really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,815 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.

2002 Mercedes-Benz C320 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2002 Mercedes-Benz C320 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #34

Jul 222015


  • 125,000 miles


Was driving on highway when esp, bas and ABS lights show up, and speedometer display stops working - speed reading goes to zero, though there is no reduction in speed. Get to destination. On return it happens again. This time I go to rest area, stop the car, remove the key and restart. The car refuses to move out of park. Call roadside assistance and get instruction to override park, drive home with flashers on - very rough ride quality. Tow to dealer next day, they are not sure if new part will fix it, even if $1850 part is replaced. Lots of electrical problems over the years. Turn lights go out routinely. Changed cd changer. Seat drains battery, had to disconnect it. Poor electrical sensors all around. Now it also has rust damage, all of a sudden, at the bottom of doors.

- Storrs, CT, USA

problem #33

Apr 072015


  • 123,384 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercedes C320. The contact stated that the vehicle would not start. The contact mentioned that after an hour, the vehicle was able to start. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 123,384.

- Ackakee, MD, USA

problem #32

Jul 142013

C320 6-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
There have been two warning lights for rear lights and after driving for 4 hours, a warning came on for electrical stability and my car quit working completely. There was a burning smell and I had to restart it. I am very concerned about this.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #31

May 172013

C320 6-cyl

  • 56,000 miles


Drivers power seat control module drains battery when auto is parked.

- Plano, TX, USA

problem #30

Dec 102012

C320 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercedes C320. The contact stated he had to replace the battery in the vehicle several times. The dealer stated the seat controls for the passenger seat drained the battery and the seat control module needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 89,000 and the current mileage 90,904.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #29

Jul 012007


  • 50,000 miles
I came out and my battery was dead without warning. I took the vehicle to downtown la motors(Mercedes Benz) dealer, where they explained that the seat control modules were staying on and causing the battery to drain. I subsequently had to unhook the seat controls and now I am unable to move my seats or steering wheel. They estimated that the repair would cost around 1500. Numerous customers have the same issue on the same vehicle, it is obvious that this is a manufacturer defect and not the fault of Mercedes Benz consumers.

- Canoga Park, CA, USA

problem #28

Jan 142010

C320 6-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


On 1/14/2012 car wont start battery dead, call aaa tow truck. Jump battery ok used cared next day and on faul come up on my cars troulbe screen to indicated that I had any other trouble in any system it the car, we when to fl on the on the 16 of January car was home (in NY) son was going to take of house and start car once a week. Received phone call from my son on 1/17/2012 car wont start, battery dead, and key wont turn. On 4/21/2012 come home from fl fround dead car and transmistion leaking.called Mercedes Benz for a toe to the shop.this is thr thired battery since a have this car.battery was under warranty.it was chaneg lest then a year ago. M/B shop informed me battery was dead. Cause my seat modules shorted, to replace modules was cost $1200. I feel that the battery cause this trouble and the the modules should be replaced by B/M at no cost to me.

- Thornwood, NY, USA

problem #27

Apr 022012


  • miles
I have a 2002 Mercedes C320. My battery is dead after seating overnight. Took the car to the austin mb dealership to diagnose the problem. I was told that the power seat motor is draining my battery. Both seats. Come to find out that many other people have experienced the same problem. I called Mercedes usa and they said that since the car is out of warranty, there is not much they can do. That is bull!! obviously since so many people with this car model have the same problem, it has to be a manufacturer fault. I was wondering how many people need to experience this problem before Mercedes will admit that they have a bad component on this model. I figured, if enough people call and tell mb that they have this same problem, they will realize that this is a defective part and they will issue a recall and pay for necessary repairs. Please call Mercedes usa and report this problem. 1-800-for-Mercedes (1-800-367-6372) or 201-476-6200.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #26

Mar 052011

C320 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
Mercedes Benz C240 ECU failure. Also the transmission shifts are sometimes random at best and sometimes shuts off. The cars instrument cluster also sometimes doesn't work, the power steering leaks intermittently the rear coil spring broke on left side of vehicle. The alternator was replaced so was the coil pack and other items by Mercedes but they always tried to justify that problem was normal wear and tear which is not true.

- Kissimmee, NJ, USA

problem #25

Jan 052011


  • 97,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercedes Benz C320. The contact stated that the battery continued to fail each time the vehicle was started. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised that the seat module was draining the battery that was located under the front driver and passenger seats. The contact stated that he had to purchase two batteries within four months due to the recurring failure. The manufacturer was not contacted in regards to the failure. The failure mileage was 97,000.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #24

Nov 012010


  • miles


I have a 2002 Mercedes C-320 car that the battery will not hold a charge! I had the Mercedes dealer come to my home and put in a new battery. After spending $300 and 2 days later the new battery was dead. I was told it could be the alternator/regulator by the mb dealer and the cost would be $1,200. I took it to my local mechanic, who works on for. Cars, and they replaced the alternator/reg. For $512 out the door. 2 days later the battery was dead again. I was told my new merc. Battery was not good and they replaced it. 7 days later my battery died again. My local mech. Told me to take it back to the mb dealer as there seems to be a problem with their module and they should replace it for free as through his research many individuals are having the same problem. Clearly a defect part by Mercedes as through my and my mech. Research, the mb mech are replacing the old modules with a new and improved one to fix the problem. I now have now had aaa to come and charge my battery once again and I will take it to the mb dealer. I hope they a will do the right thing.

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #23

Mar 012008


  • 33,000 miles
Extensive electrical problems in 2002 CL500 Mercedes Benz. Vehicle seats move on their own while vehicle in motion. Windows go up and down on their own; lock in whatever position it chose; hydraulics in this vehicle go up and down at will. Vehicle will lean on one side, then drop to where it is undriveable, then raise on the opposite side. The key has decoded itself and would not start the vehicle. It has been replaced and the new key had to be recoded as it started the car and then would not start the car. Battery has been replaced more than once and the car still starts fine one day and not at all the next and then will be fine on the third day. I can go on and on. We have only owned this vehicle for 2 years and have spent in excess of $10,000 in repairs that do not repair this vehicle. I still have a very large balance on this nightmare of a "vehicle" but don't have anything to drive. It is presently being repaired for a window issue. It simply would not go up. When it did go up the window broke. Glass has been replaced, regulator replaced, motor replaced and now I am being told it is the control module. $1200 later I still have an open window and still trying to figure out the problem. Presently the dashboard middle console serve no purpose other than decoration since the lights go on and off at will also. The vehicle exterior lights (headlights, parking lights, turning signals) work when they choose to and we have replaced bulbs excessively just to find that there was never anything wrong with the bulbs. The electrical system in this car is a nightmare. These issues have been ongoing since we purchased this car. It had only 27,000 miles at the time of purchase however because it was a 2002, it had no manufacturers warranty. We purchased separate warranty which covered practically none of the issues mentioned because they were all "electrical". this vehicle has a class action lawsuit pending on the reed valve. Probably another issue.

- Virginia Beach, Va, VA, USA

problem #22

Jun 102007


  • 54,000 miles
Left and right electronic seat modules which also controls the steering wheel and others failed and mb did not want to accept the responsibility part numbers are: 2118704626 2118704726.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #21

Dec 132009


  • 44,975 miles
At 45,000 miles front passenger seat started draining the battery. Dealer told bad control unit. Because of high cost of repair ($900.), it has been disconnected. The control unit was least utilized for the passengers seat. This should not have failed under 45000 miles use.

- Cerritos, CA, USA

problem #20

May 122008


  • miles
2002 C320 Mercedes Benz electrical seats draining battery.

- Antioch, CA, USA

problem #19

Jan 072008


  • 92,887 miles
Mercedes Benz 2002, C320 *steering wheel malfunction warning *seats malfunction *brake and oil fluid misleading info *battery drain *turning signals requiring new harness that cost a lot $$$.

- Sylmar, CA, USA

problem #18

Jul 202009


  • 85,000 miles
Seat control units draining the battery if car is parked. Car will not start if parked for more then 24H. Drain amps between 1.2 and 1.4 amps. Had to disconnect the seat modules, now seats can't be adjusted.

- El Paso, TX, USA

problem #17

Aug 072009


  • 74,500 miles
Car stalled in the middle of the road and almost caused an accident. After 15 minutes, car started back. I had it diagnosed and a module was replaced. 2 months later, the battery started draining. I had the alternator replaced and the battery twice. Car will work for a day or two and dies again. So many other Mercedes owners of C320 are having the same problem. Battery dying and car stalling.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #16

May 172009


  • 76,000 miles
Battery draining, official dealership is unable to identify what is causing drain.

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #15

Jan 152009


  • 79,500 miles
Battery goes dead after a few days: Major cause is electrical power drain due to faulty units, major cause but not only cause is the seat control module unit. Quick fix is to disconnect to eliminate power drain but this causes other safety features to go dormant. I have read more than 100 reports on benzworld.org on the very same issue with little or no solution from dealerships. Its a major and common problem and should be recalled before people get hurt.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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