Battery & engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been around for decades. Now in its fifth generation, it was launched in 1994 as a facelifted version of the W124 Mercedes that has been manufactured since the mid-1980s.
It was named according to the Mercedes alphanumeric system, E meaning Einspritzung, which indicates that the sedan has a fuel injection engine. Other numeric classes include C for coupe or cabriolet body style, D for diesel engine, and S for Sonderklasse or special class.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a luxury midsize car that has a powerful engine and multiple high-tech features. But it isn’t perfect.
There have been 38 complaints about the original 1994 model to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of these, 31 relate to the electrical system.
So far, there have already been 6 complaints about the 2021 model, again with the electrical topping the list. But, more dramatically, there have been 12 recalls of this most recent model, 3 relating to the electrical system.
Since 2012, manufacturers have been required by law to share any communications about faults and malfunctions with NHTSA. There are currently 58 of these shared on the NHTSA website.
Most Common Problems
The 6 complaints received so far are filed in 3 NHTSA categories, Electrical System, Engine, and Unknown or Other. But most of the complaints relate to faulty 48V batteries.
A total of 4 complaints are either specifically about battery failure or mention defective batteries. Mercedes-Benz has even issued a technical service bulletin that addresses the 48V on-board electrical system problem.
One describes multiple defects and another focuses on a vehicle speed control problem. Another relates to a recall that affects the 2021 E-Class backup camera. Having been notified about the May 2021 recall in July, 10 months later, the complainant still hadn’t received the free update.
“To date, they have failed to remedy this safety recall. I have contacted Mercedes-Benz several times (most recently on 03/21/2022) and they are unable or unwilling to provide a date when this safety issue will be remedied.”
One would normally assume that battery issues only surface as problems with older vehicles. But all these complaints indicate failures with very new cars.
The first complaint in April 2021 describes how a message on the instrument panel showed that the vehicle had crashed when it hadn’t! But it did lose all power and had to be towed to a dealer. The car only had 743 miles on the clock and the dealer diagnosed that the 48-volt battery needed to be replaced.
Another complaint was that the 48-volt battery failed after only 3 months and 3,400 miles. “I understand that this is a recurring problem with Mercedes,” the owner said.
The car was towed to a dealer but, “It took more than three weeks for Mercedes to provide a replacement battery. From what I have read, there is a strong likelihood that the battery will fail again.”
The newest car with a failed 48-volt battery had only had 196 miles on the clock and the incident happened a mere 15 days after delivery. Then it happened again with 735 miles on the clock. The battery was replaced both times and the owner is afraid it will happen again.
“While both failures, fortunately, happened while the vehicle was at home, they could have happened on the highway, in the middle of nowhere in bad weather conditions, or anywhere. I have had to cancel a cross-country drive for fear that, once again, the 48-volt battery will fail, leaving us stranded anywhere or, worse yet, in the middle of a highway.”
If you have recurring issues with your Mercedes-Benz E-Class battery, you might have bought a lemon!
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Issues with the Defective Part
The complaint that was categorized as both an electrical and engine issue involved many defective parts, including a faulty battery. The complaint states that while driving on a highway, there was a warning message on the dashboard: Coolant too hot, stop the vehicle. This was only 2 weeks after the car was purchased. The dealer diagnosed a defective water pump.
Less than 4 months later, with only 2,800 miles on the clock, the car wouldn’t start at all. “Jumpstart didn’t even work. So, I was stranded again in the middle of the night. It got towed and they said it had (a) defective battery.”
Complaining that his 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a “piece of junk,” the vehicle owner says it has “many defective parts.” His fear is that “it will keep breaking down and threaten my life on the highway where I commute every day in the nighttime.”
The owner has tried to get the dealer to take the car back and replace it, but the complaint says they won’t. This is the kind of situation where you need a lemon lawyer on your side!
Vehicle Speed Control Issues
Although clearly a vehicle speed control issue, this complaint is listed in the “unknown” category. It states that “the vehicle speed control was always inadvertently activated, which caused the vehicle to decelerate automatically. The failure nearly caused a collision.”
The failure mileage was about 1,000 miles and, at the time of the complaint, the owner of the car was waiting for feedback.
What to do if your 2021 Mercedes Benz E-Class is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights
NHTSA complaints are an official directory of problems but by no means the only source of complaints by consumers. If you have similar issues to those described here, or others that are completely different, you may have bought an E-Class lemon.
Lemberg Law has negotiated multiple deals for clients over the years. If you need help, call our Helpline and we will assess your case. It won’t cost you anything because the law says Mercedes-Benz has to pay the legal fees of lemon law cases.