hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
107,140 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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

problem #21

Sep 062012

E320 6-cyl

  • 59,000 miles


Strong gas odor after filling gas tank. While in for service on vehicle other than gas odor mechanic at dealership found gas on skid pan under car while on rack. He said tank or possible O ring may be at fault. This was September of 2012. At that time I decided not to pursue repairs due to financial restraints. This January of 2015 I received a warranty extension addendum stating " specifically, the warranty on the fuel tank, fuel filter/sender, fuel pump, and related gaskets ( collectively the "covered fuel tank components") for gasoline-fueled, non pzev certified model year 2003-2009 E class and 2006-2011cls- class vehicles will be extended from original 4 year/ 50,000 miles (whichever occurs first) to 15 years, regardless of mileage." Today I left my 2003 E320 for service to address the problem. Dealership called and said the fuel tank sending unit was leaking but is not covered under warranty extension addendum! as stated above the "fuel filter/sender" is covered under the addendum but dealer doesn't want to acknowledge the letter I received from Mercedes-Benz usa, llc. I understand a class action lawsuit has been filed against Mercedes concerning this matter. Is there anything your Agency can due so Mercedes honors their addendum and not change the coverage once they have your car torn apart. I did show letter to service representative before I left the car. Thank you for you time.

- Tacoma, WA, USA

problem #20

Apr 012013

E320 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
My whole garage smells like gasoline whenever we fill up the gas tank. The smell will remain until we drive the car for a few days, consuming perhaps 1/4 of the tank. This has been on-going only for the last year.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #19

Mar 032014

E320 6-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2003 E320 sedan, I can smell very strong gas fumes all in the car cabin every time I fill up with gas - not topping off, and no fuel leaking. This is so prevalent I have to leave my car parked outside instead of in my garage. This can last for around three days. I have investigated possible causes and none seem to actually correct the issue. This can be quite costly. I also have noticed many many other complaints filed for the same reason. Please help.

- Mansfield, TX, USA

problem #18

Mar 012014

E320 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes-Benz E320. The contact stated after refueling, a strong gasoline odor was present outside the vehicle. The contact mentioned that the check engine warning light was also illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic where it was diagnosed that the fuel sending unit needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure and current mileage was 115,000.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #17

Mar 092011

E320 6-cyl

  • 101,445 miles
The interior cabin of my 2003 Mercedes Benz E320 has a strong odor of gasoline. Especially after refueling...gasoline is pooling under the drivers side rear passenger seat... I have to roll down the windows to get the gasoline smell out of the cabin. I have taken this problem to my Mercedes Benz dealer and they said the fuel tank was leaking and sending unit was faulty...I was quoted a price of $3000 to get unit replaced.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

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problem #16

Feb 112013

E320 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles
I started noticing that every time I fill my gas tank, there is an extremely strong smell of gas. I purchased a new gas cover but didn't help. Since a year ago it has gotten worst every time. The guy at Mercedes said its not important but they would charge, E 165 dollars to take a look. I didn't pay but I am worried it might create a fire and with 3 small children and carpooling to school its a big headache. Please advise if this is something you are aware about or can help me with. Thank you

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #15

Sep 122013

E320 6-cyl

  • 898,000 miles


Reference NHTSA action number: PE12001. Fuel smell inside car.

- Lake Forest, IL, USA

problem #14

Aug 232013

E320 6-cyl

  • miles
My wife was driving home from work when she smelled a noxious gasoline odor. Took car for repairs on Aug 23, 2013. Had to replace the auxiliary (sending) pump and the cable harness attached to the fuel tank. Mercedes has had numerous issues with the fuel tank and pump but they refuse to do a recall and fix the problem. This repair cost $664.18 to fix items that are inherently defective in the Mercedes vehicles.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #13

Oct 302012

E320 6-cyl

  • 124,995 miles
There was gasoline leaking from the top of the fuel sending unit, around the fuel sending unit, under the rear passenger seat and actual liquid fuel was going into the cabin of the vehicle. The strong and intense fumes and vapors are inside the cabin and apparent after filling the fuel tank only half to three-quarters full. Both of these pose an extreme danger of fire hazard, as well as a health risk from constantly inhaling gasoline fumes. This allowed fumes to leak into my garage and presented a huge fire risk had I not discovered the problem. A gas tank should not fail under normal wear and tear, but in October 2012 I paid over $1,600 for a new fuel tank, in April 2013 I paid over $1,200 for a new fuel pump and in August 2013 I paid over $700 for another new fuel pump. This is a recurring problem and the company does not seem interested in taking any action whatsoever. I believe this is a huge safety concern and I hope something can be done to rectify and remedy this situation. Consumers deserve better than this. Update09/17/13 updated 09/24/2013

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #12

Jan 012008

E320 6-cyl

  • miles
Strong gasoline smell after filling. The smell lasts at least 2-3 days before dissipating and happens every time we fill it. Problem was reported to the dealer multiple times.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #11

Jun 012013

E320 6-cyl

  • 111,000 miles


After filling the gas tank there was a strong smell of gasoline and leaking fuel near the drivers side rear tire. Upon calling a mechanic they said to look under the seat for leaking fuel. The fuel sending unit was definitively leaking.

- Scottsdale , AZ, USA

problem #10

Oct 012012

E320 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
When the gas tank is filled full of fuel a strong odor of fuel is present inside of the car. I have looked under the back seat and seen a small amount of fuel escapes from the fuel system. Since I noticed this I have not filled my car up all the way as long as I don't fill it more than three quarters full the problem does not occur.

- Wichita Falls, TX, USA

problem #9

Jan 012008

E320 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
Fuel leaking from vehicle near rear left tire. Found fuel around fuel sensor under rear passenger seat. Most evident after filling fuel tank. First discovered leak at 70K mileage and again on 128K.

- Burligame, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 082011

E320 6-cyl

  • miles
Strong odor of fuel when gas tank is full...I am not topping off the tank when I refuel...dealership states I need entire gas tank replaced at a cost of 3000.00..I purchased this car used in March 2011 with approx 107,000 miles.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #7

Nov 012011

E320 6-cyl

  • miles
Sending unit leaks gasoline into the cabin of the vehicle letting in intense fuel vapors as well as actual liquid fuel into the cabin. Furthermore the faulty sending unit causes a fuel leak from the gas tank to the exterior of the vehicle leaving puddles outside of the car while parked and continuing to leak while driving. Both of these pose an extreme danger of fire hazard, as well as a health risk from constantly inhaling gasoline fumes.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #6

Oct 012009

E320 8-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
Very strong gas fumes when gas tank is full. Fumes completely permeate my two car garage and also enter passenger compartment. The fumes disappear when tank level reaches 7/8 full. There are several postings on different websites on the web regarding strong gas odor when the tank is full on E model Mercedes years 2003 to 2006. This is a serious issue with potential for explosively and/or fire. I contacted Mercedes requesting the issuance of a service recalled based on the apparent high incidence. The company does not seem interested in taking any action.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #5

Oct 032011

E320 8-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
The car has a very strong gasoline odor when the fuel tank is full. The gasoline odor permeates the cabin and, when parked in an enclosed garage, causes a high concentration of gas fumes that overwhelms a three car garage as well as the 1000 square feet located above the garage (even with all adjoining doors closed). Should the gasoline concentration reach the proper level, it may create a fire or explosion hazard. Once the tank is 1/8 empty, the fuel odor goes away and does not return until the gas tank is once again full. Had auto checked by the local Mercedes dealer and they stated problem could not be located but I needed to replace entire fuel tank assembly to resolve issue. Took car to independent mechanic who found signs of gasoline leakage coming from the top of the tank and running down the driver's side of the tank. Based on research conducted on the web, it appears this is a recurring problem with E class Mercedes years 2003 to 2006. The postings found on several Mercedes Benz owner sites indicates the problem has been detected since the cars were new. A personal friend, with the same year and model, has exactly the same problem. The prevalence of the issue indicates a design/ engineering failure that results in gasoline leaking from 'somewhere' in the fuel system in the vicinity of the fuel tank. I request an investigation into this issue with the objective of ordering a recall to address an obvious underdesign fuel system component.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #4

Sep 162008

E320 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
My 2003 Mercedes Benz E320, inwhich the fuel filters are located underneath the rear seat, had a powerful gasoline order inside the vehicle. The Benz repair shop stated it was a hairline fracture in the fuel filter and it was leaking gas. They replaced the filters, but I've seen them replace the same type filters in 2008 models. I think this is a defective product and a safety hazard. If me or my spouse had been a smoker, or caused a spark, we could've potentially caused a fatal explosion. I think this needs to be investigated.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #3

Oct 262010


  • 91,000 miles
I have a 2003 Mercedes E320 which I bought from coggin motormall in ft. Pierce. I have put only 5000 miles on car and it has been in shop 2 times. First the front thrusts and rods were bad and now the car is stalling on me, once with my son in car. When the car stalls, I lose all control of the vehicle and have almost been killed in these 2 failures. It has stalled on me 4 times and now I refuse to drive this car and now the ball joints are bad. I hear that there is a recall on the struts and joints 200901002 "? the car once came on and said rear brake failure as well. How does a car dealership sell a vehicle to a customer with knowing that it could kill a family" they said they inspected it.. this is going to kill me and my son.. solve that, I wont drive this car.. Mercedes really needs to do something about these dangerous things.. it is going to cost another 1000 dollars to fix and I cant afford it.

- Stuart, FL, USA

problem #2

Apr 202010


  • 110,000 miles
The gasoline tank on my 2003 E 320 Mercedes had a leak on the top portion of the tank. This allowed fumes to leak into my garage and would have presented a huge fire risk had I not discovered the problem and been involved in a rear end collision. A gas tank should not fail under normal wear and tear.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

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