hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
72,494 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.

1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320 electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 272014

ML320 4-cyl

  • 131,459 miles


My battery was low and unknown to me the ML320 for this year loses its transponder codes in the das security module when you try to start the vehicle with a low battery. This is evidentally the third key that has lost its programming on my vehicle due to low battery voltage. Cost so far is 499 for a key, weeks waiting for the key from germany, and 300 to program it once they recieve the key. Its a dealership only item so its very very costly. This is a known problem with mercades and checking the forums it seems that everyone that has 1998-2000 model mercades all lose their transponder codes between 129,000 and 132,000 miles no matter what.this is an obvious manufacturers defect and a known issue that should be paid for by mercades. I never had these issues with my two 2002 ML500's but I will never purchase another Benz in my life.

- Mwc, OK, USA

problem #6

May 092012

ML320 6-cyl

  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Mercedes Benz ML320. The contact stated that the vehicle was being repaired by an independent mechanic for unrelated issues when she was informed that the ignition key needed to be replaced because it no longer functioned properly. The contact was not informed as to why the failure occurred. The key was not replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and the contact was informed that in order to remedy the failure, the vehicle would need an entire new ignition system. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 180,000. The consumer discovered during research that merceds Benz installed an inadequate computer system in her vehicle. The system would only allow eight keys to be made for the lifetime of the vehicle. The consumer felt it was a scam by mb to force their customers to purchase a new computer, ignition, etc, for the vehicle after the 8th key had been made. They claimed it was made that way for security reason. The consumer called two dealerships and was given a price of $4,000 to $5,000. The consumer finally had the key, computer and other parts replaced by a locksmith for $1,400. The radiator, air condition and two mirror also had to be replaced. Updated 07/11/12

- Dunwoody, GA, USA

problem #5

Mar 062011

ML320 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
Car fails to start. We had this car towed to a dealer 40 miles away from our daughter's school in mi. Needs new key system as chip not recognized and ignition system needs to be re-keyed. 8 keys have been issued to this car, (we bought it used). We only received 1 with our purchase! everything that needs a key has to be changed. Cost estimated at $4000. We see this as a major design flaw, not a security benefit. Especiallly since their keys just quit working.

- Park City, UT, USA

problem #4

Jul 182008


  • 125,000 miles


On my Mercedes ML320, 1998 the key refuse to start the engine. I was told at plaza motors in St, . louis mo. That the car did not recognize the key any more. Upon my research I found that it is common problem with the ML320 series which is an engineering problem on the part of the manufacturer especially the earlier once 1998-2000 and it will cause $6700 to fix. I will appreciate an investigation, it's so common that a lot of people are selling their cars because of this.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #3

Aug 052003

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer states vehicle stalled at highway speed. Vehicle had to be towed. Dealer stated that the electronic computer that controls the car was bad.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #2

Sep 212000

ML320 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Was driving 70 mph on California freeway and vehicle stalled in the middle of traffic. Emergency flashers failed to work & had no brake lights. Radio was still working. Vehicle was towed to dealer & mechanic indicated that relay switch needed to be replaced. Having an engineer check vehicle over for cause of stalling. The dealer changed variety of switches and the problem was solved.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 211999


  • miles
While driving driver noticed that the air conditioner/power windows/power seats/power locks/signal lights and hazard lights would not function. Right after that driver turned off the vehicle and it would not restart. The truck was towed to the dealership. The dealer could not detect what the problem was. The SUV is being held at the dealership.

- Delan, FL, USA

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