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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
62,200 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace balance shaft (7 reports)
2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350 engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Owner Comments

problem #7

Nov 162016

ML350 LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


In its current condition, my 2006 Mercedes ML 350 is not living up to my expectations, and it should not be living up to Mercedes Benz expectations neither. Mercedes Benz describes itself as dedicated to providing an unparalleled commitment to excellence in sales and service, doing everything possible to live up to this promise. (Service and Warranty information 2006 M class pg. 1). Being the owner of an ML350 with 40,000 miles an average of 4,000 miles yearly; the car has hardly even been driven and should not be experiment engine problems. A vehicle with such low mileage with motor problems should be unacceptable to Mercedes Benz franchises up to and including Mercedes Benz of Bedford.

I was given a written estimate of $7,000 (without warranty specifics), I was never made aware of this class action settlement nor this defect. Let's be fair my ML350 has these defective parts in the motor which can create a safety issue by abruptly stopping while driving. With only 40,000 miles it's only fair that MB provides the repairs needed. While Mercedes Benz has never admitted to this defect, the balance shaft identified as a manufacturing defect.

The average mileage reported for engine problems is in the neighborhood of 80,000 miles. I only expect that a car which has just been serviced by Mercedes Benz Service department and as well maintained as the one I own with such low mileage should not be experiencing motor issues, period. Why does it take a court to instruct MB to do what is right? Out of all fairness and loyalty, Mercedes-Benz USA should consume the total cost of repairs. Why can't a class action suit be filed for all owners with ML350 its clearly a manufactures defect.

- ssandra, Cleveland, US

problem #6

Dec 042016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I didn't do my research on the car before I bought it. I bought it used. I was astute enough to purchase an extended warranty on the vehicle. The check engine light came on and refused to reset. Of course car wouldn't pass an emission test, come to find out , the balance shaft was defective. $6000.00 later and over 4 weeks problem over for now. Advice. When purchasing one of these high end cars , purchase an extended warranty.

- carbfree3cb, East Elmhurst, NY, US

problem #5

Mar 012016

ML350 W242

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

The balance shaft sprocket on the early w242 engines was defective and wears out prematurely. Please refer to the MB Service Bulletin S-B-03.30/08i

Go to for more information

If you're like me your ML350 is out of warranty and does not meet the settlement class. I urge you to notify NHTSA and let them know about the problem with the balance shaft sprocket.

I have had two quotes from two different MB dealerships to replace the defective balance shaft sprocket. One for $5200 and one for $7250. MBUSA will not do anything to help with the cost to replace even though our ML350 only has 65,000 miles.

Take a look at what's involved to fix it:

- ml350balanceshaft, Charlotte, NC, US

problem #4

Aug 192014

ML350 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,137 miles


For a Company like would not expect that after warranty this problem would occur....very not impress by Mercedes Mecanic

- lemieuxpl, La, QC, Canada

problem #3

May 212008

ML350 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

My car stalled and I called dealer. They said turn the key off and on. It worked. This is how you reset it. I been doing this fix for years based on their recommendation. Got tired of this solution and just recently got it checked at the dealer and they said I need to replace the balance shaft which cost $6000.00. If I would have brought it at the time and it was under warranty, then I should have got it fixed. Since it's outside the warranty and have high miles, then they could reduce the cost 25%. This is too expensive.

I called corporate Mercedes, gave them the lawsuit documentation, emails, testimonials and bulletins regarding the balance shaft issues and still they refuse to correct the problem. I am concerned if I pay to get it fixed, then they will find new issues and I am stuck with this expensive lemon on my hands.The greatest of all is that, I can't afford to pay and what do I do? I even paid for an extended warranty at the time going up to 100,000 miles and this issue occurred well below the expired contract.


- ver123non, Vallejo, CA, US

problem #2

Dec 032014

ML350 272 Engine

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

I am writing in hopes that you will give mention to my current issue with the Mercedes Benz USA brand. First let me say that I converted from the BMW brand once I had my first child in 2008. My sister in Switzerland has been a customer of yours for over 20 years and she said Mercedes was the best for quality safety and luxury combined. We purchased a 2006 ML 350 (with a 272 engine) in June of 2008 with only 17K miles at the time- it was pre-owned and certified.

The vehicle has been maintained diligently through the years and had new tires, brakes & rotors as well as a two new batteries over the course of the years. We moved from NYC to Columbus in 2010 and since than have purchased two additional Mercedes (C Class in 2012 and a Mercedes Airstream in 2013).

In August of this year with only 57K miles on the vehicle- the vehicle stalled and the “check engine light” remained illuminated, and then eventually the Vehicle stopped driving. At the time the vehicle stopped because of the balance shaft gear failure, my husband was in the vehicle with our two children (ages 1 and 3 years) on Route 161, a highly traveled, commercial road in Columbus, Ohio. The Vehicle stopped in the middle of the road with traffic zooming by. It was clearly a dangerous situation. In addition, it had just started to rain right after the failure occurred and before my husband was able to extract himself and the two children from the Vehicle. Thus, he was trying to get to the side of the road with two young children on a busy road in the rain. The balance shaft gear defect which has been known my Mercedes to cause premature failure, clearly creates a safety issue. The Vehicle had to be towed.

Prior to the failure, I had brought the vehicle into the dealer at approximately 47,000 miles in 2012 because the service engine light was on and the Vehicle was accelerating up to 50 mph, but no higher. Mercedes did diagnostic testing. At that time, Mercedes could have informed me of the balance shaft defect or checked the wear on the gears or replaced the gear with the repair kit materials at their cost, and while still under warranty, but did none of those things and instead concealed the defect during the warranty period. At this time I also discussed whether I should trade in the vehicle and purchase new one due to the warranty going to expire- they told me this was a great car and should go easily another 50-100K miles. They mentioned nothing about the balance shaft risk- which I am finding out now is approx 10% and only through reading online about the class action suit. Before I bought the Vehicle, Mercedes represented that the Vehicle was reliable and had no quality concerns. Before I brought the Vehicle, Mercedes did not tell me that the gears were defective. After I bought the Vehicle, and before the repair, Mercedes did not take any action to repair, replace or correct this defect.

I contacted my sister in Switzerland and she said they had done a recall due to this issue and the safety concern. My dealer also explained that they used different metal and have since improved and switched due to the premature deterioration of this part. He said he has been with Mercedes for 28 years and this issue is the worst he has seen.

The estimate for the repair cost was $7,200 and Mercedes only offered to cover 10%.

I told both the dealer’s representative and Mercedes’ customer care representative that I have always diligently maintained this Vehicle, have had it serviced regularly by the authorized dealer and used new parts. They refused to repair it under warranty. In fact, the dealer pressed me and said he could get me “out of this” if I traded the vehicle in for a new Mercedes Benz. In other words, instead of repairing it, he could give me more money than the 10% towards the new vehicle. Needless to say, it appeared that Mercedes Benz was using this defect and its own balance shaft gear parts failure to pressure me into buying a new vehicle. I also went to another dealer approx 20 miles away and he would do the work for 5K and seemed to believe he could get more relief/good faith money from Mercedes to help.

In closing I am asking for a plea to help me as I can not afford at this time to repair this vehicle and as a customer with my history should stand behind this and not have disclosed it from me. My children were safe but this could have been a very bad dangerous situation that had a worse outcome. I plea for your understanding and to reach out to me in this manner.

- mom of 4...., New Albanuy, OH, US

problem #1

Mar 052012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

Defective gears in the balance shaft is a known problem with the M272/3 engines prior to 2009 yet Mercedes refuses to issue a recall (they have issued Technical Service Bulletins internally). So much for customer friendly, quality product, doing the right thing and corporate integrity - MB is "not so much". Cost to fix is $5,500 and up depending on where you live. It is my understanding that a national class action complaint is currently being prepared, I only hope that I can add my name to the list of Plaintiffs. This is certainly not what I expected from a company with the reputation of Mercedes-Benz.

- qb1048, Tallahassee, FL, US

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