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 9 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #20

Jun 012011

C300 6-cyl

  • 36,000 miles


Noticed for the first time that the left rear brake and tail light was much more dim than the corresponding lights on the right side. I also noticed that these same lamps also flickered from dim to slightly brighter and reported on the next service appointment. When it came back from the dealer the problem was marginally better; however, it still exists to this day. I see numerous complaints on Mercedes owners hotlines with various degrees of success at that dealers. I have also seen comments about a so-called fix that has been mentioned. My complaint was never printed out on my copy of the work order for that service date either. I've given up.on complaining to Mercedes as I had another complaint to the factory which ended up just being brushed off as normal. Once again no documentation of that visit was given even thought a factory rep was present. My belief is that the tail lamps should be fairly equally bright in order to provide vehicles behind you an accurate location of the rear of my vehicle. A proper fix that completely corrects this issue should be required to be performed on these vehicles at no charge to the owners. I am the original purchaser of this vehicle.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #19

Feb 202013


  • 50,000 miles
Started the vehicle and there was a failure for head lights, tail lights and turn signals. I took the vehicle in to repair the bulbs and they told me the control board failed, melted and they replaced it. I was later told this is a common issue with the 2008 C300.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #18

Jun 282013

C300 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles
I have had numerous messages on my 2008 C300 Mercedes regarding tail light/ brake light out. I have noticed that my passenger side tail lights/ running lights are much dimmer than the driver side lights. I have inspected the wiring harness assembly on the passenger side and noticed significant discoloration with the "brown wire" and associated connector; the connector has also been "hot" to the touch. I have an appointment with my local Mercedes dealer next week to have it inspected/ evaluated. I really became more cautious following the recent news article regarding 2008-2009 Mercedes tail light issues. Something is not right and it needs to be addressed/ corrected.

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #17

Dec 182012

C300 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


The right rear tail lights stopped working. After examining the wiring and harness were melted. Had to bring in to fix. The back board were the lights are on was also burnt. Now having problems on the left side. I just saw on the national news were other people are having the same problem with this year car. It seems the wiring is not proper size to handle the electric load. This is very dangerous driving this vehicle with the rear lights going out. The lights are running way to hot. Seems to be a defect on this year 2008 vehicle. I heard that this is being investigated by you. My wife is afraid to drive the car because of getting hit from behind because the problem with lights burning out or maybe a fire from the wiring melting. Mercedes says they will not fix and that this is not a problem.

- Zephyrhills, FL, USA

problem #16

Oct 302009


  • 38,000 miles
The rear driver side tail light assembly failed multiple times. The connectors to the bulbs and the panel was melted due to heat and therefore, dimming of the lights occurred followed by complete malfunction. The first time was replaced under manufacturer warranty. The second and third time this occurred was paid for out of pocket because vehicle's mileage exceeded the manufacturers warranty coverage.

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 082013


  • 24,450 miles
My message ctr on my Mercedes C 300 (2008) steering wheel said to check right, rear tail and brake light. I have checked the lights and had a mechanic check lights, and all seem fine. I heard the report on wbz radio on 7-15-2013 about rear lights on Mercedes 2008, and 2009 possibly causing fires, and wonder if the message on my car may be warning of a possible fire or future failure.. I called the Mercedes service dept. And they had not heard of this problem! I called wbz radio in boston, and they directed me to nhtsb web site. The message to check rear lights still comes on.

- Wellesley, MA, USA

problem #14

Dec 172012

C300 6-cyl

  • 56,450 miles


While driving in the evening on highway, both tail lamp warnings came on indicating bulbs had burned out. I stopped car after smelling an odor. I saw the left tail lamp was dim and the right tail lamp was normal. I did not open trunk. After reaching my destination I changed the left tail lamp bulb, but bulb was still dim. I pulled off the electrical connector and found 3 leads on the connecter burned and melted. I went to the dealer in alexandria, Virginia and inquired about the problem. I was informed no recall had been issued and the dealer would not fix. So, I purchased left tail light assembly, connector and pins to make repair myself (I am a former airplane mechanic). Tail lamps have been functioning normally since I replaced the parts.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #13

Jul 092013


  • 36,000 miles
Right rear tail light dash monitor indicated a problem. Found the right rear tail light circuit board ground wire burned and smoking. Plastic connector and lighting circuit board melting. Appears that the electrical current draw is greater than the ground wire can handle. Taken to dealer for fix. No response as yet, but based on other online reports, it appears unlikely they will support a warranty claim fix.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #12

Jun 122013

C300 6-cyl

  • 49,000 miles
The passenger side rear tail light harness caught fire and melted. There are countless complaints and reports on this issue, but Mercedes refuses to correct the problem or do a recall. Most incidents occur between 50,000 and 60,000 miles and is not covered by warranty. You can google this issue and see the wide spread complaints on the melting wiring harness. There are also several discussions on mb forum. Below is another website with several complaints of melted tail light wiring and non-working tail/brake and turn signals. I've contacted reliable Mercedes in springfield, mo and they acknowledge that their shop has repaired many Mercedes C300's with melted tail light wiring, but said Mercedes will not fix recall this problem. This is a tremendous safety issue and I respectfully request that your Agency address this matter with Mercedes.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #11

Jun 172013

C300 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
More problems with model 204. There is a no expire recall campaign number 200802003 for the issue I have however my VIN is not part of it even though I have the same problem. Placed my key and car won't start, no crank. Got towed to the dealership and was told that my steering lock needs to be replaced. I don't feel safe driving this car anymore. Imaging driving hundreds of miles away from home and suddenly your "steering lock" malfunctions! scary.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #10

Jan 012013


  • 56,000 miles


After taking my care to the dealer, I had a error message on my display stating that my right rear tail light is out. Then a message stating my right low beam is out. I replaced all the bulbs..... five days later I get another right rear tail light is out. Two weeks later my right low beam is out again. Seems there is a wiring short that keeps burning out the low beam and tail light. Oh by the way tail light/brake lights work. Still have error message.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #9

May 312013

C300 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Passenger tail wire harness has melted to the connector and the lamp holder. This is because the connector pins used for the ground wire cannot simply handle the load. I am not sure how the passed the mb quality control. This could easily be a fire hazard. Mb dealership recommended the same pin connector to fix but I'm sure this will happen again. I am filing this incase my car burns because of the issue.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #8

Mar 052013

C300 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
Mercedes Benz C300, 2008 was stopped in order to be parked. I accidentally left the car in "drive" and shut the engine off completely. I do not place my key in the car ignition...I use the "keyless go" feature available by Mercedes Benz. The key fob always remains in my pocket. I exited the car, closed the driver side front door and with my key fob I locked all the car doors and walked away from the car. 45 minutes later I noticed from my office window the car had rolled approximately 30 feet. I feel there is a serious safety issue with this vehicle in that it should not have allowed me to lock all the car doors with the vehicle in drive. Other Mercedes Benz vehicles do not exhibit this faulty feature and make the driver aware that the car is in drive or else some Mercedes models automatically move the car into "park" from "drive" to avoid this potentially dangerous situation that the car can roll away by itself.

- Toronto, Ontario, Canada, AL, USA

problem #7

Apr 202013


  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes C class. The contact stated that another vehicle crashed into the contact's front end. The vehicle was repaired but one month later, the electrical system failed. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection and they stated that the ignition switch and steering column needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified and they stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 08V303000 (electrical system). The failure mileage was 48,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #6

May 072013

C300 6-cyl

  • 86,949 miles
I received messages on my dash stating to check rear left turn signal and rear left tail/brake lamps. Upon pulling out the rear left (driver's side) tail light assembly, which holds all the bulbs, I noticed that the tail lights would flash when I jiggled the wires but not stay on. I pulled the harness plug from the socket on the assembly holding the bulbs and noticed a blackened burnt spot and melted plastic on the plug itself, and also a burnt spot inside the plug socket which almost burned through the other side of the tail light assembly unit. I have pictures of both the tail light assembly unit plug and socket showing the burned markings. This is a very concerning electrical safety hazard that could lead to a fire. This issue seems to be similar to 2 other incidents reported in the NHTSA database for the Mercedes Benz C300 2008 model year (incident #S 10475771 and 10466181).

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #5

Apr 152013

C300 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The tail lights of my Mercedes Benz C300 2008 stopped working. When I went to my local Mercedes dealer to see what is wrong with the car, the service person at the dealership immediately told me that they were fully aware what was wrong with the car without even looking at it. They said that the plastic covers of both real tail lights along with the wire harness had melted. In fact, the service person put his hand back there and he got burned because the entire wire assembly was melted and was short. I asked them to repair the car for free because this is a defect since the wire harness assemblies and plastic tail cover lights should not melt under any conditions. This is both a collision hazard and a fire hazard and it is very common in this model. Mercedes Benz usa refused to fix the vehicle for free as they have an obligation to do since this is a defect. Please issue a recall for the plastic cover and wire harness of the real tail lights of this vehicle because this situation is dangerous both in terms of a fire hazard and in terms of a collision hazard.

- Redondo Beach, CA, USA

problem #4

Apr 192013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes C- class. The contact stated that the rear tail lights failed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to have the light bulbs changed and the dealer advised that the wiring harness failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The current mileage was 62,000 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- North Brunswick , NJ, USA

problem #3

Apr 122013


  • 48,763 miles
Right rear tail lamp assembly. Lights appeared dim for a couple months and figured lights were about it go out. Went to buy new light bulbs to replace the dimming bulbs and when I opened the right side to install the light I noticed the electrical cord attached to the assembly had melted. Lights were still dim and checked to see what it sounded like when I turned the lights on and it makes a crackling electrical sound. I assume that's why it smelt like something was burning and why the 8 prong piece melted. 1-6 on the electrical piece look good. 7 is damaged due to number 8 completely melting off.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #2

Oct 222012

C300 6-cyl

  • 43,000 miles
C300 failed to start. The ignition seem to work correctly.the engine would start and cut off immediately. After several tries, finally the car started and I was able to drive it to the dealer. The dealer was able to replicate the issue. The service manager said it was probably computer and a full reset will fix the issue. I got the car back a week later. While driving back home, I stopped to get gas. I turned of the car and after pumping the gas, it refused to start again. I had to call the road side assistance. The car is back at the dealer now for 7 weeks. I also have a case open with Mercedes Benz. So far there is no response as to what may be causing the issue.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 092012

C300 6-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
Both right and left rear tail lights malfunctioned. First, I noticed that one or the other of the right side turn signals failed to function because I heard a rapid clicking as I made a right turn into a parking lot. Once stopped, I noticed that the Mercedes command system said to check the left rear tail and brake light bulbs. I saw no mention of the right turn signal. When I left the parking lot an hour later, there was no indication on the command system as to anything being wrong. At home, I removed the left printed circuit board and saw that the tail light/brake light bulbs were very dark and gave the appearance of having failed. On testing them with an ohmmeter, I discovered that they in fact had not failed. Even so I wanted to replace them, and on the 10th, which turns out to be 1 day after my 4 year warranty expired, I went by the dealership and the service rep gave me two replacement bulbs. I changed out the old bulbs and all appeared okay. However, the next time I drove the car long enough to get it thoroughly warmed up, I got indications from the command system that not only had a left brake light failed but also the right rear turn signal and also a right side marker. I removed the right rear tail light circuit board and found a burned wire and burned spot on the board itself. I saw nothing on the left rear board. On the 13th, I considered having the car towed to the dealership but decided to drive it. Standing outside the car I saw that the right rear turn signal wasn't working at times, but the rear brake lights appeared to function. In summary, there appeared to be a malfunction in one or both tail light assemblies that occurred due to heat. The dealer replaced the printed circuit board on the right and made other necessary and returned the car in what appears to be good condition. My cost was 50% of the total.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

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