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NHTSA — Steering Problems

2009 Mercedes-Benz C300 (Page 1 of 7)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,985 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.

2009 Mercedes-Benz C300 steering problems

steering problem

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2009 Mercedes-Benz C300 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 7)

problem #122

May 092020


  • miles


Eis steering lock battery fail. $12 battery dies and eis stays in lock position key doesn't respond to ignition switch or car unlocking doors.

- Newark, NJ, USA

problem #121

May 272020


  • 85,000 miles
My car every so often wonżT start battery is good starter is good just does nothing happened over 10X had it towed to 5 mechanics shops and Mercedes canżT diagnose problem because after a a day maybe two sometimes 4 or 5 the car will just start up on its own and then a few weeks or months we go through it all over again researched and other Mercedes C300 drivers have the same problem for months and its the steering lock module

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #120

May 072020


  • 82,000 miles
Turned ignition key to start vehicle. Nothing happened. No cranking or clicking. Complete silence. Steering wheel and transmission shifter were both locked into position and could not be moved even though ignition was in the żonż position. Apparently this is a common problem associated with a defect in the żelectrical ignition system/electronic steering lock (eis/esl)ż and is the subject of a technical service bulletin from the manufacturer. This condition occurred on one previous occasion within the last 45 days. On both occasions vehicle was stationary however if it were occur while moving the steering wheel would lock and driver would be unable to avoid a collision. This is a well documented and widely known safety defect for which the manufacturer should bear the cost of correcting (at the current time vehicle owners are charged between $1200-$1700 to perform the defect correction outlined in the manufacturer's technical service bulletin).

- St Albans, VT, USA

problem #119

Jan 272020


  • 80,000 miles


Problem with the ignition switch. The whole car shut down after being inspected. It said to be a interlock switch problem Iżll have to have the car towed because it will not turn on it is shut down.

- Blakeslee, PA, USA

problem #118

May 092019

C300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,169 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Mercedes-Benz C300. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the contact was informed that the ignition or the steering column control lock failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was towed to hoy family auto (1122 airway blvd, el paso, tx 79925, (915) 706-2200) where it was diagnosed that the steering column control mechanism failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 120,169. Consumer stated oil change was done 1,000 miles prior to failure.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #117

Jul 242019


  • 140,000 miles
Steering wheel stuck in locked position. Car will not start. Lots of research on the issue has shown many people have this problem. This issues happens when the car is stationary. Many times at night when I am getting off work.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #116

Jul 122019


  • 89,000 miles


Safety issue regarding failure of rear subframe. I am the original owner of a 2009 C300 4matic sport. This vehicle has been garage kept its entire life and is not in a high salt or snow environment. My wife was extremely lucky to have avoided an accident in this car due to the rear subframe rusting through and separating. We bought this car brand new and paid a premium for Mercedes quality because we thought it was the safest vehicle made. I am extremely dismayed to learn that when my wife came home and said the car was driving weird, that in fact she was driving a car that was falling apart with my 7 yr old daughter in the back and could have resulted in a very serious accident. When she arrived at the alignment shop the manager there informed her the car was unsafe to drive and he had never seen anything like this type of failure of the frame before. My wife had the car towed to the Mercedes dealership for repair because it was not safe to drive. This certainly should be a safety recall due to a manufacturing defect or use of poor materials and Mercedes should cover the repairs

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #115

Nov 262018

C300 6-cyl

  • 72,311 miles
Pulled into parking space and locked car. 'the car was in a stationary position in a parking lot.' Did shopping 1/2 hour. When I came back the car did unlock, but when I attempted to start it, the key wouldn't turn to start the car. I was unable to move the gear shift, unable to turn the steering wheel, no radio, the car was totally locked and shut down. I contacted my Mercedes certified mechanic and he had a tow company come to retrieve my car. When the tow got there, the wheels were turned to the left as I had pulled into the parking space and they were still turned from pulling into the space to the left. It took them over an hour to load the car on their truck because the wheels were locked in a turn position. They took the car to my mechanic and he realized the car was in a steering lock. He "removed and replaced -all." The invoice states replaced "steering lock" [xxx] I will have a copy of the invoice faxed to you by ups. I don't know how to fax. There was virtually no reason for the car to lock as it did. There was no indication of an issue while driving the car until I attempted to start it and it was completely locked. Had this happened while I was driving, I am certain it would have been a disaster. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Spring Hill, FL, USA

problem #114

Feb 072019


  • 148,000 miles
The car stopped on me while I was driving pn the highway, because of faulty esl unit. I did some research and it us very common issue with all mercerdes W204.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #113

Aug 212018


  • 84,500 miles
Electronic steering lock failed to operate and unable to start vehicle. Common problem with W204 chassis and perhaps a safety issue if vehicle fails to operate as designed.stationary when failed, had to tow home to diagnose and repair. Theft sensitive device so parts can't be ordered from other than dealer.

- Nampa, ID, USA

problem #112

Jun 222018

C300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,700 miles


The contact owns a 2009 Mercedes-Benz C300. Upon starting the vehicle, the steering wheel failed to turn. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the steering wheel lock needed to be replaced; however, the vehicle was not repaired. The dealer and manufacturer were not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 66,700.

- Saint Marys, KS, USA

problem #111

Jan 012017


  • 48,000 miles
Driver and passenger airbags have been recalled and can cause injury or death in a frontal collision. There has not been any communication as to when a fix will occur and have been told by service advisor that there should not be a problem with the airbags if in collision in California until a fix. Also many other complaints of being stranded due to ignition switch fail that locks steering wheel and is a $1,300 fix.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #110

Feb 222018


  • 78,000 miles
Electronic steering lock(esl) unit fails to unlock steering wheel from a parked, off position, car will not try to start and steering wheel is locked. Car must be towed for repair. Had to replace the esl and have it recoded to work with the electronic ignition switch.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #109

Dec 012017

C300 6-cyl

  • miles
2009 Mercedes-Benz C300. Consumer writes in regards to takata airbag safety recall. The consumer stated the electronic switch that is located in front of the airbag frequently locked the steering wheel and the car won't start, while the vehicle is in motion.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #108

Jan 182018

C300 6-cyl

  • 90,425 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Mercedes-Benz C300. The contact stated that the steering wheel failed to unlock. The vehicle was towed to Mercedes-Benz of wesley chapel (2383 willow oak dr, wesley chapel, fl) where it was diagnosed that the steering lock assembly needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 90,425. The VIN was not available.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #107

Jan 232018


  • 69,808 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Mercedes-Benz C300. When starting the vehicle, the steering wheel locked in place on numerous occasions. There were no warning indicators illuminated prior to the failures. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 69,808.

- Pembrooke Pines, FL, USA

problem #106

Aug 252017


  • 105,400 miles
The vehicle fails to start. When the key fob is placed in the ignition states to remove the key fob. Dealership stated that the car is having problems with the steering column lock which seems to be a very common issue with this vehicle as many others in the mbusa forum are having this problem without any assistance from mb. As I was on my way to work on August 25,2017 I stopped at walgreen's to make a purchase. When I got back to the vehicle and attempted to start the car it would not start. I then tried jumping the vehicle from another vehicle with no luck. The car was then towed to the dealership who initially stated that the car was not recognizing the key fob. They then in turn stated that no the car's steering column lock is not working properly. I then researched the web and noticed that this appears to be a very common issue in which there has been many numerous complaints. My car is covered under warranty but they will not cover this item as they are only covering the powertrain.

- Fresno, TX, USA

problem #105

Sep 152017


  • 81,000 miles
Car was off and parked in the giant (limerick, pa) parking lot. I put the key in the ignition, turned it, and nothing happened. Dash read "remove key." I had the vehicle towed to dealer. Steering lock mechanism went bad. Fuse 22 blew every time we put the key in the ignition. Had to replace part.

- Schwenksville, PA, USA

problem #104

Aug 272017


  • 59,000 miles
Takata recall, brake power steering malfunction ABS, esp, ets, SRS.esb, ebr flashes on and off on message center. Then vehicle started to drive very rough and bumpy, then I had no control of the steering wheel and it totally locked thank god iwas able to try and roll it to the side of the road and the car just totally went black and died, no headlights and I have to have it towed, waiting to get the diagnosis from the dealer. But I have done some research on line and have seen hundreds of the same complaints from all over the usa and even oversees that it has to do with the eis. This saddens me to see all the same complaints and I thought that we were protected as consumers by the government, and the NHTSA against major auto manufacturer such as mbusa to call out these deadly defects before it consumed innocence peoples lives. But it is obvious that our lives means nothing to these people, because with all these identical complaints this is a defect that should be address and mbusa should have the decency to take responsibility and admit that this is a manufacturer defect and do a recall. This is just too much complaints on this problem and no one seem to be taking this matter serious, and we as the consumers are being stuck with these major repair bills running in the thousand. What is the purpose in making these reports when no one seems to care. How many complaints do you have to receive on the same issue for the NHTSA and the fair trade act to stand up for us, in October of 2016 this same vehicle self accelerate and crash in to two other vehicles causing a major accident and when reported to mbusa they claim they did there investigation and nothing was wrong with my vehicle, they place the blame on me.daimler ag would not believe what there prestigious company as become

- Dorchester, MA, USA

problem #103

Aug 292017


  • 104,000 miles
The electronic steering lock in my 2009 Mercedes Benz C300 is not unlocking when I put the key in the ignition. The car will not start. This has happened 3 times in the past 2 months. After the first two incidents, the wheel did eventually unlock. I took it to my repairman who advised I get a new key from mb as that might solve the problem. Got a new key last week for $330. Today - 10 days later - the steering wheel again will not unlock. Looking on the internet, this is a very common and well-documented problem with mb vehicles over many years. Mb should issue a recall on this and fix the problem, and at no charge to the customer! at present, they are gouging customers anywhere from $1200-2200 to fix a problem that every mechanic and collision person in my neighbothood knows to exist. The only people who don't seem to know about the problem are the people at the mb dealerships, who obviously want the repair business. I also understand that this wheel lock problem has occured while people are driving. My car was stationary every time this problem has happened, parked in a garage with no incline at all. I urge you to order Mercedes Benz to recall this part and to repair this problem asap.

- Lake Forest, CA, USA

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