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Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,404 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 SL500 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Owner Comments

problem #4

Oct 102012

SL500 8-cyl

  • 55,620 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500. While driving into the garage, the abc pump warning indicator illuminated and the contact noticed smoke inside the vehicle. In addition, the contact noticed a large amount of hydraulic fluid on the garage floor. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the front and rear axle valve lock, and pressure reservoir for the abc system needed to be repaired and flushed. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 07V263000 (suspension, engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 55,620.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #3

Nov 132015


  • 66,000 miles
Driving along the freeway at 65 mph when the whole front left side drops to within inches off the ground!! Mercedes is well aware of this lemon feature on there vehicle and is some how still allowed to sell them in the us, much less not do a damn thing about the lemons they have sold.

- Marina Del Rey, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 032014

SL500 8-cyl

  • 69,998 miles
There is an epidemic of this power steering / hydraulic tandem pump and possibly other models at approximately 70,000 miles malfunctions and starts to leak and spread up to three quarts of hydraulic fluid on the engine that could cause a fire potential, slipping of belts, loss of steering / suspension on hydraulic balanced cars, and then drip toxic fluids on the highway causing other potential safety issues.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #1

Mar 242012

SL500 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
I was driving on the freeway when the idler pulley simply fell off the front of the engine. Obviously, the belt came off too. The vehicle was hard to control since the power steering stopped working. Additionally, breaking effort increased, stability control malfunctioned, and a few other non-essential systems became inoperable.

- Houston, TX, USA

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