really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
127,718 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 E500 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Dec 212014

E500 8-cyl

  • 1,328,000 miles


While driving home I smelt smoke. I stopped the car to investigate the smell of smoke that was overpowering the now normal scent of gas which filled my vehicle cabin due to a fuel pump leak. When I exited my vehicle I opened up the drivers side rear passenger door to find smoke emitting from that area. I quickly left the immediate vicinity of the smoldering car and when I turned to look back, I saw flames under my car. I proceeded towards the overpass while moving away from the vehicle attempting to find cellular phone signal, I saw my car now being engulfed in flames. Re: (ODI number) is: 10628900.

- North Charleston, SC, USA

problem #25

Aug 252010

E500 8-cyl

  • 54,000 miles
I starting smelling a gassy smell seeping into my house at night and after a few days concluded in had to be coming from the attached garage and subsequently after eliminating all other variables I narrowed it down to the car. I parked it outside for a couple of nights and the smell ceased in the house and garage. I then took the vehicle to pompano Mercedes to have them check it out and was informed my seals were bad/leaking at the fuel line connections, so without a choice I had them repaired at a cost of $968.21 on 9/13/2010. This resolved the problem for about 2 months, then the gassy smell returned. I took the car back to pompano Mercedes again and explained that I had the car had the same symptoms of a gassy smell. They checked out the vehicle and informed me at this time I had a different fuel leak and that would require them to replace the entire gas tank and internal fuel pumps and seals at a cost of $3000 this time. Quite unhappy with this diagnosis considering I was just there 2 months prior and thought they had repaired the problem only to find out now it was more encompassing than their first attempt at a fix and it was going to cost a boatload of money to re-repair the problem as I was just over the 50K warranty to boot. With the news of the extended warranty settlement at this time I strongly feel my vehicle issues are as described in the class action suit and I should be entitled to reimbursement for the $968.21 I spent at Mercedes discretion.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #24

Dec 012014

E500 8-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
The interior and trunk of my 2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 continue to fill with gasoline vapors.

- Rowlett, TX, USA

problem #23

Jan 012009

E500 8-cyl

  • 29,000 miles


There has been a strong gasoline smell following a tank fill that fills the garage with gasoline fumes. This problem has been occurring for at least the last 5 years. I entered 1/1/2009 on the form data as an approximate begin date. The fuel smell can be detected in the vehicle at times, but is extremely strong immediately after fill-up. An internet search has revealed that this is a common problem on all Mercedes E class models from 2003-2009. I have asked continually about this problem at the Mercedes dealer, now Mercedes of natick, formerly foreign motors West in natick, Massachusetts. Service personnel have denied that there was/is any pattern or problem and indicated that this problem seemed to affect my car only. Only recently have they indicated that at times they have had to replace the fuel tank and both sending units at an out of pocket cost of $850 -$2000. All this for a problem that current research indicates that Mercedes has known about for more than 7 years. A class action lawsuit was filed in Texas in 2012 for this exact problem. The dealer has offered no financial assistance in this repair, but did indicate that after I paid for the repair, that they would try to contact Mercedes Benz for assistance. While nice, this still puts the entire financial burden on me with only a hope that assistance would come later. So far I have declined the repair. While some vehicles were included under a voluntary recall in 2008, my vehicle was not one of them. In fact, I have never been contacted by Mercedes Benz for this problem. I asked about this issue only 2 weeks ago, late June 2014, and was told that there is no factory repair campaign or recall at this time. This morning I removed the bench portion of the rear seat, folded back the insulating pad and removed the metal access plate for the left side fuel sending/fuel pump unit. Gas was visible.

- Newton, MA, USA

problem #22

Jun 022014

E500 8-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
There is a strong fuel smell upon gas fill ups. NHTSA action# PE12001.

- North Scituate, RI, USA

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problem #21

Jun 182014

E500 8-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
I filled up my car & noticed a gas smell I was on my way to atlanta for work I had to inhale strong gas fumes for most of my travel. When I got there I took my car to a shop & they discovered my gas tank had a leak and gas was leaking near back seat they gave a me an estimate of about 2500 to fix I was told that this had been a known issue for Mercedes but no recall yet which I don't understand. This is very dangerous not only the inhalation of the fumes & gas leaking in a car with electrical wiring & parts that get extremely hot. I don't understand why there hasn't been a recall to fix this since Mercedes are aware that the car was manufactured properly. Why should we have to pay to repair poor manufactured products that put our lives in danger.

- Bainbridge, GA, USA

problem #20

May 012014


  • 85,000 miles


My car is pooling gasoline underneath it after filling it up. Everything as described in NHTSA action number EA13003.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #19

May 012014

E500 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I just filled up my gas tank noticed my whole house smelled like gasoline. Went outside and my garage floor was covered in gasoline. I have read that many people have experienced this issue.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #18

Apr 072014

E500 8-cyl

  • 94,500 miles
About a year ago I started noticing a strong gas smell after filling my tank. I recently decided to research it and found that this is a widespread and commonly known problem with the E series W211 Mercedes cars and a serious design flaw with the fuel sending unit/gas tank. My daughter drives this car now, and I have serious concerns for her inhaling carcinogenic fumes while using it. I would like to know what resolution can be achieved with mb usa concerning this matter. I see that at class action lawsuit was submitted but don't see the outcome. That was in 2012.

- Menlo Park, CA, USA

problem #17

Dec 182012

E500 8-cyl

  • 72,402 miles
Car engine light went on. Dealer replaced charcoal cannister. Two weeks later auto repair shop was correcting a shimmy and discovered a leaking fuel tank.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #16

Jul 222013

E500 8-cyl

  • 76,000 miles


Fuel pumps leaking fuel underneath the back seat.

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #15

Sep 112013

E500 8-cyl

  • 121,000 miles
I have a 2004 Mercedes E500 and after filling the car with gas I began to notice the strong smell of gasoline coming from the vehicle after leaving it parked in my garage. As the vehicle was driven and the fuel fell below 1/2 tank the smell got less and less. However, I just filled the tank again the smell is stronger than before.

- Plesant Hill, CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 202013

E500 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Upon refueling the vehicle and leaving it in the garage overnight, it has often smelled of gasoline inside the car and in the garage. The smell would often dissipate. After refueling the car and parking it in the garage for three weeks while on vacation, the smell is now much worse and will not go away. It is bad enough we are worried about our safety of inhaling the fumes. I have other vehicles which were stored similarly and they do not react this way. Please review this vehicle. Thank you.

- Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #13

Mar 012013

E500 8-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
After filling my car with fuel, I have notice a strong odor of gas fumes in my garage and inside my car. But I don't see any leaks on the floor. After the gas tank drops to 3/4 of a tank, the smell of fumes goes away. This has been going on for several months. Also, the gas gauge isn't accurate. I found out, this is a typical problem with the E class 2003-2008. I believe this is a safety issue and that Mercedes should repair it asap. Thanks.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

problem #12

Feb 082013

E500 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
There's strong gasoline odor from my vehicle whenever I refuel, particular after it's garaged. The smell seems to go away once I used up 1/3 or 1/2 tank. Recently the smell seems to be stronger. I can smell it even when it's not garaged.

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #11

Jun 102013

E500 8-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
My vehicle 2004 E500 has strong smell of gas in cabin from the rear seat area and outside of the car, since then car takes longer to turn on. Hope this will be solved soon.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #10

May 302013

E500 8-cyl

  • 103,102 miles
For the past several months after filling the vehicle a strong gas smell/fumes are present in the vehicle. The smell/fumes subside when approximately 1/4 of the fuel in the tank has been used. On Friday May 31st 2013 the vehicle was filled with fuel. Parked the vehicle in the garage Friday night and was knocked over by gas smell/fumes on Saturday morning, June 1st 2013. The vehicle was parked outside overnight. After researching the issue, I found fuel around the sending unit under the drive side back seat. The fuel was removed and the sending unit cleaned. The sending unit was observed see if a leak could be detected on the unit. The leak is at the top part of the sending unit. The part where the small wire plug is attached to the sending unit. It looks like this part is "glued" to the body of the sending unit. Short term fix is to only fill the fuel tank half way. This hazard, if not rectified by the manufacture makes mine and all other vehicles unsafe and un-sellable on the used car market.

- Columbia , SC, USA

problem #9

Jan 112006

E500 8-cyl

  • 9,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Mercedes Benz E500. The contact stated that after refueling, there were gasoline fumes present in the interior and exterior of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 9,000 and the current mileage was 93,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #8

Apr 082013

E500 8-cyl

  • 68,000 miles
Reference NHTSA action number: PE12001. There is a distinct fuel smell after filling up the tank. Do not smell inside vehicle but do smell after the car is put away inside garage. No sign of leakage under the car (puddling or drips). Goes away after fuel tank is less than full. There is no smell if you only fill to 3/4.

- Punta Gorda, FL, USA

problem #7

Jan 122011

E500 8-cyl

  • 85,165 miles
Strong gas odor from left rear wheel area after filling tank fully. Stops leaking fuel when tank reaches about 3/4 full.

- Beaverton, OR, USA

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