really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,329 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.

2003 Mercedes-Benz ML500 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Mercedes-Benz ML500 Owner Comments

problem #7

May 162016


  • 150,000 miles


Takata recall. Power steering brake issue, power steering hose became detached during vehicle operation, could not steer vehicle. Transmission and radio drain, car cut off on me during driving.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #6

Aug 112014


  • 111,000 miles
Driving 45mph on highway, car shuts off completely. Towed to closest gas station, who put a computer on it to find out it was the crank shaft sensor. After completely cooling it will start again, but in less than 10 min it cuts off.

- Henrico, VA, USA

problem #5

Mar 152013


  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes-Benz ML500. The contact stated that while driving approximately 25 mph, smoke emitted from the driver's seat. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was contacted. The failure mileage was 133,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Hollister, CA, USA

problem #4

Jul 152007

ML500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes-Benz ML55. While driving 60 mph he engaged the seat heater. The front and rear seats became extremely hot. He was unable to turn the heater off. He pulled over and noticed smoke and sparks. He poured water over the seats and the sparks stopped. The seat heater did not go off until the key was removed from the ignition. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The dealer stated that the coils malfunctioned. The current and failure mileages were 28,000. The consumer stated the dealer replaced seat and electrical components but will not provide consumer with any documentation or information pertaining to the defect and repair. Updated 09/18/07

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #3

May 132005

ML500 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
- no precursors or apparent damage - drivers seat heater failed resulting in strong burning smell, and superficial burn to left upper leg of driver

- Narberth, PA, USA

problem #2

Apr 012004

ML500 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,300 miles
On the highway driving 65 my 2003 ML500 Mercedes - Benz computer shut down after hitting a small bump. It was very dangerous and was scared for my life there engine turned off and was luckily able to stop at the side of the road and start the car again. This happened a couple of weeks before but it stoped for just a second or two. This isn;T an ld car with about 25K miles on it. For a 55 thousand dollars car to do that is unacceptable.

- Fresh Meadows, NY, USA

problem #1

Oct 302003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
I purchased a new 2003 ml 350 during the memorial day sale from our local Mercedes dealer in Iowa city, ia. The SUV shuts off automatically. Initially, the dealer replaced the battery. The SUV has been into the dealer three additional times for the same problem. Each time, the day after I received the ML350 back, the problem occurs again. Two incidents occurred where the SUV would not start in my garage (which presented no hazard). Two incidents occurred where I was driving the vehicle. This is an extreme safety hazard - particularly if you traveling at a high rate of speed. The date listed below is the most recent incident.

- Iowa City, IA, USA

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