really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,549 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Oct 222016


  • 190,000 miles


My 2006 merc ML350, broke down on me 10/22/16, as soon as I got off the freeway because I was hearing a crackling sound from the engine. I was able to drive in a local parking lot to avoid embarrassment. This vehicle is always needing something, and at this time it was hard to turn the steering wheel to park it because the serpentine (vbelt) had unraveled its way from the alternator pulley!! the lord had saved my life! same year in March fremont dealership said I needed to replace my air condensor but never said anything about my belt being worn or cracked or anything about this. This should have been noticed at that present time. They misinformed me at that time about the vbelt needing to be replaced and tried to sell me a air mass sensor. Mercedes knows about vehicle 2006 year and all the parts that are malfunctioning and wont lift a finger to recall or reimburse or pay entirely. I would have died on the freeway had this V belt would have came off! tookbitvin for repairs and the dealer is requesting $2350 to replace air condition unit and they will have to open up alternator & adjust + vbelt. Campaign anyone or botcott mbusa!!

- Oakland, CA, USA

problem #26

Aug 262016


  • 87,461 miles
Check engine light came on, and got both codes P0016 and P0017. Upon further investigation, this seems to be a known defect by Mercedes Benz for the balancer shaft worn sprocket issue. This is an expensive repair, almost the cost of the vehicle! mbusa picks and chooses who they will help? wow, wish I never got this car!

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #25

Aug 072013


  • miles
My 2006 ML350 (automatic) has a transmission problem where shifting down causes the vehicle to lunge forward. All gear shifts (up or down) are hard and can be felt by the occupants in the car in the form of a jerky motion. Scouring the internet for this issue shows that this is a widely reported problem. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis who offered to replace the transmission for $7500. When asked about the root cause of the issue, the dealer stated that they would not know until they take the transmission apart and would end up costing roughly the same as replacing the transmission. The down shifting presents a danger when making sudden stops due to unforeseen traffic changes in front of the vehicle as braking hard causes the vehicle to down shift quickly which causes the vehicle to lunge forward.

- Redmond, WA, USA

problem #24

Jan 302015

ML350 6-cyl

  • 93,200 miles


The vehicle is getting stuck in 7 gear on the freeway and not down-shifting to allow passing. Even when coming to a stop, the car will remain in 7th gear. This is a dangerous condition because the consumer does not know the car is not shifting correctly. Mercedes is aware of valvebody and conductor plate issues with these cars.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 012014

ML350 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Mercedes Benz ML350. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle stalled and the service engine warning light illuminated. The contact was unable to restart the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to a dealer. The technician diagnosed that the solenoid sensor and the cam shaft fuses needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the service engine warning light remained illuminated. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer. The technician diagnosed that the balance shaft gear needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. A month after the repairs, the contact stated that while driving at 65 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle was taken to another dealer. The technician diagnosed that the transmission conductor plate needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 57,000....updated 02/11/15 the consumer was informed the balance shift gear also needed to be replaced. Updated 02/19/15

- New Albany, OH, USA

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problem #22

Jul 092014


  • 96,710 miles
Vehicle was making a roaring noise, rear differential was gone and had to be replaced. Front differential is also bad and will have to be replaced in the near future.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #21

Sep 152014


  • 97,000 miles


Warning message displayed that said take to workshop before putting in gear. Vehicle would not ship out of park. Tried several times, finally turned ignition off, tried again and vehicle went into drive. This same incident happened again on November 26, 2014.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #20

Sep 012009


  • 32,000 miles
This vehicle has had nothing but problems. At around 32,000 it needed transmission repair. Unfortunately it was past the three year offered warranty. At around 45,000 miles, I was told that it needed new shocks. All of the repair men that I spoke with could not believe that this vehicle would need suspension work at such low mileage. After reading these posts, it is clearly a defect in the suspension. Meanwhile, I went through another set of tires because I am still waiting to repair the suspension. I guess I can wait no longer and will need to come out of pocket again. This vehicle has been a nightmare and based on this experience, I will never buy another Mercedes.

- Sewell, NJ, USA

problem #19

Nov 082012


  • 42,689 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Mercedes Benz ML350. The contact stated that the driver parked in a residential driveway with the engine running and exited the vehicle for thirty seconds. After attempting to re-enter the vehicle, the vehicle abnormally lunged forward, dragging the driver as she attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver noticed that the gear shifter had abnormally shifted out of park. Before the driver was able to fully enter the vehicle, the vehicle crashed into a residential gate. The driver sustained minor abrasions to the head but did not seek any medical treatment. The police were contacted the following day. The manufacturer was also contacted and offered no assistance. The failure and current mileages were approximately 42,689.

- Flushing, NY, USA

problem #18

Sep 192012

ML350 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
2006 Mercedes ML350 75K no warning light or check engine light/unable to drive, vehicle running. Drive gears not moving or reverse not working/towed to Mercedes dealer/service advisory need replace complete transmission will cost 6.5K to replace transmission. After research. Mercedes U.S.a have a class action complaint. Defective idle gears/these defective gears wear out prematurely, excessively, and without warning, causing the vehicle to malfunction, the "check engine light" to remain illuminated, and the vehicle to misfire and /or store driving. Mercedes actual knowledge and intentional concealment of the defect due to company reputation don't want the public to know and may hurt the company image. I was shock after what I was explained by Mercedes advisory not taking any responsible for defected gears and wanted to charge me. Very bad experience with Mercedes.

- Phoenix , AZ, USA

problem #17

Jul 112012

ML350 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles


I recently started noticing a slight humming sound coming from the front of my SUV. I took it to the service center and was told the front differential needs to be replace at a cost of $3668. I was told they just go bad and also they just replaced two more here lately.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #16

Apr 252012

ML350 6-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
I bought a 2006 Mercedes 3 years ago thinking I would have a car for a lifetime boy did I go wrong. In the past 3 months I have had major problems and Mercedes doesn't care. The first issue I had to replace the crank shaft $6000 plus for repair I almost went crazy so I started researching on the internet and found out there was a class action law suit for this issue so I phoned Mercedes and they agree to pick up half of the repair. One month later car starts making winding noise take it back to them and now they say it is the front differential $5500 to repair I start to research that on the internet and there are so many complaints for my same issue on the same year and model so I go back to Mercedes however this time not willing to help. How many complaints is it going to take for something to be done to such a powerful company like Mercedes. I truly do not think this is fair and us the consumers are being ripped off.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #15

Jan 102012


  • 40,941 miles
Car does not down shift when slowing down to stop. Then when you try to accelerate it barely moves. One has to place the transmission into park, then turn engine off and then restart engine to reset transmission. Fault codes in the onboard computer all point to valve body conductor plate on transmission. Mercedes will not sell or replace part to independent mechanics. They will only sell it to dealers which I believe are told to diagnose a different problem. In other words work around the problem to generate income before actually trying to fix the actual problem. This is a well documented problem amongst ml 350 owners with some paying thousands and still not having the problem corrected. Please look into this because this can become a safety issue especially at a busy traffic light.

- Healdsburg, CA, USA

problem #14

Jun 012010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Mercedes Benz ML350. The contact stated that the vehicle would lose power when the accelerator pedal was depressed and the vehicle would not accelerate over 10 mph. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who diagnosed and located the failure at the transmission. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000 and the approximate current mileage was 115,000.

- Leesburg , VA, USA

problem #13

Nov 142011

ML350 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
At approximately 70K miles, I began to notice a low-frequency whining noise in the front end of my ml-350 at speeds above 40 mph. The noise became more prevalent when I took my foot off of the accelerator at higher speeds. First, replaced all four tires with Michelin "latitude tour hp" - $1,300 (including alignment). The noise still occurred. Next, took to mb specialist, who recommended both wheel bearing be replaced - cost $425/side. The bearings were replaced and noise still occurred. Mb specialist recommended checking differential oil for metal - found lots of metal fragments in differential oil. Installation of new differential was ~$3,500. Mb specialist stated that his parts distributor said that they sell at least one-to-two late model ml-350 front end differentials per month. In my opinion, it seems as though there is a flaw in the differential's design or manufacturing process, as I seen several reports of the same differential issues with [relatively]-low-mileage/late-model mb ml-350 SUVS. I would like to see mb research this issue, and possibly instate a recall or reimburse mb owners who've already affected costly repairs on their low-mileage ml-350's front end differentials.

- Chester, MD, USA

problem #12

Jul 132011

ML350 6-cyl

  • 74,600 miles
Two problems - first, transmission do not switch higher than second speed. Upon engine restart, vehicle drove properly. Second, on another occasion, I was sitting at a traffic light and when I attempted to pull off, the vehicle started driving very slow and rough. I pulled to the side of the road; turned off the engine and waited for a few seconds. When I started the vehicle again and attempted to drive away, the vehicle drove properly. Mercedes dealership is aware of these issues, and also many of people I know who have Mercedes with same transmission type - valve body/electric plate needs to be replaced in auto transmission.

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #11

Sep 012010


  • 40,000 miles
Took car to mb dealership in North olmsted Ohio because front end of car and steering wheel started shaking and vibrating excessively when the car was driven in excess of 60 mph. Car drove fine under that speed. I almost was caused to drive off of road at multiple points because of excessive vibration and lack of steering control. Condition did not occur at lower speeds. Car was 1 week outside of mfr warranty. Was told by mb dealership that car needed new front differential. I called mb national to complain about an alleged luxury car's front differential failing only after 40K miles. They told me it was not their problem. Car continues to have problem to this day (1 year later). I was told that the car was safe to drive. I have since been looking for a used differntial because a new one w/install is over $3K. It seems as if I am not the only ml owner experiencing these problems. Mb went with a new 7 speed transmission that year which may lead to problems.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #10

Sep 012011

ML350 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles
Around 45,000 miles the check engine light came on. I took the vehicle to a Mercedes Benz dealer service department and was notified that the balance shaft needs to be replaced. In order to replace the balance shaft, the engine needs to be taken out of the vehicle and taken apart. Estimated cost $6,000. The service dept. Told me that it was due to a part that was not hardened properly during manufacturing. There is a technical service bulletin (s-B-03.30/08I) that was originally issued in 2007 which was found in internet searching, however it seems like Mercedes Benz knows that the check engine light (on the majority of these vehicles) will not come on until when the warranty has expired. Since this fix is a huge expense, they are not going to issue a recall even though it is clearly a safety concern. If I would've have continued to drive the vehicle in this condition, eventually the balance shaft would have continued to break its teeth resulting in engine failure. Continuing to drive the vehicle in the condition is not safe, it is a matter of time before the vehicle stops running and the engine would need to be replaced. The Mercedes Benz usa replaced our balance shaft or pay for it people who already fixed.

- Centreville , VA, USA

problem #9

Jun 012011

ML350 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Front differential for my Mercedes ml 350 year 2006 needs to be replaced after only 52000 miles.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #8

May 152011


  • 62,000 miles
Grinding noise in front diagnosed as failed front differential.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

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