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 1 of 9)

problem #180

Dec 172016


  • 93,000 miles


Ordinary day at my job, got off and went to my car and put the key in lights in the instrument cluster came on and message was " remove the key" turn the key to accessory nothing happens, turn it all the way to start the ignition nothing happens, the vehicle is stuck in park and there is no way to move the shifter. After a research online and few phone calls I found out that this is a very common problem among Mercedes vehicles. I took it to the dealer they did diagnose it for steering wheel lock and quoted me $1,300 for repairs. I do believe this should be a recall or at lease Mercedes-Benz of usa take it's part and reimburse the parts since it's a very common problem. I'm not happy at all of the way they deal with this problem.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #179

Nov 012016


  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300. The contact stated that the turn signals failed to operate. It was discovered that the cable wire connected to the turn signal light bulbs were damaged. The contact also stated that the parking indicator also failed and the cable connected to the parking indicator was damaged. The contact took the vehicle to a dealer where it was diagnosed that a new headlight assembly was needed. The contact was also informed that the vehicle was out of warranty and would have to pay out of pocket for the repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #178

Dec 022016


  • 50,000 miles
2008 Mercedes C300 with bad esl. Cost to fix is $1200. Seems like this is a known issues with Mercedes as an internet search leads to many other who have had the same issue. I parked the car at work, then went out several hours later to go to lunch and it would not start. There was no sound of the starter or any other noises when trying to start the car. I thought it was the battery, but all the lights and everything else electrical worked on the car. Just to be safe, tried to jump the car, but it still did not start. Car was stuck and could not shift it into neutral. Had to call a tow truck to get it towed my local mbz dealer. Turns out it has a bad esl.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #177

Nov 282016


  • 75,000 miles


An hour after parking the vehicle, I was unable to start it back up. Had it towed to the dealer and diagnosed with eis/esl failure, at a cost of $1700 to replace. Mercedes disavowed all knowledge of this being a common issue, despite hundreds of online complaints to the contrary. All signs point to this being due to a cheap/faulty part at manufacture, which can fail at any time, leaving drivers stranded in potentially unsafe areas or on the side of the road. Car has 75000 miles and exemplary service record.

- Frederick, MD, USA

problem #176

Nov 212016


  • 107,000 miles
When replacing a headlight bulb I noticed the H7 wire was completely exposed with no insulation, as I tried to wrapped them in electrical tape to get a temporary fix, the little insulation still left on the cable crumbled. I encourage to check the cable insulation on your vehicle as this can cause a shortage and fail headlights.

- Hialeah, FL, USA

problem #175

Nov 142016


  • 167,000 miles
Car was parked and went to drive car. It will not start. Both keys will not work. Problem is with electronic ignition switch failure. No instrumentation display. Can not shift car out of park. Tried jumping car and it will not start. Replaced battery and it will not start.

- Mount Pleasant, WI, USA

problem #174

Nov 012016


  • 107,000 miles


C300 not starting due to bad electronic steering lock mechanism, seems to be common.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #173

Oct 142016


  • 79,000 miles
Car will not start while parked. Battery checked and tested good by aaa. Steering wheel locked. Car will not shift out of park. Towed to christian brothers automotive and problem was diagnosed as eis failure. Was told that this is a very common problem for this car. However, it is a 'dealer only' repair due to Mercedes refusal to either sell parts or release codes to independent dealers. Was also told there is a lawsuit attempting to force Mercedes to cease with the proprietary baloney. The repairs are very expensive and there is no alternative to the dealership. This needs to be a recall or, at the very least, all the necessary parts and codes need to be made available to independent repair facilities.

- Irving, TX, USA

problem #172

Oct 012016


  • 115,000 miles
Car wont start, local mechanic refer to common problem (ignition moduel),I was coming out of the cvs phatmacy and the car just wont start, called mb the Y asked me to jump start but nothing, different key nothing so I towed to the dealer.

- Danville, IL, USA

problem #171

Sep 052016


  • 81,000 miles
From a parked vehicle, I unlocked car and inserted key and turned to start position 2. no steering unlock, shift lever stuck in park and no engine start. Message "take your key from ignition" appeared as well when I opened door. Voltage from battery was 12.7 vdc. Had car towed to Mercedes Benz dealer and was diagnosed with eis failure (electronic ignition system). Cost for repair: $1,350.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #170

Aug 062016


  • 99,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the steering lock and ignition module needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 99,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #169

Jun 012016

C300 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I took my C300 Mercedes Benz (with only 52,000 miles), to the Mercedes Benz of miami dealership to check the wiring in both head lamps, since the headlights were intermittently flickering on and off, while driving at night. This electrical problem was of serious concern for me as a 72 years' old senior, could be a dangerous safety issue, creating a life and death situation. Mercedes Benz dealership assistant service manager, juan obando, told me that the wiring to the headlamps was corroded and could not be replaced. I would have to buy two (2) complete new headlamp assembly units costing $1,890.- plus tax and labor installation. While driving at nights and unpredictably and intermittently losing head and low beam lights, is of grave safety concern to me and creates a hazard to pedestrians and other drivers on the roadway and highways.

- Hallandale Beach, FL, USA

problem #168

Jul 192016


  • 161,000 miles
Key is not recognized when inserted in the ignition. Therefore, car will not start. Dealership states that the electronic ignition switch (eis)is faulty. This problem is well documented through out the usa. The repair costs is estimated at $800-2,000 dollars. On July 19th, 2016, I ran several errands. Once at home, I tried to start my car. The ignition did not turn but battery life was strong. Dashboard read " remove key car will not start..."

- College Park, MD, USA

problem #167

Jul 222016


  • 93,121 miles
On July 21,2016 at 9am and I parked my car and went to work, 2 hours later came back and try to start the car, did not start. Car door locks and trunk locks open and close but when I turn the ignition on, no response, no display on instrument panel around speedometer gauges. No hissing or cranking or beeping noise also. Steering column was also locked up and inoperable.about 2 years ago command screen with lcd display that controls all functions smoked a little and was shut down display. Going to the last weeks problem steering column has locked me out and also eis that is the communicator from ignition switch and alternator or started do not function also. I happened to see more than hundreds of car with the same year group and model has smiliar problems.my car mileage was 93121. I would like make this as a manufacturing problem of unreliability of the parts and the manufacturer let it roll off assembly line with out doing diligent testing of the parts involved from the suppliers for reliablity and durability and in turn cost the consumers $2000-3000 of unnecessary expense/troubleshoot and fix/ than you very much for your help.

- Monroe, NJ, USA

problem #166

Jul 232016


  • 39,940 miles
Electronic ignition switch (eis) has failed twice! in 6 weeks and now the electronic steering lock must also be replaced. There is a concern that the esl may malfunction and lock steering while driving. This issue appears to be wide spread in 2008 and 2009 Mercedes C300 vehicles. No support from Mercedes after calls to NJ headquarters.

- Wantagh, NY, USA

problem #165

Jun 292016


  • 75,000 miles
Parked vechile to make a quick stop when I returned vechile will not start. Got a jump and it was confirmed it was not the battery car was only at 75000 miles

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #164

Jun 242016


  • 0 miles
Faulty ignition switch. Hundreds of forums online prove that with the same exact problem in C - class cars and others from Mercedes Benz their ignition switches prove to be faulty. Car because automatically stuck in park and requires thousands to fix the issue. Car ran fine to work and leaving work I was left in the dark and late hours having to get it towed. Which could not be towed due to it being stuck in park. I've been quoted $1500 to fix the problem and it appears this is common for these vehicles. Completely unacceptable. The nearest dealer to fix the issue was over 20 miles away.

- Biddeford, ME, USA

problem #163

Jun 242016


  • miles
Front driver seat belt make the airbag light come on and off when driving on the dash. Car will not start shortage that kill the battier this is my second battier in a week.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #162

Jun 032016


  • 100,000 miles
My car won't start, read online hundreds of others cars that have had the same problem for 2008 4matic C300. Why is this not a recall.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #161

May 172016


  • miles
Navigation screen started flickering on and off and then smoke started coming from it. There is an electrical issue with the radio/ navigation. If there is smoke then there is wires burning which can cause a fire.

- Sandy Springs, GA, USA

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