definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,071 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Apr 062016


  • miles


Water gets in the trunk somehow and causes faulty wuthering sam boxes..creating electrical fire hazzard..can't seem to figure out how water gets in trunk and settles where spare tire sits near battery and electronic wiring

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #22

Oct 062015


  • 77,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes Benz E320. While parked, the vehicle's "service brakes-visit workshop" light illuminated. The warning light illuminated intermittently. The contact also stated that there was an abnormal noise coming from the engine. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 77,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #21

Jun 122015


  • 69,502 miles
Vehicle engine suddenly and without warning stopped running while being driven. This could have caused a serious or fatal accident if it had occurred on a major highway. Mercedes Benz of West chester replaced the crankshaft position sensor. The occurrence was stored in vehicle electronics. The fault was an electrical short in the crankshaft position sensor. Mercedes determined the crankshaft sensor gets hot when engine running and causes internal resistance to rise to the point of shorting out. Mercedes Benz stated that a failure of this part should not have shut the vehicle off completely but rather should have resulted in the vehicle not being able to be restarted once it was stopped in ordinary operation. This is very dangerous!

- Media, PA, USA

problem #20

Aug 162012

E320 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


I purchased my car from a used car dealership of course I expected to have to have minor work done on it. Immediately noticed that the heater didn't work when I had it repaired I was told that some valve often gets stuck on these cars the dealership always run diagnostics on your car whether you want them to or upon running the diagnostic I was advised the my new used card would need about $6K in work done from the hood to the trunk I decided to keep the car and get the major work done in stages 1st thing I had done was front break pads and rotors although I opted to have the work completed by an authorized repair shop and not the dealship for obvious reasons (cost) not once did the dealership complete recall repair work or even mention it to me that there were several recalls and my car needed to have those repairs completed but rather over charged me for ball joints plus several other things that more than likely did not need to be repaired. I felt completely taken advantage of and raised my concern adamantly to little avail. I took my car to the dealership multiple time prior to the expriration of the said 10yr extended warranty with regard to the sbc failing not once did they mention or repair it knowing full well that the main purpose of me bringing my car to them was specifically due to the brake warning light being illuminated on the dash I was told that it was some type of sensor not a big deal to worry about that my car would continue to stop and there was no need to replace the said sensor an unnecessary cost since my breaks were fine I told them my breaks weren't fine it was taking too long for the car to slow down and stop they did nothing that was 2012 the condition worsened and the light went from white to red I decided to research online a few months ago and came across 3 recalls I called mbusa they told me the warranty expired November 2013.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #19

Mar 012013

E320 6-cyl

  • 148,000 miles
There is a sensor in the passenger seat that is defective causing the front passenger airbag to turn off, even when a passenger is properly seated.

- Orinda, CA, USA

problem #18

Mar 152012

E320 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles
It started with a esp warning on the cluster, with increased brake distance, after restart the warning was gone, after many months the warning came back on in Nov of 2013, went back off and came back on Jan 14 2014, called the Mercedes dealer in nashville tn, was advised that the auto did have a recall on the sbc unit, which is the ABS brake system, but the recall ended on 11-12, which I do not understand how a safety recall can expire with mileage or date. The repair will cost about $2000 with no manufacture support or help. Mercedes has know about the Bosch system have only so many brake cycles, I purchased this vehicle used in 2009 and have never received any information on the recall. This is not the way a recall is supposed to work.. Mercedes said sorry, that's not good enough, this is the safety of my family and others that own these vehicles.

- Shelbyville, TN, USA

problem #17

Apr 262012


  • 86,150 miles


While driving at 45mph to go to work my car lost the brakes. The display showed brakes defective. Luckily I had plenty of space to stop the car with emergency brakes. I did diagnostic on the car and the sensotronic brake control sbc unit as Mercedes-Benz calls it (the brake unit) was defective. This is unacceptable defect and could be life threatening to others if they loose the brakes like I did while driving. Dealer diagnosed the car as well and replaced the sbc pump.

- Parkville, MD, USA

problem #16

Nov 202011

E320 6-cyl

  • 4 miles
I started the car in the morning, and it gave me a malfunction message stating that the display is defective. The fuel gauge display doesn't read the proper level, the backup lights do not work, the signals and hazard lights do not operate, the wipers do not work. The features of auto adjusting the steering wheel tilt, the mirrors, and the seats are not working. Checked for recalls, found a similar recall in July of 2008, but the service representative at the dealership said my VIN number wasn't included!

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #15

Jul 142011


  • 118,893 miles
While traveling in the far left lane on a four lane highway the engine on the car stops in addition to the check engine light coming on. I could not move to the left shoulder because it was an additional lane for high occupancy vehicles which was also barricaded. I immediately placed on my flashers and commenced to change lanes to get off of the highway. Where this also occurred was where an on-ramp connects which added on another obstacle in an attempt to get off of the highway. It was very fortunate and lucky that no accident occurred as in the dallas area during rush hour it is very hard to just change to one lane with a running car let alone changing lanes 3 times plus dealing with merging traffic from an on-ramp with a car that is not running. After having the car towed to the dealer, the crank shaft sensor was found to be the defect. It is clearly a safety flaw by the vehicle manufacturer to completely stop an engine when a defect occurs on a sensor. In this condition the vehicle should only turn on the check engine light instead of turning the car off to place the operator into a potential deadly situation.

- Mckinney, TX, USA

problem #14

Oct 042010


  • 113,000 miles
2003 E320 Mercedes brake failure!! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I bought this car in 07 with 65,000 miles a good deal. Fine car! however...today while driving to work a red brake failure warning...flashes across the screen and my car would not stop!!! I am rolling across a small country rd bridge and thankfully am at the bottom of a steep hill. The brake pedal just flopped..nothing.. I managed to get it into park and get out with the car still running!!! I've had it towed two hours away...while waiting on my husband to get home to go the dealership with me, I located about 3 recalls on this model.. question... what responsibility does this used import car dealer have to me as a customer" they are consulting the Mercedes dealership to see if it is indeed an issue with a brake/hydraulics recall..I don't want to drive this car again..I owe some money on it. What could I insist they do??"

- Gilbertown , AL, USA

problem #13

Aug 032010


  • 80,000 miles


The car stalled while driving approx. 35 mph, this was the 4th time it stalled, the 3 other times car was not going as fast. One at a stop sign, the other 2 at about 20 mph. When car cooled off was able to start it. The 4th time could not restart, towed to mechanic found to be cps (crankshaft position sensor. Researched online found numerous complaints. An obvious problem! a dangerous problem!

- Monterey, CA, USA

problem #12

Aug 232008


  • 78 miles
While driving my E-320 I heard a loud popping sound come through the speakers. After I heard the sound the rear speakers and the sub woofer began to make a noised that suggested they were busted. When I stop the car and shut it off I heard a buzzing noise come through the speakers. Now when ever I apply the brakes I hear what sounds like a faulty ground noise coming through the speakers. There have been recalls on the brakes electrical system that sounds just like the problem that I am having but mb said my car is not included in the recall, by the way the to door speakers cost $189 dollars a piece and the rear sub woofer cost $639 dollars. I haven't started the research on how much the radio unit cost. This car has giving me several problems. What a beautiful lemon..

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #11

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 #10

Mar 272006

E320 4WD

  • Manual transmission
  • 30,000 miles
My car has stopped on the freeway as I was driving. Then again a few weeks later while driving it stopped on the street. Also it jerks and hesitates often. I am afraid its going to stop anytime. The dealer will not give me a new car or my money back. I have taken the car in 16 different times and its been in the shop for over 45 days total. My lease is going to be up in about 4 months, I think that is my they will not do anything.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #9

May 202004

E320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving at any speed vehicle stalled. Consumer restarted vehicle, and drove it to dealer for inspection. Mechanic determined that transmission and computer sensor needed to be replaced, and replaced them. However, the problem recurred, and the mechanic could not duplicate the problem.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

problem #8

Feb 142003

E320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On the '03 & '04 E class there is no way to set up the preference for the radio to scan to the next pre-set station from the wheel, or any where else. Its is not a choice to be selected in settings or any where else. It will always scan to the next frequency that is on air. The '02S had the choice available to the owner in "settings", but not the new E class (W211's) in the usa.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #7

Jan 022003

E320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
I own a 2003 E-class Mercedes Benz purchased this year from ralley motors, roslyn, New York. Since I took the title to the vehicle, there has been uncontrolled mild acceleration at low speeds, the car bucks and shakes upon de-acceleration resulting in my having lost control of the vehicle and consequently requiring my jamming abruptly on the brakes to avoid hitting another vehicles and pedestrians. In addition, the car had significantly steered to the right at all times, requiring my constantly having to steer to the left in order to drive straight ahead. The dealership has admitted that it can not repair the transmission problem, ie; the uncontrolled change of speed, bucking and acceleration of the motor vehicle. They have also replaced the instrument cluster which I believe is an important vehicle computer which controls many systems of the car, and the vehicle now has the third instrument cluster, all in one year of ownership, all due to product defects! the service manager has admitted to me that there is a design defect in the transmission which there allegedly is no fix to correct the problem. I was informed that due to horrible gas mileage, the torque converter of the transmission is specifically designed to lock up at low speeds, and this is the reason why the 2003 and 2004 E-class automobiles have this transmission problem. The service manager had advised me that he know of no fix from the factory. The dealership became frustrated when I expressed my displeasure, and has now informed me that they will no longer service my brand new automobile. The consumer stated the engine stalled, the wiper blades were noisy.

- Lake Success, NY, USA

problem #6

Oct 132003

E320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Mercedes E320-another electrical problem with the SRS-restraint light-gateway. Mercedes claims rear airbag problem, car unsafe to drive, but if you didn't buy it from servicing dealer, no loaner! mb vehicle motor inquiry indicated car was nav pre-wired. Planned installation when available, no prepay, now I'm stuck without nav, reason I bought

- Summit, NJ, USA

problem #5

Sep 202003

E320 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
The car has been a disappointments since I got it in January 28,2003. It has had many problems and the dealership said its fix. Autohaus Mercedes Benz in pompano beach, Florida sold me a car that has been to the shop more than 10 times. 1)whippers very loud and don't clean. 2) fuel gauge does not work 3) tire sensors do not work 4)stereo shuts off and on 5)alignment problem car pulls to the right. 6)engine is very loud 7)engine hesitates. 8) sos malfunction 9)Mercedes Benz phone does not work. 10) lowjack system that they installed has not worked properly since they put it on. When they sold me the car they said that they were going to come out with a gps and a voice activate kit for the Mercedes Benz and now they tell me that they were not going to make it for my car so I was lied too. My car has been to the shop more than 10 times and still not fix and the service manager has lied to me because he said that the items are fix and two days later they are bad again. I will not recommend Mercedes Benz to anyone as they are not what they just to be. Also I will not recommend to anyone autohaus in pompano beach, Florida they do not believe in customer service and they service manager jerry odessy only lies to people as it did to me several times and he is also very rude. I have also E-mail the president of autohaus and he has never responded and the corporate office is not to far behind about customer service and rudeness. Do not buy Mercedes there are a lot of better car out there. If you buy a Mercedes make sure you car was not in a flood as I read that a lot of their cars were in a flood and they are selling them like nothing happend.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #4

Aug 312003

E320 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17 miles
Electrical systems malfunctions. Service dept advised me that Mercedes is aware of the issues (plural) but they have yet to reach a 'fix'. I have had my E500 for 7 months. I am suspecting that the fix may be impractical as was the case with the navigation software that could not be integrated - forcing Mercedes to buy back their cars. I believe we are all getting false promises from Mercedes-Benz on any proposed fixes with the electrical bugs too.

- Valencia , CA, USA

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