107,000 miles
Electronic ignition switch and steering lock rendered us completely stranded in our car. Could not even put it in neutral without using the manual override. After researching in the internet it seems this is somewhat common in this vehicle, and unfortunately is costing me $1350!! only the dealership can do this. I had my car towed to my local mechanic only to have it towed again to Mercedes dealership.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #103

Sep 242013

C300 6-cyl

  • 32,050 miles
On September 24, 2013, my 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 with 32,050 miles would not start despite multiple attempts. Each time I would try and start it everything came on in the cabin but there was a complete disconnect to the engine which would not even crank. Roadside assistance came out my home and determined the battery was fine, I then had to have the vehicle towed into the dealer. During this visit, they replaced the electrical control unit and it was there for a full week. In October 2014 and at 39,000 miles, the problem began again in that the car would not start intermittently and I had to go back to the dealer. They again replaced the electrical control unit which took another week. A few days later, the car would not start again for an entire day despite multiple attempts and I was stranded. Another tow and back to the dealer again, this time they stated it was also the electronic ignition switch (eis) and eletronic steering lock (esl) that were faulty and would need to be replaced at an approximate cost of $2000. I argued with them extensively on why all these parts were failing on a vehicle with such low mileage and they acknowledged this was a known problem on this model year. After two additional weeks in for service, the vehicle was just returned to me. Besides a known mechanical problem with these parts which mb has not addressed, this also represents potential safety hazards for drivers if you become stuck in a remote or dangerous area or in inclement weather when this happens and cannot call out for assistance. Based on this experience and the many similar reported at the mbworld.org forum, the NHTSA should coordinate a safety recall on these vehicles with mb. There has already been one recall on this model year related to electrical problems with the tailights which could catch fire, my vehicle also had this problem. Thank you.

- Bensalem, PA, USA

problem #102

Nov 242014


  • 53,900 miles
Car won't start. Key will turn but nothing happens. Tried jump starting the car but did not work. Brought to the dealership and was told that the steering lock is the problem and needs to be replaced.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #101

Nov 232014


  • 107,000 miles
My car was parked in my garage when I turned the key in the ignition and tried to start the car. There was nothing. I tried several times, turning the key back and forth, taking it out, turning it. Still nothing. I called aaa. They tested the battery. It was functioning. The aaa technician noted that the door locks and audio locking signals were working. I called, bill, my service tech at the mbz dealership and left a message for him to phone me. In the meantime, I called a local mechanic that had repaired other family vehicles. He said he would take a look at it. So I had it towed to his shop. Bill called me back late afternoon and asked me to try the spare key to see if it would start. I had my neighbor drive me to the shop where my car was and tried the spare key. Still nothing. I spoke with the family mechanic. He was not able to start the vehicle, nor had he serviced it. He believed that it was a problem with the eis and said the dealer needed to do the repair. I called bill back. Let him know the spare did not work and arranged to have my car towed to the dealership the next day. Later the next day, bill called me and stated that the issue was with the electronic ignition system. I needed to replace the steering lock. He could order the part. The cost would be $1,100. I asked what would cause the part to fail. He said that electronic systems, like his tv, just fail over time. I authorized the repair. I have always taken my car into this dealership for its regularly scheduled maintenance and was surprised that it would need such a critical and costly repair. I checked online and noted that this is a common problem with the 2008 mbz C300. I am surprised that the manufacturer has not notified vehicles owners and taken responsibility for this apparent defect.

- Gold Canyon, AZ, USA

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