really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,586 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.

2004 Mercedes-Benz CL500 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Mercedes-Benz CL500 Owner Comments

problem #8

Jun 202016


  • 93,000 miles


I purchased this car June 2016. Enroute to vacation, in early August, the driver side electrical panel stopped operating. Mid-way to vacation, while stopping for gas the instrument panel when completely dark. I was unable to gauge how much gas, speed, etc., also at that time while sitting in the car, the jumped as if someone hit the car. Later I learned that it was the suspension. This continued to happen throughout the vacation. Upon reaching my vacation destination, the next day the car would not start and I had to call to get my battery jumped. Two days later the battery died again and I had to call for a jump. After returning from vacation, a week later, the battery died again and I had to call for a jump again. In my opinion this car is not safe to drive. I reached out to the recall representatives and was told that the instrument panel is not under recall.

- Temple Hills, MD, USA

problem #7

Apr 302016


  • 128,762 miles
Takata recall I bought my 04 CL500 Benz in April of 2015, after a few month I noticed the cluster flickering then soon after the back light went out but gages still working then today while driving in the city a poof of smoke hit me in the face I figured something was on fire so I pulled over opened all my doors and hood but no flames just smoke when smoke stopped I looked toward where the smoke was coming from witch was the cluster now im stuck with a horrble smell and no gages

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #6

Mar 272016


  • 67,000 miles
Recall #1-abc pump leak. At 67,000 miles in March 2013, the abc pump broke and leaked fluid all over the engine compartment, and caused the suspension to collapse. Had the necessary repairs made at the cost of $3500 without knowledge of a safety recall for this issue. Recall #2-instrument cluster failure-at 87,000 miles in March 2016, the instrument cluster went black while traveling at 60 mph on I-10. Did some research and discovered that this issue is also a safety recall. I have experienced 2 of the 4 safety recalls with this vehicle, but it was not included in either recall. Vehicles experiencing 1 of the 4 issues have been covered by recalls, but a vehicle that has experienced 2 of 4 issues so far is not covered. Where is the common sense in this? on average, this vehicle has been driven only 7500 miles per year.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #5

Oct 172015


  • 120,000 miles


I was driving to the store going about 45mph and all the sudden my instrument cluster completely went out and this is my daily driver so now im driving with no fuel level speed or how hot my engine is getting I called Mercedes and they said my VIN was not in the recall but it should not matter!! it has the same problem as the other ones. But they refuse to fix a safe maulfunction

- Springfield, OH, USA

problem #4

Feb 222014


  • 154,930 miles
While I was driving hwy 1 to monterey ca. Cluster dash lights blacked out. Now don't know how fast I'm going down the road and can see information from it.

- Gilroy, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 212012

CL500 4-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
I have black Mercedes C230 kompressor sports sedan 2004 model. Car was purchased brand new at Mercedes authorized dealer. There is no modification made to this car and all the servicing done at Mercedes authorized dealer since I bought this car. It had only 58000 miles. Last B servicing which checked any safety related issues and includes regular maintenance, was done at authorized dealer on 02/18/2012. No issue was informed on 02/18/2012 to us by Mercedes authorized dealer servicing department. On 06/21/2012, when I was driving this car from work to home, I turned on A/C, A/C shutdown and I started smelling smoke. On left side of my car there is A/C vent and I saw fire inside the hood through that vent.I pulled over car right away and electricity went out with in 1 min of my pulling over and within 4 min, whole car was burning. My car is now totaled. This poses following security concerns: 1. Mercedes C230 2004 is made of highly inflammable material and driver and users of car has very less chance to survive if there is fire. 2. Mercedes C230 2004 model A/C unit is not of highest quality and electrical system is faulty. Both of above issues poses very serious security risks to public and it needs through investigation. I contacted Mercedes head quarter for investigation and Mercedes declined to investigate. Geico stated in report that hood is stuck and cause of fire is unknown. Geico insurance company authorized Mercedes engineers to investigate further upon my request and Mercedes usa does not want to investigate further. I have pictures of burnt car and can share if it helps in investigation to rule out above 2 concerns. We do not want others to go through same ordeal as we went through. Updated 06/13/13 updated 06/17/2013

- North Potomac, MD, USA

problem #2

May 022008


  • 37,000 miles
I bought a certified pre-owned 2004 cl 500 mb from hbl tysons on 8545 leesburg pike, vienna, va on Apr 19, 2008. The salesman showed me the carfax report which showed no prior problems. So, I bought the vehicle w/ an extended warranty. However, 2 weeks after I purchased the car, I experienced many electrical problems, transmission problems, tire problems, & problems with my air conditioner/ heat. Over a 1 ½ years later, my car has been back & forth at the hbl tysons corner, va & mb annapolis, md svc cntr over 40 times for the same reoccurring electrical problems. The electrical problems are becoming worse B/C the car freezes; the steering wheel malfunctions & locks upon starting the car & sometimes, while in motion; in addition to other malfunctions involving: Seat belt, seat head rest, headlights, tail lights, rear fog lights, license plate lights, windshield wipers; heat/air conditioner, SRS, & airbag deployment. I'm paying a car note & I barely have my car B/C the svc. Cntrs have my car for 2-3 weeks at a time B/C they can't fix it. Iżve even been told by them that my particular car is too intricate to fix. Iżve contacted mb corporate in montvale, NJ via telephonically & correspondence, to elevate several complaints, but, my last 2 complaints were to no avail B/C I heard nothing from them as of yet. I keep all of my receipts from each time Iżve dropped my car off & IżM ready to pursue a lawsuit. In fact, Iżve contacted better business bureau, your Agency, & several lawyers B/C Iżve recently discovered via a class action suit, that the year, make, & model of my car is involved in a nat'L recall where a faulty valve w/I the heat/air conditioner, causes a build-up of debris & water, which leaks into the electrical system, causing it to malfunction & shut down. Help me B/C it's obvious the car is unfixable and too dangerous to drive. According to the class action, these problems pre-existed before I bought the car and mb was aware of them prior to selling the car.

- Severn, MD, USA

problem #1

Apr 102005

CL500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
Car would not start and could not get the car in gear. The car has been in the dealers shop for repair 4 times to fix the same problem. Currently the car is running. Negociating with mbz to buy the car back.

- Fresno, CA, USA

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