really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,119 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #77

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 #76

Jun 042016


  • 65,000 miles
My wife was driving to a soccer tournament with the girls while I was out of town. She got gas in an area unfamiliar and went to start the car and the remove key from ignition appeared. She had to have the car towed and they were left stranded at a fast food restaurant in an unfamiliar and seedy area until her parents could come get them. They missed the tournament. When I got home I was able to identify the problem because of how common this is. Very frustrated at mb. This is my second C300 and it's funny because after the airbag recall I get calls from the dealer once a week to upgrade this car because supposedly they are worth good trade in right now.

- Valencia, CA, USA

problem #75

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 #74

Mar 062016


  • 92,956 miles


On 3/6/16 the vehicle was parked at gas station for a few minutes. Upon my return to the car, the car wouldn't start. Contacted road side assistance and they tried in vain to start car. Had to tow vehicle to repair shop. Next day, mechanic tested and ran diagnostics - found bad ezl steering lock assembly. Mileage was 92950 at time of failure. Cost $1200. Had to wait a week to get parts and for repair. Rental expense was an additional $200. Grand total - $1400.

- Oklahoma City, OK, USA

problem #73

Mar 192016


  • 118,000 miles
Could not start my car while stationary. Put key in the ignition and got a message on the dash to remove key from ignition. No dash lights came on. There was no clicking or noise...it was just dead. The alarm system and headlight and interior lights were all working so it was not the battery. I called roadside and the gave me a jump, but confirmed that my battery was not the problem. My car had to be towed to the dealership on Saturday night after waiting for 5 hours. The dealership did not even conduct the diagnostics on the car until Tuesday afternoon. They determined that the steering lock was defective and needed to be replaced at the cost of $1000. They did not even offer to loan me a car, or ask if I needed transportation. So essentially they left their customer stranded! this is not the service that is expected from Mercedes! I have had cars (Acura and BMW) longer than my 2008 C300 with more miles which did not require a replacement of the steering lock. This is a common problem among all Mercedes and should be recalled by the manufacturer.

- Narberth, PA, USA

problem #72

Feb 142016


  • 63,000 miles
Electronic steering lock failure. Couldn't get car started. Only 63K miles. Why has this issue not being recalled yet?

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #71

Jan 182016


  • 50,000 miles


Cars steering column locked up while car was parked several times and after numerous attempts with the keys it eventually started up. But one day I parked it and it would not start up at all. Had to have the car towed to Mercedes service department and was informed that it was the eis and that it would cost 1300 dollars to repair. Did research online and noticed that this is a common occurrence for this vehicle years 2008-2009 and that this is more a manufacturing defect that should be covered under a Mercedes Benz recall rather than passing this cost off to the consumer. I talked this over with the service tech and he stated that he gets numerous vehicles in for this service and that he anticipates that this will eventually be a recall in the future but presently I would need to pay up front and wait for the recall to be generated by Mercedes. This is unfair that a defective part is being passed on to the customer, my vehicle only has 50,000 and it is apparent that this part goes bad on the vehicle just about the time the warranty expires. Mercedes needs to stand behind it's vehicle and satisfy its customers with a recall of this part.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #70

Jan 262016


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300. The contact stated that the remote key failed to start the vehicle. The brake pedal locked up, the steering wheel seized, and the gear shifter failed to come out of park. The instrument panel indicated to remove the key from the ignition switch. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,000.

- Manville, LA, USA

problem #69

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 #68

Dec 262015


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

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #67

Dec 182015


  • 78,921 miles


I was driving my 2008 Mercedes 300C, parked the car for less than 10 minutes returned to leave and it would not start. The key locks and unlocks the doors, the lights come on, the radio turns on, and the dash lights up. You can insert and turn the key but the car will not start. The steering wheel is locked and the drive is locked in park. I tried jumping it and it did nothing I didn't think it was the battery but had it checked anyways. Now I'm stranded and had to call aaa and wait for 2 and 1/2 hours to have it towed on a flat bed by a 2nd tow driver(the 1st tow truck couldn't tow it because the car wouldn't shift in neutral) to the repair shop and was told that the eis and steering lock needed to be replaced and the cost was $1647.24. After researching eis replacement this is a common among among many models and Mercedes should be responsible for this.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #66

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 #65

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 #64

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 #63

Nov 272015


  • 87,000 miles
My C300 was functioning perfectly with no issues. When I came out to start the car, it would not recognize the key. I had it towed to a dealer and they informed me that it's the electronic steering lock fail. I looked this up and it is something very common with the 2009 model. There are several post on the internet asking for this to be a recall item. This is the second or third time. This needs a recall.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #62

Nov 072015


  • 95,000 miles
Electronic steering lock fail or eis the car will not start

- Pace,, FL, USA

problem #61

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 #60

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 #59

Nov 042015


  • 102,000 miles
Electronic steering wheel lock failed

- Seymour, TN, USA

problem #58

Sep 102015


  • 103,000 miles
Drove my car home and it ran fine. The next morning the car would not start. Dash lights and radio came on but engine would not turn over. Took my vehicle to dealer and found out it was the eis switch that is bad which seems to fail in the model. It cost me $1500 to replace switch. Mercedes needs to do a recall or reimburse for repairs because there are over 2,000 complaints on this part and year vehicle.

- Cedar Hill, TX, USA

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