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Mercedes Benz C class:



C32, C55, C36, C43, C63, C230 Kompressor, C240, C280, C320, C350. (W202, W203, W203, W204)



JJ writes:
My impression of MB: if your a C Class owner - you're a second class citizen....never mind that some of us think that $32,300 is allot of money to pay for a car. After 18 pages of documented 'repairs'(some - 4 times for the same issue; 65 total repair hours billed under warrenty; in the shop for over 30 days within a 1 year period)...3 test drives with the Dealership's tech's and letters to MBUSA - all with the standard 'corporate-your-just-a-number' reply...I've had it - am suing under the Lemon Law...I'll keep the site posted...I WILL NEVER BUY A MB AGAIN.

SOME of the issues:
Interior Trim - excessive rattles and squeaks coming from the doors,headliner, A, B and C pillars - and the sunroof (rub a styrofoam cooler and its lid together - basically what it sounds like...). Phone - sometimes it works...sometimes it doesn't. Leather cracking - seat & steering wheel. Seat - squeaks (allot) - oh yea and the backing is falling off on one... Pwr. Steering pump defective. During cold (damp) conditions - car spudders at start-up. 6-Speed manual - gummy for lack of a better term. Etc., etc., etc....




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Paula writes:
I too am extremely disapointed with the 2002 C240 I purchased. The first month my battery was found to be faulty and was replaced after the lights would not go out. Soon after that, the driver's electric door/window motor had to be totally replaced because it would not close; On another occassion; the front and rear lighting sytem had to be rewired because the lightbulbs kept going out; Later, the front instrument panel stopped lighting up & I was told I needed a new radio; recently; the bulbs have gone out again and my fuel tank stays on empty even though I just filled up the tank!
The heating system has never worked properly; the lower heating system overheats & burns my feet when I drive and the uppper vents don't work at all!
The passenger door needed new molding because the it kept popping out and stopped the door from closing; That was replaced once & I am experiencing the problem again 2 months later.
At 30,000 miles I had to replace the front brake pads, which I am told is normal - who knows?
Although the car looks good, it is not what I expected of MB & I am sorry to say that I too have made terrible and expensive mistake.

I purchased the extended warranty to protect myself further almost a year into the car- which was very costly but until I can unload this car, felt it the safest thing to do.

I owned 3 Honda's before this & never had any problems. I thought I was "moving up" - HA!!!



Jennifer writes:
It all started one sunny afternoon in late August of 2002 when I purchased my 2003 C230 Kompressor Coupe. I was actually at the BMW dealership earlier that day looking at the 325i Convertible and decided I should check out what's new in the Mercedes line-up. I wish I never did!

From the moment I drove the vehicle off the lot, there was something wrong with it. The steering wheel pulled to the right. The service advisors at the dealership told me it was because of the Z tires and the road design that makes the car pull to the right. I don't think so... I shared that statement with friends who are auto tech/collision professionals and they laughed. Next, there was the hesitation I experienced when I accelerated, the check engine light would go off and on at will, the O2 sensor has been replaced more times then I care to share, the cupholder broke twice, and there's been numerous other issues that I would have to look at my service reports to share, and, the car only has 17,000 miles on it. All total the car has been in the dealership for approximatley 40+ days on 4 separate occassions. Actually, as I am writing this, it's at the dealership again for some of the same problems I mentioned earlier. The loaner vehicles are always filthy, the last one I had to have detailed because it was so bad. My attorney filed a Lemon Law complaint with Mercedes but informed me that cases against Mercedes are the toughest to win. I will NEVER buy a Mercedes Benz product again!



John writes:
I owned a 2000 C280 Sport for about three years. The car was continuously in the shop for various mechanical and electrical repairs. I went through three instrument clusters, two control units for the raido (which never did work correctly), and many many other varried reparis. When I finally sued MB and received the service paperwork performed under warranty, through discovery, I discovered that the dealership had charged back over $14,000 to MB for warranty work on my car. I wonder what the same work would have cost me? Unfortunately, after about $12,000 in attorney's fees I was out of money and forced to settle. Their strategy seems to be to run up your legal bill so high you can't afford to go to court and therefore have to settle. If anyone is considering suing MB under the lemon law, make sure you start with a pile of cash first. I was able to claim a moral victory since after repairing the car, paying my attorney fees, and paying their attorney fees, MB surely spent more than the car originally cost. Unfortunately, most of that money went to the lawyers.

Shortly after setteling with MB I sold the car and bought a used 2003 Buick Century. It seems that the $12,500 Buick was ranked much higher on the reliability studies than the $39,000 Mercedes.

As for the resale value of Mercedes, don't believe the hype; I was offered $8,000 by the Mercedes dealership for trade on a 3 year old $39,000 vehicle. Fortunately I was able to sell it on my own for just over $12,000. That still represents $9,000 per year in depreciation alone. Then there are the $500 oil changes and the endless list of broken crap I had to pay to fix. I had a bumper sticker made that read "All parts falling off this vehicle are the finest in German craftsmanship", but my attorney reccomended removing it before I brought the car in for repair.

Since my purchase of the Buick I have not even been to the dealership. Oil changes at Jiffy Lube are $20 rather than $500, and the car runs great on regular gas.

Save youself endless expense and frustration. Resist the allure of the star. Never, ever purchase a Mercedes Benz.



Peter writes:
I recently purchased a 2003 c240 sedan from walters mercedes benz. I am 20 years old and was more then elated to have purchased such a reliable vehicle. With that said I am now 9000 miles into my driving experience and have been left dissapointed in more ways then one. I have suffered constant key problems, one blown out tire that my service department asked me to take care of at the michelin service center because they had no new tires on hand, transmission issues, not to mention two brake problems. I am haunted by a sneaking suspicion that I made the incorrect choice in purchasing this car over other makes. I resolve my worry by coming to the conclusion that I am 20 and my buisiness shows no sign of slowing I hope to make my first million by the age of 25 and will never again share any of my profitability with mercesedes benz they have lost one client and turned me into walking talking anti advertisment of their product.



Ernestine writes:
NEVER Buy/Lease a Mercedes. I leased my '03 C230k from the House of Imports not even 10 months ago & have had numerous saftey issues with this car (14k miles currently). I am currently sending a letter to the factory, NHTSA, all dealerships where it's been serviced as well as where I leased it from. This is NOT a luxury vehicle nor a safe vehicle. I will only post the most critical issues because there are too many to write here. I was driving on a busy street and the vehicle completely shut off 5 different times, luckily no one smacked into the back of my car. There was no warning of this nor did it read any malfunction. Dealer said there was a cylinder misfire & was questioning me whether or not I put in the premium fuel, as if the mistake were mine. The car lacks acceleration, which could be critical if trying to pass another car. Car shakes OUT OF CONTROL after sitting for over an 8hr time period, was told the Flash Unit needed to be updated by Mercedes programming. Problem still occured yet now the "check engine" light remains on. Let the car sit for 3hrs, start the car and the rpm's go up to 6000, thankfully the car was in park otherwise I would have driven full speed through a business shop. The engine sounded as if it were about to blow. On a trip to Palm Springs in the summer had the a/c turned high, there was a malfunction error saying to get the vehicle to a service station immediately. Could not use the a/c in 100 degree weather. This car is of very poor quality other than the "looks" of it, it's not reliable. Beware those shopping for a car, Mercedes is NOT a product you want to invest in with finances/or possible personal injury.



Susan writes:
In a lemon law with mercedes C240 2002, I was called a liar form Mercedes Corprate, and that I simply did not know how to drive my car, after having my car in the shop 14 times for the same problem, ABS ESP and acceleration delay. I have found two other cars that have won the lemon law agaist mercedes for these same proplems, I am considereing a class action article in the la times, any one with these same propblems please contact me at posted e-mail.


Lee writes:
I own a 2001 C320 and I've had nothing but problems. This car is an electrical nightmare with only 19,000 miles on it. While driving it just cut off, started back up and nothing electrically worked, lights, radio, instrument cluster and etc. The dealer had the car for 3 weeks. In 4 years and 3 radio's later, I'm still having problems and it's in the shop now. At $44,000 dollars this is unacceptable, and by the way there are no loaner cars available for a week. So I'm walking.....and looking for the nearest Chevrolet Dealer, I'll never by a MBZ again. Oh I didn't tell youabout the $2,500 Factory telephone option that never worked properly and MB blamed the problems on my cell phone carrier. They're a bunch of BS'er and they're full of cramp. MBZ is producing inferior products.




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Lisa writes:
My Ownership Experience with my 2002 C 240 has been horrible. After having the car for 2 weeks, the ABS/EBS system went on the car..car went back to the shop, only to be fixed. 2 weeks later the water pump blew in the car, while I was driving on the highway at 70 mph and almost got killed trying to get to the side of the highway. After getting the water pump fixed, 1 month later again the ABS/EBS system went in the car again..only to spend 3 more days in the shop. After 1 year, the tail lights went in the car as well as now my car is being serviced again for a transmission problem as well as a problem with the converted exhast system. I would not recommend this car to anyone.



Kristine writes:
I leased a 2002 Mercedes Benz C320 approximately two years ago from Globe Mercedes in Fairfield, NJ. This is my third Mercedes Benz lease. Since I bought the vehicle, I have had the same electrical short dozens of times. My vehicle has been out of service for repairs on at least five occasions with Globe Mercedes. This problem has left me stranded creating a multitude of personal problems on many occasions. When you purchase a car that has a reputation like Mercedes Benz you should be able to expect reliability and dependability at all times.

I have given Mercedes a number of opportunities to correct this problem and they have failed each time. Since these defects substantially impair the use, value or safety of my vehicle, I am hereby demanding reprieve from this lease.



Fred writes:
My C-230 Kompressor is a lemon and no one cares. I have spent more time in a loaner than in my own car. I regret ever leasing a Mercedes Benz. My car is faulty, and to make it worse, my ML 320 is a lemon as well. I recieved a letter to Recall the ML after they found problems with my model. They wouldn't listen when I told them. I have been in and out of service for the broken SRS light in my C class over 20 times. MBZ refuses to help. I have had a better ownership in a mazda.



Sevak writes:
I spent 50k on the best C class available at the time of purchasing. I bought my 2001 C320 sport package, and everything came out to $49K. And guess what my POS doesn't have. a cd player. The first day I bought the car I had problems. A 21 century luxury automobile for almost $50k and no cd player or cd changer. Anyways that not even a big deal compared to the time and hassles I have gone through. I have a full filing cabinet of those yellow service receipts. My car is 2 years old bought it brand new now with 48k miles. But the service it has gone through you would think its has 48million miles. Almost anything you can think of this car has gone through from suspension changes, to steering wheel changes, to transmission and engine change, wow the list goes on and on. Radiator change, battery change, seats, trunk springs, door handle, windows, deformation of leather, even the instrument cluster once flew out while I was driving. I have had so many problems I am enterprise's dream come true. I go in to get service like at least once a month (because there always is something wrong wiht it) and i make sure its on fridays so i have the rental benz for the weekend when I go to Vegas and stuff. Since they waste my time and give me so much problems at least it a little way to have them suffer a little to.



Elston writes:
I am the owner of a 2001 Mercedes C320, which I purchased from Mercedes-Benz of Oakland, CA. My wife and I purchased this car in June of 2001, for over $42,000. I owned a 1990 Mercedes 300E immediately prior to purchasing this vehicle and I was greatly impressed with Mercedes' engineering and I loved the car. I bought the 300E "used" with over 130K miles on it but still I fell in love with its performance and comfort.

I convinced my wife, who until then was a devoted Acura lover, to purchase a 2000 M-Class. She loves her M-Class. That is where our satisfaction with Mercedes-Benz ends.

Our experience with our new C-Class 320 has been, for the first eleven months, a "service nightmare." I have not been able to enjoy a two-month span with the car without it needing some sort of service that is not included in "regular maintenance." I am sure that everyone at Mercedes-Benz would agree that this is unacceptable.

Following, you will find a list of some of the problems that I have encountered since purchasing the Mercedes C320:
Gas cap would not unlock when doors were unlocked (serviced)
Remote stopped working (twice) (replaced and then serviced)
Front turn-signals failed, first left then right (headlamp r/l replaced)
Sound system had "popping" noise even with volume at zero
Display telling me that oil level was too high "reduce immediately"
Drivers door making a loud "knock" when opened (serviced)
Rear turn-signal failed (serviced)
Driver's side window failed (serviced switch replaced)
Gas tank unable to be filled (fuel-sender gauge failed serviced not fixed)
Rear springs makes an annoying "squeak" (was told it was unserviceable).
Most of these problems were minor nuisances. However, the number of the problems has made my ownership of the C320 regrettable at best. Trusting and believing in Mercedes' reputation for creating quality automobiles, my wife and I made a cash down payment of more than half of the total cost of the car but together we agree that that was a very poor business decision. We hope that something can be done to rectify this situation. Mercedes-Benz of Oakland paid my car note for one month to try and shut me up. After, several and I do mean sevaral more problems not listed here, they insulted me by offering me $2500 off of a new $60,000 loan. I will NEVER buy another Mercedes again. I have been test driving Lexus and it is an obvious step up in quality. Sad though!

I hate this car and have a lawsuit pending. I will be giving my deposition on the 13th of January 2004. Wish me luck, my lawyer has told me that Mercedes-Benz's lawyers play hardball and don't like to pay for their garbage.



Stephanie writes:
I am having major issues with my C230 (2002). Problems with the transmission, A/C, heating, powersteering, stalling). Currently has 27k miles.
Runs rough in the morning, stalls sometimes- most days just barely stalls, shakes terribly when reversing.
Car doesn't shift to second in the AM while engine is cold.
When you turn the key in the ignition sometimes it does not start -recent problem.
Transmission fumbles for a gear also slipping in cold weather.
Power steering doesn't work in the AM after sitting all night.
Car sometimes lunges forward when going from park to drive.
A/C & Heat problem - temps are not consistent, sometimes A/C doesn't get hold, sometimes heat doesn't get hot. MB replaced the 'blower' in March '03 saying the blower failed. This car is a year and half old. I drove off the lot and it was 25 degrees that evening to realize a mile away that the heat didn't work AT ALL. IT was completely dead. I tried calling MB and no one answered their phones- I kept going to their vm. They should have been open for another 1/2 hour. I called the next day complaining and they told me to drive out to THEM (a 45 min drive) to fix. The following MOnday I brought it back and the manager (Scott Bolan, MB Westmont, IL) told me that they SECOND 'blower' was defective. Don't they check their cars before they return them to their customers?
Sunroof is very noisy!
Rear breaks squeak.
The MB service mgr (Scott Bolan) is nice, but tell me there is nothing wrong that my problems are NORMAL in the Mercedes cars (with the exception of the SUV). They claim their diagnostic tests show there is no problem. He explained to me on 2 separate occasions that Mercedes has to meet certain environmental guidelines and the car hesitates and runs kind of rough on a cold start engine b/c of the environmental guidelines in the US for fuel emmissions???? Sounds like B.S! Are they trying to appease me until my lemon law rights expire? I purchased my car brand new in October 2001 right off their lot. My car has only 17,000 miles. Any other MB C230 owners having similar problems?



Johnny writes:
My experience with my C 240 2002 has not been a good one. As I write this, my car has been in the shop for a week. The lengthy list of problems is long, to say the least. And the list starts now 1) vibration in the steering between 35 and 40 mph for about 15 minutes of driving, 2) squeaking in the shocks, 3) driver side window close 3/4 of the way and stop. I have to roll it back down then up again, 4) passenger side window makes winding sound as it goes up, 5) driver side door is hard to open and close. The car had to be sent to a body shop to have the door adjusted, 6) values and/or lifters in the engine trapped sporadically, and finally 7) the power steering makes a winding sound. I am scheduled to pick up the car tomorrow. Wish me luck.




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Megan writes:
I loved my 2002 C240 when I first purchased it and swore that I would always own a MB... I didn't run into any problems that were major until I brought the car in for the second service and that is when the trouble started... there was a terrible smell in the car if it was hot out, it rained, it snowed or if it just sat for more then a day.. it smells like trash and it is causing severe headaches, sneezing, congestion and asthma attacks. I have had the car in numerous times and they have replaced the evaporator, the carpets, deionized twice and several other things. I am paying for a mercedes and driving Nissan Sentra's! According to the dealership, no one has EVER had this problem before with their car. My father and my mother have both owned several MB and never had these kind of problems nor the service that I am getting, my aunt has the ML and the SL and she is running into numerous problems too. I am sad to say that it has not only altered my decision to purchase another in the future but my parents as well. I can't tell which stinks worse, my car or the service.



Yihua writes:
Just bought the 2003 C240 a month ago. My dad drove the car around the block and the car started to accelerate when he is making a U turn. Hit the right front wheel on the curb. Blown the tire. Went to the dealer for repair. They could not find anything wrong with the car because it passed the diagnostic test. A test engineer myself so I know that does not mean anything. Just picked up the car, the alignment is totally mess up as if it went through an accident. I think my dad handle it properly because he also drives a German car, a Volvo S80. He wants me to take the car back to the dealership for more tests. I don't think they will find anything wrong with the vehicle.



Thomas writes:
Frustrated and disappointed owner of a 2002 C230 6-speed Kompressor with 20,000 miles. Purchased new in August of 2002 from ASC of Arlington, Virginia.

SOME of the PROBLEMS:
This month (November '03) the car has already been at the dealership for two weeks. The service department's mantra is: "CANNOT DUPLICATE." The car loses power as it is being driven and will NOT accelerate. This is the third attempt by the dealership to diagnose the problem. There are no fault codes which appear and the service dept. cannot determine the cause. Last week they drove it over 200 miles in two days with a laptop computer attached and said they had no faults appear. It is a safety issue to be driving along or trying to merge and suddenly have a loss of acceleration and have the car lurch. In a few seconds the car then accelerates normally. There is no pattern to this, some days it happens many times and others, not at all. Because the shop cannot duplicate the problem they have told me that there is nothing they can do since they cannot "throw parts at the car to see if that works."
Paint is substandard (imola red). The hood has been refinished ("dealer goodwill") due to excessive chipping under normal road conditions.
Power steering was "whining" terribly while making turns. A leak was detected and the steering rack was replaced.
Power panoramic sunroof broke and was repaired.
Numerous ESP/BAS warning lights and electrical problems have had to be checked/repaired.
Wiper arms have been repaired twice.
Black panels on outside of doors next to the windows have had to be replaced because they were rust spots and the paint above them on the roof was "bubbling."
Rusted lug nuts.
Once, after having the oil changed at the dealership, the "check oil level" light illuminated after I drove it about 10 miles. I stopped immediately to check the level and the dipstick showed that the oil was marginally low. I had to bring the car back to the service dept. to have them add oil. Months later, the car reported a low oil level while driving, but the dipstick showed a normal oil level. The dealership replaced the sensor.
Floor mats were excessively worn after less than a year of use. They were replaced under warranty.
Wiring connectors were replaced.
I am very displeased with my C230 and would not purchase this car again. In less than ONE year of ownership, I have had more problems requiring trips to the dealership than any car I have ever owned in twenty years of car ownership. Caveat emptor.



Trent writes:
I have a 2001 c class with tons of problems. Mercedes benz has only told me they would help me but they havent done anything - kinda like your situation. If you are thinking about doing a class action lawsuit, I would be interested in joining. Please email me back.


Carolyn writes:
I purchased a 2002 C240. Have had nothing but problems from day 1. Started with the key not communicating with the car, 4 separate times until car had to be towed. Signal lights malfunctioning, air conditioner has a horrible smell coming out of it, driver seat motor died, back of driver seat fell off, radio won't work when rear defogger is on, brakes make a scrugging noise, tires are almost bald and customer service at the dealership is horrible. Mechanics at dealership have created more problems when taking in for a repair such as breaking the air conditioner vents after trying to fix smell. Sales person told me I would be happy with the car 5 years from now when all the minor cosmetic problems were fixed. I feel the C class is a cheap and poorly made car and MB just dont give a crap after they get your money.





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