really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 11
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,941 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.

2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350 accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Owner Comments

problem #16

Jan 062017


  • 80,000 miles


On Jan. 6, 2017 northbound on hwy 52. Drivers seat heater had been on approximately 10 minutes when I felt a very hot spot on my upper left side. Then I smelled something burning. The seat heater had burned through the upholstery on the outboard bolster of the drivers seat and started burning through my coat.

- Calmar, IA, USA

problem #15

Dec 152016


  • 93,000 miles
Turned on the driver side heated car seat and after a few minutes, there was a burning smell. Pulled over and found it had burned a hole through the foam and leather on the lower left side of the seat about 1" wide and 2" long.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #14

Oct 192016

ML350 6-cyl

  • 128,528 miles
After driving only 30 min in morning traffic w/seat heat on, I smelled a burning smell and the hip area of the seat was very hot. Pulled over, turned car off, and found seat heat had burned through the seat upholstery making a hole approx. 1" H X 1/2" w. question below asks Y/N if there was a fire. Answered Y due to burning; did not see any flames. Used some water on it immediately and a few minutes later at home to make sure there was no burning/smoldering inside the seat.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #13

Mar 282015

ML350 6-cyl

  • 118,021 miles


I was driving with the driver's side electric seat heater turned on. I noticed a burning smell and felt a burning pain on my back. After exiting the vehicle I saw that the seat heater had burned a hole through the leather driver's seat and through my jacket.

- Short Hills, NJ, USA

problem #12

Mar 132015

ML350 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
I was driving and I turned on my seat heater, and I saw smoke. I burned my clothing and have a little burn on my back. The seat was burning and had a little fire.

- South Hackensack, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jan 102015

ML350 6-cyl

  • 36,400 miles
Contact was driving, approx. 15 min. After engine start and seat heater turn-on. Contact felt a burning sensation on posterior/hip. Contact stopped car and got out. There was a burn hole in the driver's seat back at lower left. There were two burn holes through contacts pants. Later examination showed a second degree (blister) burn on contacts hip. This is not a warranty claim as the dealer suggests, but, rather a serious manufacturer defect that causes burn injury (check the history of documented complaints on the internet)...

- Longmont, CO, USA

problem #10

Dec 262013


  • 86,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Mercedes Benz ML350. The contact stated that the seat warmer overheated and caused the coils to burn through. The contact mentioned that she sustained second degree burns. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the seat heater had malfunctioned and the seat needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 86,000.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 152012

ML350 6-cyl

  • 69,900 miles
After driving for a few minutes, my husband smelled something burning. He could not figure out where it was coming from until he felt his back being burned. He immediately turned off the heated seat and pulled over. There was smoke and a hole burned through the seat about 2 inches in diameter. The seat burned a hole through his fleece jacket & T-shirt leaving what looked like a cigarette burn on his back. If my husband had not been driving my car, I probably would not have made the connection that it was caused by the heating mechanism, because I thought that only the bottom of the seats were wired for that. This occurred on the back portion of the seat on his left side. I just fear that someone would panic or it could turn into a full blown fire (I am sure we were just seconds away from seeing flames if the mechanism had not been turned off so fast). Furthermore, if we were driving on the highway at a higher speed it very easily could have caused a fatal accident because it caused him to veer into the other traffic lane (luckily no cars were in the lane at the time). I have read many stories about this happening to other people and I have checked all online sources for safety recalls on this car. What a disservice it would be if Mercedes does not replace this seat and make it right free of charge. One bad accident is too many, we should not wait until someone gets badly burned or killed before something is done. We have an appt. To drop off the car next week for evaluation of the problem and the service advisor at the dealer has been very helpful so far, so I am hoping for a positive outcome. But I could not go without reporting this because it is a very serious safety risk and I would hate to see anyone else get injured. It is clearly a manufacturing/electrical problem and the driver has no control over it's spontaneous occurrence.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #8

Oct 312012

ML350 6-cyl

  • 124,125 miles
I started the vehicle and as it was a cold morning I put my drivers seat heater on. Shortly after putting it on I felt a burning on the left side of my back, I pulled the car over and noticed a fire on the lower portion of the drivers seat(back wing). The fire burned through my jacket and burned my lower back.

- Greensburg , PA, USA

problem #7

May 152012

ML350 8-cyl

  • 150,136 miles
When the seat heater was activated a burning smell filled the cabin. Some smoke came out of the lower, left side of the back of the driver's seat. The switch turned off on its own. There is a hole, approximately 3/4 in. In diameter on the seat.

- Chino Hills, CA, USA

problem #6

May 122011


  • 104,500 miles


Seat warmer malfunction, I was driving and had to pull over as my seat warmer created a fire inside my seat and burned 3 holes thru my seat and singed my clothing. Drivers side seat on left side of seat. Mercedes ml 350 2006

- North Dighton, MA, USA

problem #5

May 122011


  • 104,500 miles
Seat warmer malfunction, I was driving and had to pull over as my seat warmer created a fire inside my seat and burned 3 holes thru my seat and singed my clothing. Drivers side seat on left side of seat. Mercedes ml 350 2006

- North Dighton, MA, USA

problem #4

Feb 102011


  • 57,940 miles
I'm the owner of a 2006 Mercedes Benz ML350 4matic, currently at 58,645 miles with outside extended warranty until 2013. Recently I had the heated seat turned on which I started the car and after about 2 minutes I smelled a burning smell coming from inside the cabin and then started seeing smoke coming from the left side of the driver side seat bolster around the waist area. I found a hole burnt the size of a nickel and smoke was coming out from it. It was bright red as I could see inside the hole I immediately turned off the heat seat and slowly the burning went away. I took my car to a Mercedes Benz dealer the next and they denied that there is no heating element in that part of the seat and refused to cover under outside warranty. At the dealership I did try to turn the heated seat on but no smoke was coming out so I wasn't able to proof the seating element was actually causing the problem. But I read numerous incidents online with the same exact problem.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #3

Aug 202010

ML350 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
I was driving my 2006 Mercedes ml 350, with the seat warmer turned on. I noticed a smell of smoke coming from inside the vehicle, so I turned off the seat warmer and the smell went away. The next day I discovered that the seat warmer had burned a small hole in the seat covering on the left side of the driver's seat just above the driver's waist. When I took it to the dealer, they told me that the vehicle was out of warranty, and that it would cost $800-$1000 to correct the problem. The mechanic that I talked with 1-on-1 told me that they get this problem frequently. Since the day of the burn through, I have not used the seat warmer. I feel very fortunate that I noticed the smoke and shut the seat warmer down before the situation resulted in a fire or personal injury. Systems with these types of risks should have some kind of "extended" warranty coverage when they fail, to help cover the risk of fire or injury.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #2

Nov 082010


  • 55,000 miles
About 2 minutes after turning on the driver's seat heater, the driver's seat caught on fire. A hole burned through the driver's seat and burned my back. Luckily, I recognized the problem quickly enough that I was only slightly burned. My husband and my 1 year old daughter were in the car with me. I was driving at the time, so my clothes could have caught fire. If we had turned on the seat warmer while warming up the car, the entire car could have gone up in flames.

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #1

Oct 202010


  • 91,000 miles
2006 Mercedes ML350 at 91,100 miles driver smelled a burning smell and later found a burned hole in the drivers seat, driver noticed smell when seat warmer was turned on. Dealership is requiring the driver to pay for the repairs. This isn't normal wear and tear and is extremely dangerous to the driver as well as other drivers should the seat catch a flame. Why is there no recall?

- Wasilla, AK, USA

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