really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,286 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.

2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Owner Comments

problem #9

Aug 042016


  • 144,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Mercedes Benz ML320. The contact stated that while driving at 60 mph, the brakes independently engaged and caused the vehicle to veer to the side of the road. The contact mentioned that the ABS warning light illuminated and then the entire instrument panel illuminated. The vehicle was restarted but the failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the brake lamp switch failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact mentioned that the VIN was included in NHTSA campaign number: 11V208000 (vehicle speed control). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 144,000.

- Loranger, LA, USA

problem #8

Dec 312012

ML320 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
My 2002 ML320 cluster display lights on my dash all light up, the check engine light comes on, the speedometer stops working actually goes to zero. Once the car comes to a complete stop it accelerates very slowly and will not shift out of first gear. This is very frightening for someone in traffic and this happens without warning. Please investigate this issue before someone is rear ended and dies.

- Compton, CA, USA

problem #7

Mar 132009


  • 83,367 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercedes Benz ML320. The contact was driving with the cruise control activated when the vehicle abnormally accelerated up to 90 mph. The contact was unable to disengage the cruise control although she was depressing the break pedal. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who diagnosed that the accelerator, cruise control and the electric kit were defective and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 83,367 and the current mileage was 113,000.

- Nashville , TN, USA

problem #6

May 232011


  • 115,000 miles


Run over the any pump on the road that cause the gas pedal push down to the bottom, still didn't accelerate cause the car slowly down, this cause everytime driver over the pump.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #5

Dec 182009

ML320 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
To whom it may concern, I had a near death experience while driving one of your vehicles. I am the owner of a Mercedes 2002 ML320, which was purchased at a phillips Mercedes dealership in Virginia beach va. I need to address a very serious incident that occurred over the weekend (December 18, 2010). I was driving back from richmond going toward Virginia beach, I was driving 70 mph on I-64 and had it on cruise control, ahead I saw that traffic slowing down so I stepped on the break; I then realized that my brakes weren't working and I was unable to stop or slow the car down. I attempted to push the break pedal down and it wouldn┐T nudge even though I applied all of my weight to it, the speed did not diminish at all, I then tried the emergency brake and that also failed to slow me down, my friend suggested that I put the car in neutral and then try the brake, fortunately that worked and was finally able to come to a complete stop. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. Your product put my friend's and my life in jeopardy. I had the bas/esp light come on in the pass and have brought it in for repairs 3 times already: 07/27/2005, 12/01/2009 and in 10/19/2010. I am stunned that a company who has such a great reputation and seems to thrive on customer satisfaction dropped the ball. At no point in time did any of the technicians who performed the repairs on my car advise me of the potential danger.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #4

Jun 192010


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Mercedes Benz ML320. The contact stated while driving at approximate speeds of 60mph, the vehicle abnormally accelerated to speeds of 70 mph without driver intent. The contact attempted to apply the brakes but to no avail. She then applied abrupt pressure to the brake pedal using both feet and the vehicle began to slowly decrease in speed. She was able to stop the vehicle by engaging the emergency brake and shifting into neutral. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where she was awaiting diagnostic testing. The failure and current mileages were approximately 88,000.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #3

May 132010


  • 118,206 miles


[Mercedes Benz ml 320 2002] while driving East on route 80 at 65 mph and approaching the toll booths of the george Washington bridge, I tapped my brakes to disengage my speed control. The speed control did not shut down. I hit the brake pedal several more times harder and harder, but the speed control stayed in control. I pushed down very hard on the brake pedal with both feet and although the car slowed a little, the speed control dramatically speeded up the engine with the tachometer going almost full scale. I was able to reduce the car's speed from about 65 to under 50 mph, but was still pretty scared. This was a terrifying experience and as an engineer I realized my options and time to react were very limited! I figured my choices were few: 1) brake until the car either stopped or I had hit the stopped cars at the toll booths (maybe damage the transmission further), 2) shift the car into neutral hoping that either the speed control would disengage or at least I could stop the car (engine rpms might run away and destroy the engine), or 3) try to shut off the speed control with the control stalk on the left of the steering column (which I obviously could not read closely to figure out where the stop might be). Fortunately, with several tries I was able to find the stop position on the speed control stalk and disengage the control. I braked very hard to stop short of a collision..... and got harsh words and looks from the adjacent toll collectors. I suspected that the brake light switch was not working and this was confirmed by my mechanic (eddie rodriguez of eddy's total auto care). The mechanic also has to replace the brake pressure sensor. My wife is insisting that I get rid of the car immediately and buy a new car. I love my ml 320..... but I love my wife too!

- Mountain Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #2

Oct 302008


  • 105,003 miles
Was driving vehicle on highway at 75 mph set speed in cruise control and stepped on brake as I approached traffic congestion. Vehicle would not stop and continued to maintain set speed regardless how hard I pressed on the brake. Eventually, I decided to try shifting into neutral and the vehicle was placed back under control of the footbrake. Thankfully, the vehicle was slowed down without incident but it was a very scary moment. Noticed, at this time, the bas/esp malfunction indicator lamp was displayed on the dashboard. Drove vehicle directly to a Mercedes dealership for repairs. Dealer advised stop lamp switch shorted. Replaced lamp switch. Although, this was the first incident while in cruise control the vehicle did have similar past problems with the braking system (ie-brake switch and shifter control module were replaced) that prevented shifting out of park into any other position. Vehicle should have safety device to override "cruise control" or prevent "cruise control" operation with any malfunction in the braking system or activation of the braking indicator lamp. What assurances are there to prevent this from happening again?

- Holmdel, NJ, USA

problem #1

Sep 082006

ML320 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
Mb ml 320 continued to accelerate while exiting a parking ramp while not touching the accelerator and with braking having no effect on reducing speed until car impacted wall.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

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