really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,929 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Oct 162016

C300 6-cyl

  • miles


Issue with cam gears. Mercedes has know about this issue for many many years. There should be a recall on this issue. Car is unsafe with this problem and costs about $8000 to fix. From the online class action lawsuit from 2013 "the engines are equipped with defective gears in their balance shafts or with defective idle gears. These defective gears wear out prematurely, excessively, and without warning, causing the vehicle to malfunction, the ┐check engine light┐ to remain illuminated, and the vehicle to misfire and/or stop driving."

- Naples, FL, USA

problem #21

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 #20

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 #19

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 #18

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 #17

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 #16

Aug 192015


  • 86,381 miles


Last week 8/11/2015 I drove to the lumbar store, parked the car and upon returning to the car, the key turned completely to the right, the dash lights came on, the ringing noise sounded, but the car did not turn over, nothing happened. The dash read remove the key from ignition. I called my mechanic with the issue and he said use your key fob to lock and unlock the car; that did not work, still nothing. I called the tow company the battery was fully charged ( I purchased it last year 2014). The tow company disabled the cable to the battery waited 30 seconds and reconnected the battery, still the key would not turn the engine over. Because the lumber yard locked their gate at 5 pm the car was scheduled to be towed the next morning. The car started the next morning, I allowed the tow company to tow it anyway and have their mechanic assess the problem. Thorough-out the day the tow mechanic attempted to turn the car on and determined the car would intermittently start. The next day I drove the car to a foreign car service shop, they stated the eis system is not always recognizing the key and only a mb dealership can fix ignition related problems. I called and got a quote, the eis part and labor will cost me $872.31 includes taxes (assuming this is the problem). As a note, I used my other key and still had the same problem. This morning I used the key I always use and it started. Off to the mb dealership.

- N Charleston , SC, USA

problem #15

Aug 152015


  • miles
Car has faulty steering lock and has to be replaced at a high expense. This seems to be a very common problem as I learned visiting various websites and forums.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 032015


  • 91,319 miles
The key locks and unlocks the doors the lights come on and the dash lights up. You can insert and turn the key but the car will not start. The stering wheel is locked and it is stuck in park. I tried power jumping and it did nothing, I didn't think the battery was the problem but had it checked anyways. The battery checked out fine. I check the fuses that are associated with the starter and all was fine also. Only thing left was get it towed to the Mercedes dealership, found out that the steering wheel lock issue is a common thing with my car model, eis failure seems increasingly common on 2008 models for some reason.

- Miramar, FL, USA

problem #13

Sep 012011


  • 21,000 miles
Myself, as well as passengers have been cut by the sharp edge of the peeling chrome along the top rim of front cup holder. I told my dealership and they wanted charge me over $500 to replace it. When grabbing change, drinks, or anything from cup holder the front of ones hand is constantly exposed to this sharp edge. Not a safety issue but similar to the peeling chrome, the painted text on several control buttons on dash have been peeling off for several years. A clear sign of poor quality/craftsmanship. This is my first Mercedes and I am not impressed with the interior craftsmanship of what is supposedly a top luxury brand. Also have had to replace battery 2 times in 2 years and have had problems with battery dying within first year of 2nd battery. Dealership wants to charge fee to inspect last battery.

- Cypress, CA, USA

problem #12

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 #11

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 #10

Mar 242015


  • 50,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes Benz C300. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the interlock switch needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #9

Jan 292015

C300 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
I drove to work on the 29th, and to and back an appointment, I went to leave work that evening and my car would not start. The was no indication that there was a problem. And we were in the middle of an ice storm, I called Mercedes road side assistance and I guess my assistance expired so they told me it would be $175 to tow my car, so I used my verizon roadside assistance to pick up and take to a friends shop to fix but because of the storm I was not able to get my car picked up for 25 hours and since it was Friday night by that time my car didn't get looked at by my friends repair shop until Monday 4 days later I find out that the vehicle cant be fixed by anyone else but Mercedes, because everything in the car is seized up and no one knew how to get it unseized. So Monday at noon I called Mercedes roadsideagain to get the car towed again. Because of the wonderful customer service from the roadside assistance team at Mercedes they ended up sending 3 tow trucks over to pick my car up, the first one showed up after my first shop closed, the second tow truck was unable to pick up the car because they didn't know it wouldn't go into gear so finally another 24 hours had past before they got my car which is 1/4 of a mile away from the repair shop where it was. My car has been broke for almost a whole week know and still know one knows what is wrong with the car in the mean time the dealership has no loaner car for me to use and I spent 3 hours sitiing in a disabled car in an ice storm waiting for someone to come and get me. It really sounds like the same problem everyone else on this site has experienced who knows how long it will take them to kfigure it out at this pace, I will update this if I ever find out.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #8

Nov 192014


  • 30,896 miles
Car year: 2008 model: C300 4matic sport mileage at time of failure: 30,893 warranty: Expire on due to age of car, not mileage estimate cause: Manufacturing defect part effected: Eis (electronic ignition switch), esl (electronic steering lock), ECU estimated effected vins based on extensive online research and customer complaints: Thousands estimate cost of individual repairs per incident due to defect: $1,200. To $1,990. Estimate profit for dealerships: $100mm+ research keywords: Mercedes Benz, eis, esl, C300 source of 99% of complaints: www.mbworld.com & independently owned and operated mb dealership. "service campaign bulletin" campaign no. 2008020003, March 2008 recall: Not issued this is regards to a consistent and repeated know manufacturer defect in several years Mercedes Benz models, that the company, Mercedes Benz (mb) is aware of and has issued a "service campaign bulletin" campaign no. 2008020003, March 2008. Unfortunately mb claims that this issue only affects "approximately 10 vehicles". a 08 Mercedes C300 that I bought on 6/12/2013 with 9,025 miles when I bought it and now has about 30,896 miles today 11/20/2014. On 11/19/2014 my car stopped working. \ after researching online I noticed hundreds upon thousands of people are having the same issue with the 08 C300 knowing as the eis, esl, or the ignition failure and repairs up to $2000 in some cases. I will need to have my car towed to a mb dealership to have this fix. Thank you for your assistance, your time and consideration.

- Southampton, NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 112014


  • 66,000 miles
The engine dies. This is known by Mercedes Benz and is being reported all over. The ignition system needs to be recalled and replaced. Why is NHTSA dragging its feet on this issue. Someone will be injured or killed by this, if it has not already happened.

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #6

Jun 052013


  • 66,000 miles
Many people have complained about the same issue in many forums. I wonder if someone has to be injured or killed (if not already) before something is done. The car arbitrarily and without notice dies and will not restart. It leaves the driver completely vulnerable, wherever it occurs. This is what happened in my situation. Nothing worked, I had to call, to be told that this is a battery issue. It was not, as determined by the tow truck company and the dealership, after the car was towed to them. Is this ever going to be investigated and recalled before further damage and/or injury occurs ?

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #5

Aug 082014

C300 6-cyl

  • 69,069 miles
Car would not start or shift gears. Battery was found to be fully charged. Gears and steering completely locked out. No dash board lighting. Mercedes Benz dispatched but could not jump start. Towing only after forcing cover off gear shifter and overriding gears to put vehicle in neutral. 69K miles.

- Glen Allen, VA, USA

problem #4

Jun 042014


  • 66,000 miles
Car completely shuts down. Nothing worked and would not restart. This has occurred to many other cars and the manufacturer is well aware of this condition. Does someone have to be injured or killed (if this has not already happened) before this defect is addressed ?

- Plantation, FL, USA

problem #3

Jul 132014

C300 6-cyl

  • 84,756 miles
It appears that the eis module has failed, I have done some research and have found several other consumers having the same issues with this particular year and model vehicle. This concerns me. Why hasn't any recalls been done to fix this issue. It seem like this is a safety issue. What if I were driving my car and the eis had malfunctioned. I would have lost power to my vehicle as well as all steering abilities. Could you please investigate this issue?

- Auburn, ME, USA

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