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Genuine Mercedes Benz Complaints:

Ralph writes:
Reading through the numerous customer experiences on your website and the recent Fortune magazine article has reaffirmed my suspicions about Mercedes Benz and what future purchase decision I will make. I have owned seven MBs over the past 20+ years. As another contributor noted, the "best" Mercedes was an early 1980's vintage 300D. I couldn't agree more. Without question, quality and reliability have degraded to the point where the experts have rightly categorized it: Below a GM Oldsmobile. Not that an Oldsmobile is an unacceptable product, but as we all know, it is a fraction of the cost of a MB. I purchased a new 1993 E300 that same year after trading in a 1987 300E with less than 50,000 miles due to a never-ending litany of repair problems. Instead of correcting the repair and reliability issue, the "new" E class just continued it, only at an accelerated pace starting with oil leaks from the head gasket after only a couple of hundred miles. After literally dozens of service calls and just as many letters, MB finally relented and provided me a new 1995 E class at no cost. Was I a happy camper? Hardly. It took the state lemon law and a private attorney at a cost of $2,000 for MB to finally do what they should have in the first place. Unfortunately, I am one of those "loyal" (or stupid) customers who just happens to love MBs, not withstanding the repair and reliability issues. However, I learned a strategy that seems to enable me to enjoy the automobile and make certain MB's problems remain theirs and not mine. Four years ago I purchased a 1996 E300 from a private party with an extended Starmark warranty, effectively providing a 100,000 mile eight year MB factory warranty, or 5 years, 60,000 miles remaining when I took possession. True to form, my "pre-owned" Mercedes began to live up to its infamous newly formed "reputation": Defective rack & pinion assembly, power steering pump, ignition switch, headlight assemblies, rear light assemblies, rear axle, series of glow plugs (3X), fuel metering device, master cylinder, motor mounts, front shocks, dashboard lights, windshield washing system, front engine pulley device, ATS sensors, cracked dashboard, to name a few. During the many months of these repair issues, I visited a website that listed all the technical service bulletins for every make and model vehicle sold in the U.S., including MB. With that information in hand, I could anticipate problems and not swallow the standard MB service manager excuse like, "Gee...we've never seen this before", or "Well, this isn't normally covered under Starmark warranty, but we'll incur the expense as goodwill." Yeah, right! But to make a long story short, I basically held their feet to the fire with actual technical service bulletin numbers so that they fix the problem the first time instead of just band-aiding to hopefully make it to warranty expiration whereupon I--the customer-- will have to foot the bill. The upshot of all this is will I buy another MB and play this silly game of "gotcha" or do what any other halfway intelligent customer would do? I think I answered my own question: Next car is either a Lexus or BMW.

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Walt writes:
Our family owend 5 different MB a 1985 300D, 1989 200E, 1993 S320, 1994 300E , 1999 S600, all of these cars had probelems from faulty central locking to engines chatching fire. The worst was when we had to rush my dad to hospital and the (S600 MB above all others) engine died in the middle of rush hour traffic. We live in SA so there is also the threat of being hijacked. We made it to the hospital eventually and called the nearest BMW dealer. We traded in our S600 for a BMW 320D AT and now after a year of trouble free motoring we can safely say DONT EVER CONCIDER BUYING A MB, you are wasting your money .

James writes:
I am an insurance broker in California. You are probably aware of all the issues that we see when it comes to an accident. Be aware that a recent claim has me on edge with all my insureds who own vehicles by MB. And all have shared the same horror stories about their vehicles. Due to these issues some people have been in accidents resulting from problems with their MB's. Like no head lights at night and getting into a collision. Not only are you faced with dealing with MB to get the car back in order, but you are faced with a deductible charge that is unjust. ALL I CAN SAY TO HELP THESE PEOPLE IS KNOW YOUR CAR BEFORE YOU BUY IT. IF OUR ECONOMY IS DOWN NOW, WHY INVEST IN A VEHICLE THAT HAS BEEN DOWN FOR TWICE AS LONG?

Jose writes:
My experience with the 2001 C240 has not been as bad as others, from reading some of the postings here. My problem has been with the service personnel, very very poor service, I mean extremely poor. I went to the Mercedes dealership and they told me that I couldn't get a renal car because that was not the place where I had bout the car at, but they said they were going to give me a ride to my work which was near by, I was told in about 5 minutes, I was left there for an hour an a half!!! And I was in a real hurry to return to work,. In the afternoon they called me back and told me that the car was ready but that they were going to have to charge me $100 for checking a problem that was not covered by the warranty since it has been something that I caused. That was OK I guess because I had my car vandalized and didn't know the problem was related. But I also had taken the car because it had the "Check Engine" light on. Well you guessed it, when I got it back the check engine light was still on. Can you imagine taking your car for service and they give it back to you with the check engine light on??? what kind of service is that???? Anyway I couldn't complain to the service advisor because it was late in the afternoon and he was not there. Next day I called and as usual I just got his answering machine, I left a message explaining the problem, and hoping that he would expedite the appointment, well guess what, he didn't even call me back!!!! I'm sure I would have gotten better treatment at a Hyundai dealership!

Mona writes:
I happen to know first hand how Mercedes Benz (MB) does business. I am having similar problems with my 1997 E420. I purchased the car in 1999 with 15K miles. I have always had scheduled maintenance.I have had the back window to stall four separate times. The first two times were within the first year of ownership. The service rep said there was a design defect with the window and since the car was under warranty there was no problem. When I asked what my recourse was after the warranty was up, she replied, MB knows about the problem and would take care of it. I insisted that there should be an official recall in case MB changed its mind. The rep no longer works for MB and they have changed their minds and refuse to acknowledge these problems. I have had a/c problems, transmission problems, head lamp problems,and other issues. During my college years and early in my carrer, I owned a Honda Accord. The only maintenance performed on that car was the required oil changes and I drove it for seven years with no real problems. I am convinced that MB is too arrogant to admit that there is a problem with its vehicles. Maybe we should get together with the consumer protection agency of sort and have this matter reviewed.

Ken writes:
I am a 28 year MB BMW repair/restore /service shop located in orlando fla. I own a 1970 MB300sel 6.3 and my parents have owned several mercedes since the early 70s... Now, my mother owns a lexus, my father is getting rid of his ML320- Reason, 17 times for warrenty repairs, God knows how many times I have replaced the dampner on crank, window switches, brakes, a/c evap, window regs, headlight bulbs, tires, etc.... You get the picture.. I have seen MB and BMW quality fall rapidly in the last 20 years and it makes me sad to say all the complaints I have read about all MB cars or trucks is absolutly true. I think,in my opinion, the last good MB was the 123, 126 class diesel, 420, and 560 models. My own 6.3 has the orginal a/c evap in it. I cannot count the times I have replaced them in other MB models. It is sad to see a once great name in automotive history go down the tube like this.i was hoping to retire a MB/BMW repair tech,but the way they are going I will probably be out of bussiness in a matter or years due to the fact that the cars, trucks are just plain junk. The other thing that bothers me most is when I have to tell my long time and new customers the rediculous cost of repairing their vehicles, due to the fact that they are, indeed junk. I feel very badly for the people that buy them thinking they are getting a vehicle "engineered like no other car in the world" when that is exactly what they are getting. Thank god that other manufacturers dont engineer them like that.

Ed writes:
My MB gripe is not so much about the car(C-Class), but with the quality of service provided. With the exception of scheduled maintenance stuff, like oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups etc, these technicians cannot seem to fix anything on this car. I just replaced a front shock on the car and suddenly the whole front end literally (and embarrasingly) squeals over every bump I ride. I had creaking door panels replaced under warranty and now the entire car creaks louder than ever. My entire tail light scenario is whole other headache. Bulbs burn out every three to four months despite having the entire assembly thoroughly serviced. The instrument cluster panel is another area of consternation. First it once totally failed. I couldn't tell how fast I was going, how much fuel the car had, time or any engine related stuff. Now, after a total overhaul, bulbs burn out every six months and it costs an arm and leg just to open the whole panel to replace a bulb (In fact they all must be replaced whenever a single light fails on the panel). I think Mercedes' priority should be in training the service providers to understand how to keep these cars on the road. My "running battles" with my local dealership have inspired me to invest in a brand new BMW X5 (at a dealership right across the street from MB). Did any of you read the Fortune Magazine article on MB's declining ratings?

Paul writes:
There were two major issues. First- The AM radio continually had interference. After abourt 4 visits, it was determined that the antenna booster was the problem and replaced. This problem was going on for 2 years before it was diagnosed. A week later, I had to bring it back. The replacement part was defective.

A bigger issue and true source of my disgust was a problem with the air conditioner. In Feb of 2003, a light came on the EC button on the AC ant would not cut off. Accvording to MB, it was designed to do this to prevent any additional problems. Bringing it to the dealer, they determined the problem and a resulting $750 repair. If this fixed the problem, OK. However, the AC still didn't work. Returing the car to the dealer, I was not told that the Evaporator Coil was bad and needed to be replaced. Cost $3,100! Narturally, I blew a gasket. If a physician made a similiar disdiagnosis, he (or she) would be sued for Malpractice. Upon return to the dealer, I was told they would credit the 750 to the job of 3100. If the dealer couldn't determine the problem initially, why put faith with the dealer agian.

I took the vehicle to an independent AC center ad replaced the Evaporator for $1975. I corresponded with MBNA about the various problemsI had with the car (in my opinion, more than a $45K car should have), specifically the $750 I am out for work that didn't need to be done.

Mercedes Benz North America (MBNA) pretty much told me to "jump in the lake". The fact that I had to replace the Evaporator coil on a 1997 car with 80,000 is an issue, however, being 7 years old, I really didn't have any recourse. However, MBNA lack of concern that I had to pay $750 for work that shouldn't had been done as well as the dealer's position of touch luck, I am soured on MB. FYI, my wife had a problem with her Lexus radio and even aftger the warranty expried, Lexus replaced it becuase they knew of some problems. Where does MB think I am goin to next.

Due to other issues, I have not procvweeded with any litigation with the dealer although I have until the end of Feb '04 to file a complaint in court (Ga law). The tutonic position of MB lost me as a future customer.

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Leonard writes:
I bought a SL 600 and E 500. These were the worst cars I ever bought. I am old and have bought 50 new cars so far. Mercedes cars and their dealers are, in a word, crap. I live on the ocean with much ambient salt spray -the Mercedes rusted beyond belief including brakes and body finish. The SL 600 was sold back to mercedes after overheating which couldn't be fixed under warranty by mercedes. a mercedes rep from jacksonville tryed to blame to problem on me using mobil 1 synthetic oil. Other problems with this car too numerous to talk about including power steering failure. The E 500 had numerous serious problems including front suspension noise, differential gears grinding up on a trip. My wife refused to ride in either car -as you can imagine this does tend to create a family problem. I sold the E 500 back to the dealer. In my opinion mercedes are of such rotten quality that they should lose their license to sell their products.

Chris writes:
I sell Used cars specialize in Mercedes (2000 and above). I deal with Mercedes every day Ranging $20k to $80k. They are garbage and its waist of money. Don't buy it. I know numberous problems with C class to S class. I drive 96 Mitsu. Those are garbage too but better than mercedes. I make very good money selling mercedes and people buy them because they are mercedes. Let me tell you guys, go buy nice japanese. Resale on mercedes are dropping like @#$!.

Piotr writes:
well, about incompetence of MB dealers and MBUSA:
1) took me 4 phonecalls and 2 visits to a dealership to obtain High Milage Awards application (none of the dealers ever heard of it)
2) I have to repeat my model/year/engine spec approximately 5 times for every part I request (with every computer spec screen coming on) at the parts
3) Their specs are wrong (e.g. they insist my sending unit has one, not two, o-rings).
4) every third time they cannot make my VIN work
5) I have to guide them through the spec to the right part.
etc etc-no time to mention. How do these people stay employed???

George writes:
A letter was mailed to Halata, President & CEO of Mercedes Benz USA,LLC and got a response this morning from James Dowles, the same guy I am complaining about that there is nothing Mercedes can do about it. This is ridiculous. Now only are they not addressing the problem, they are sweeping it under the rug. I wonder who I can write to now.

I own two other cars from mercedes and they all have problems:
engine oil overfill by service technician - C32 AMG
brake pads told to change when it is not necessary - ML320
ordered wrong parts for warranty repair - SL 55 AMG

Anonymous writes:
I have owned Mercedes for 23 years and Im on my 7th Mercedes. I own a the following cars, 82 300TD, 86 300SDL, 88 560SL and a 99 E300. The 99 E300 was by far the worst car. Because of the 99 I have decided to never buy another Mercedes. I had owned an Acura Legend for 5 years and the car was in the shop once in 5 years, besides normal service. Do you have to guess which manufacture I will purchase my next car form? This is truly a shame. In the J D Powers survey for new car satisfation Mercedes was tied with Cheverolet at number 13. As I said I have owned Mercedes for 23 years and the customer suport and quality of manufacturing has deteriorated over those 23 years. I wil contunur to keep my 82 wagon and the SL only because they were built when quality was high. They have become our daily drivers. Good luck with your efforts. but realize that sometimes you beat your head against a wall and all you get is a sore head. Myber you should get rid of the car and move on to say. Acura or Lexus. Hopefully Mercedes is aware of your site and will do something. But my guess is that nothing will happen.

Gary writes:
To Mercedes Benz; it seems you can't take responsibility for your defective product, but yet you love to make more money. Listen in the good old days the way a person got message around was word of Mouth and it still the best way till now including the internet am living proof am from the other side of North America in New-Brunswick Canada. I can surely tell you I will be telling people about you also with the permission of Jason Schultz I'll put a link on my personal website dedicated to my lemoncar. Because am also a customer that having problems with Manufactures like yourself that can't take responsibility for your product but let me tell you I have patient people will now.

Bill writes:
I came across this web site about a year ago as a result of researching a MB for a purchase. Since then, my wife and I have made several trips to the local dealership. Each time leaving unsatisfied not only with the product but with the dealership. We test drove the new SLK 350. I turned off the radio and asked the sales person if he heard the driver door rattle when we went over any deviation in the pavement. He said he could not hear it. After asking the 4th time he admitted to hearing it and did not say anything else. The next car we drove was the CLK320, this time a mechanical problem in the seat mechanism could not be explained by sales person. We asked for the sale price on both the cars and leasing terms. We received terms on the CLK320 but nothing on the new SLK350. They needed to be sure we were ready to purchase before that could be given. My wife and I just looked at each other. We said thanks, we will call you, we are going to test drive a BMW. The sales person said good luck at BMW. Needles to say on this site, we had excellent luck at BMW and will be picking up the new car in a week. Oh what a different car and dealership do make. I think my wife is slowly changing her impression of MB as being a status car of quality, reliability, and dealer excellence. Just one experience of ours out of many to show MB should always wish you good luck looking else ware because that is actually were you will find it. Thanks to everyone who has posted as you have helped someone else avoid the inevitable with MB.

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Steve writes:
I work for an attorney in Los Angeles who specifically works on lemon law cases for automobiles by Mercedes Benz. They are a very egotistical and stubborn corporation. They do not respond within reasonable time to my calls or correspondences even with threats of suits. Do you have any advice on how to get Mercedes to be more willing to cooperate? Our clients are becoming restless and blaming me for not trying, but I am doing all that I can. It is Mercedes who is not trying. Any help or advice would be more than greatly appreciated.

Tim writes:
MB USA Credit Corp Idiots

I'm having a bad time with MBUSA credit out of Texas. I rec'd a call this month Jan 04' informing me that my acct was past due - The payments are automatically withdrawn from my savings account which I always keep $10,000 + in at all times, so how could this be? When I called MBUSA Credit to task they couldn't understand either until they noted that a phone payment I made Oct 16th 03' was returned - It seems their person did not write all the account numbers in order. This mistake cost me $5.00 - the fee for making a phone payment.

I made the phone payment because the auto payment hadn't gone into effect as of yet.

Here's the MB beauty, MBUSA Credit has nothing to say about not contacting me until three months later - nor will they waive the $5 fee so I can make the payment over the phone and bring the acct up to date.

I just got off the phone from a superior named Daphne were she took a personal stance and claimed she didn't contact me 3 months I called her!

I've been buying MBZ since the early 80's, the quality and service has declined considereably. Too many cars to keep track of, MBZ has lost touch with their long term customers, they just don't care.


Ryan writes:
I just visited and read about the problems with this Mercedes. I am planning to buy a European car within the next 2 weeks, I was trying to decide between BMW or Mercedes, this site has made my mind up. Not only will I not be buying a Mercedes, I'll let my friends know about this site as well, and advise them against buying a Mercedes too.

JL writes:
My Ownership Experience: I've owned a half dozen MB's and think their new J.D. Powers rating of 26th place in quality and customer service is long overdue! On the other hand I also have a three year old Chrysler 300M that's never been in the shop except for oil changes. MB would have you believe that the Chrysler merger pulled them down, when in fact it's the other way around! Congrats Mercedes!!!!

Daniel writes:
Wow, I can see that a simply problems that probably started as poor workmanship in the assemply line caused oh so much frustration, lost time, and most certainly danger. I'm dissapointed to see Mercedes Benz has yet to resolve the many problems. My mother was in the market to purchase a Mercedes Benz, however I have showed her the website and strongly recommmended that she does not. Safety is my biggest concern, and I would not want any of the things that happened to you happen to her. She now drives her new 325i BMW and has had no signifigant problems.

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