pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
7,190 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.

2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 Owner Comments

problem #2

Feb 172007

E320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles


I purchased a 2003 Mercedes Benz E320 custom ordered. There are erratic, inconsistent, intermittent problems of defective brake operation, radio, cd, seat controls, instrumentation, windows control, tire pressure indication, restraint system, transmission operation, SRS system. These problems occur randomly. Twice, when I needed to brake quickly the brakes did not stop the car. The brake assist feature did not work. The car's brakes are terrible and unreliable, and constitute safety danger on the road. There are numerous malfunctions reported by car indicated on the instrument panel. All or most of these problems are electrical system problems associated with the gateway module*software*.the can-bus system on car, which also controls brakes, does not have correctly-operations of ware, and it affects most electrical and mechanical system functions in the car. There are data collisions and packet conflicts on the bus because the software is not written correctly or the computer system and software is overloaded. Reading over the 55 2003 E320 complaints on your website, it is clear that most of them are due to this software problem. The car has been brought back to the selling dealer, Mercedes Benz of san diego, *over 50 times*during the years 2003-2007 with no solution. The car warranty is set to expire in a week, and these problems are not yet fixed. The nhtsb demand Mercedes Benz either redesign the system or rewrite the software and test it for about 40,000 hours, or replace the vehicles with post-2003 E-class models, free of charge the nhtsb has been duped by Mercedes Benz into believing that replacing hardware components solve these problems the nhtsb should test the network software by examining data flows and function calls during the operation of the electrical and mechanical system features of an E320 and diagnose for data collisions and packet conflicts during automobile feature operation.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 182004

E320 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,180 miles
1- vehicle (2003 Mercedes-Benz E55) was traveling at 65-70 mph on garden state parkway (NJ). I was approaching exit 109 when a car entering from the right decided to cross three lanes of traffic, cutting me off. 10086185 2- when I took my foot off the gas quickly, the dash lit up red, a warning beep came on and a malfunction message told me "brake malfunction-stop vehicle" (a bit ironic, huh?). the brake pedal was soft to the floor. I downshifted two gears and tried pumping the brake pedal, but finally had to stop the car by downshifting the transmission again and applying the parking brake. I pulled the car onto the shoulder. The dash showed two malfunctions, brakes and esp (traction control), and the warning beep continued until I removed the key. I restarted the vehicle several times as instructed by the instrument panel, until finally the dash advised "no malfunctions, " and the pedal regained its normal feel, at which point I drove slowly home. About 1/4 mile from my house the failure repeated itself. I pulled into a parking lot and tried to slow the car from a walking pace using only the brake pedal. With both feet on the pedal and considerable force applied, the brakes could barely stop the car from even that speed. I stopped the car again using the parking brake and repeated the turn it on/turn it off sequence until getting the "no malfunction" screen again and drove the rest of the way home. Upon entering my driveway, I got the failure message again, slowed the car in the same manner as before and parked it. 3- the dealer picked up the car on a flatbed and brought it in for service. I also contacted the NHTSA prior to allowing the car to be towed away in case any investigation needed to be performed. Ultimately, the ABS/esp cpu was replaced under warranty and the car was returned on July 27, 2004. Copies of the repair order have been faxed to scott yon at NHTSA for review. The car has performed properly since the repair.

- Ocean, NJ, USA

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