really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
109,812 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.

2001 Mercedes-Benz ML320 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Owner Comments

problem #12

Apr 082016

ML320 6-cyl

  • 112,750 miles


While driving at 50 mph, vehicle lights started flashing (warning for esp and ABS) and the vehicle slowed dramatically and pulled to the right... I got to the side of the road and assumed I had a blow out... but all tires were fine and no issues... turned off vehicle and drove about 13 miles then turned vehicle off for 10 -15 minutes came out and got in vehicle... when I started to go... orange triangle was still on and if I even touched brakes they all locked up and would even squeal when even touching brake petal. It was 79 degrees, dry on a highway that was a smooth road, in traffic and was almost hit. Updated 05/11/16

- Dallas, OR, USA

problem #11

Jan 212016

ML320 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Mercedes-Benz ML320. While driving approximately 35 mph, the brakes seized and the ABS warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 165,000. Updated 04/06/16 updated 04/12/16.

- Berkeley, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 012012

ML320 6-cyl

  • 215,000 miles
While driving on freeway in moderate traffic the car suddenly without any warning violently applied uneven power to different wheels, brake and sped up. Originally I thought we were having an earthquake as I was trying to regain control over car. After about 15 seconds as I slowed car resumed normal operation. About 10 miles later the action repeated making me fear a crash or roll over as I was fighting to regain control and exit freeway. Luckily I was able to exit and gain control. Ended up having car towed 175 miles home. Mechanic at dealership now says it was a defective yaw sensor designed to work in conjunction with the esp to prevent a roll over. However the defective sensor easily could have caused a roll over or a crash with a less experienced and physically strong driver. Indeed, had my wife been driving I do not know whether she could have controlled the vehicle. Had there been one of the many 18 wheelers immediately next to me I do not know whether I could have avoided a collision. After the fact in review on google I noted many very similar complaints for the same 2001 mbz ML320. I believe there should be a recall before there is death or serious injury.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #9

Feb 252012


  • 95,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Mercedes Benz ML320. The contact stated that while driving 50 mph, the brakes unexpectedly engaged. The contact was able to successfully coast to a stop, when he smelled a burning odor. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop, but they were unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure had since recurred once more. The vehicle was not taken back to be examined. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 95,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 032012

ML320 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
At about 10 to 25 miles per hours my car suddenly and unexpectedly brakes and changes direction by itself without pressing any pedal.

- Weston, FL, USA

problem #7

Feb 212010


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Mercedes-Benz ML320. The contact stated that while driving at any speed, the brakes suddenly locked, the vehicle began vibrating and the esp/das light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who repaired the yaw sensor; however, the failure continued to occur. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was unavailable. The current mileage was approximately 114,000. The failure mileage was approximately 98,000.

- Pensacola, FL, USA

problem #6

Aug 202001


  • 140,000 miles


2001 Mercedes ML320 brakes would activate themselves at all speeds. Esp/bas light would come on and triangle warning light would illuminate. This happened several times at 70+ mph locking both back wheels almost causing the vehicle to go out of control.

- Bluffton, SC, USA

problem #5

Apr 092010


  • 92,970 miles
We bought a used Mercedes ml which had the bas/esp lights illuminated and immediately paid $1,268 to get this fixed before driving it anywhere. We told the dealer we would be going on a 600 mile trip. It seemed to be fixed, but after several hundred miles of driving on the way back for hours the bas/esp light came on again. It was in the middle of the night and there was no one to call to check on this, and the dealer never told us it could be dangerous. All of the sudden a few hours later one of the wheels locked up and sent us out of control winding up on the side of the highway. My wife and our two kids were nearly killed. This is an extremely dangerous safety issue that has been reported previously years ago. If this had happened while going the speed limit of 70mph down the hill next to the deep ravine I am sure we would have all been killed or seriously injured. This is a serious safety issue. Please protect consumers by issuing a recall on any Mercedes with the bas/esp feature. This is very likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities at any point in the future. We had no idea. Please warn consumers. What if my wife was driving the car" she does not know how to handle this situation like I did. We bought this as my daughters first vehicle. Now what am I going to do" I don't feel right selling this car to anyone else or letting my family drive it. The system does not properly warn consumers. After parking the car overnight the bas/esp system is no longer lit up. This is an accident waiting to happen again as my dealer will probably find "nothing wrong with it". they could have at least warned us or replaced all of the sensors as a precaution.

- Sugar Hill, GA, USA

problem #4

Oct 172009


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Mercedes Benz ML320. While driving 30 mph the brakes activated without intention, and then the vehicle began shaking. He then heard metal grinding from under the vehicle. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 65000.

- Alhambre, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 032009


  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Mercedes ML320. While traveling at 65mph, the vehicle suddenly veered to the right lane. She attempted to steer the vehicle back into her lane but lost control of the vehicle. She pressed on the break pedal but they fell straight to the floor. She grabbed the steering wheel again with more force. She steered the vehicle back to the left and off the road into a patch of grass. The vehicle finally came to a stop. She had the vehicle towed to a repair shop. The mechanic could not locate the failure. The vehicle was taken to a dealership in which they ran diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the failure occured from a stop lamp switch. They replaced the part but that did not repair the failure. While driving on another occassion she lost control of the vehicle and brake failure. She veered onto other lanes. She had the vehicle towed to her home this time and attempted contacting the dealership. The vehicle is currently parked outside of her homeun repaired. The current and failure mileage was 76,000.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #2

Feb 282005

ML320 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles
Safety system failure, including braking assist, seat belts, air bags and tel-aide due to computer chip failure. Caused two accidents after which customer paid to have vehicle reviewed bumper to bumper and the failing chip was replaced. During this time, the dash warning lights did not illuminate to warn of the failure which the vehicle computer documented 15 times in a six-month period (between the two accidents). Approximately eight months later, the warning light on the dash illuminated again. Do not know how many times system had failed since it was 'fixed.' Traded in vehicle for safety purposes.

- Fishers, IN, USA

problem #1

Jan 152003

ML320 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,025 miles
The defect stated in recall 03 V 121 000 for the power steering hose clamp happened while the consumer was waiting to be notified. The consumer experienced the following: The entire instrument cluster lit up and flashed and beeped, lost the speedometer, tachometer, gas/gas temperature gauge, and the vehicle had gone into second gear and did come out for some time(discovered it was in limp-home mode). The service dealer advised the consumer that the problem was the gear selector. The instrument cluster lights had gone off, except for the bas/brake assist system light, the gauges, speedometer, and tachometer had resumed. There was an incident where half of instrument cluster display on the left lit up, although the vehicle continued to run. The service dealer thought the problem may have been the battery. During a rainstorm, the entire instrument panel lit up, the tachometer, speedometer, and the gas gauge stopped and the instrument panel kept beeping intermittently but did not go into limp mode. There was a crack in one of the D-pillars, and the rear hatch lock did not work. The ignition lock seemed loose since the gear shift assembly had been replaced, the windshield washer reservoir leaked. The bas/esp control module had been changed, but the problem persisted. The consumer was told the vehicle needed a new battery. The brake pad wear light displayed, the power steering had failed again. The consumer was advised the vehicle needed front and rear brakes then was told that it was a clamp problem. Also the driver's window switch hesitated. The safety recall notice that related to the failure of the hose clamp for the power steering fluid which apparently caused the complete loss of power steering in the vehicle as well as damage to the hydraulic fluid pump which resulted in repairs performed on the vehicle. The consumer requested full reimbursement for the charges related to the repairs. Recall# 03V121000

- Palm Coast, FL, USA

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