2021 Mercedes Benz GLE Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electric & engine issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Is the battery in your GLE failing? Find more information on GLE battery issues.

The Mercedes-Benz GLE emerged from the successful and well-established M Class in the form of the sporty 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé. Launched as a robust SUV, it has always offered diesel and petrol options.

So, it’s been around for a while now, but an alarming issue is that in the past two years, there have been a multitude of recalls. Lemberg Law highlights recall numbers of the 2020 model in an article titled 2020 Mercedes Benz GLE350 Problems and Top Complaints.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Mercedes Benz GLE

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Exterior Lighting
Exterior Lighting:brake Lights
Visibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly

There are 28 recalls on file with the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. The most recent is dated 18 February 2022 and only relates to this model.

There are already 11 recalls recorded with NHTSA for the 2021 model. They date from February 2020 to November 2021. Although the reasons for the recalls are varied, the most common component is the electrical system.

So, it’s not surprising that the most common problems relating to the 17 complaints about this model are about the electrical system. Complaints about the 2020 model also top the list of NHTSA complaints.

Most Common Problems with the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE

As we say above, the most commonly reported problems with this model relate to electrical system issues. There are also many engine problems that show up in complaints, but most of these relate to the electrical system.

The others relate to the powertrain, service brakes, exterior lighting, forward collision avoidance, the fuel/propulsion system, vehicle speed control, and visibility.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Electrical System & Engine Problems

We are looking at these problems together because 5 of the electrical system problems in NHTSA complaints link to engine problems. The one engine complaint that isn’t included in an electrical system problem, does relate to loss of power. So, in effect, all these problems are related and there are a total of 11 altogether.

The issues reported are all related to the battery and loss of power. Dealer diagnoses include software that needs to be updated and batteries that need to be replaced.

But solutions aren’t readily available, which is why most of these owners are complaining to NHTSA.

A complaint that states the GLE’s battery “went dead” on 10 December 2020 says: “Dealer tells me no batteries are available in the U.S. A battery is promised for delivery from Germany on or about January 11, 2021.”

Another complaint about the battery malfunction from someone who believes the issue can be fixed via a software update says: “It is incredibly distressing to have experienced an issue that is widely reported in this database and online forums, and remains unaddressed by MBUSA.”

Nothing is resolved for these complaints.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE Brake & Collision Avoidance Problems

These complaints highlight safety issues.

One of the two service brakes complaints states that the vehicle nudges forward while the car is in park. “The car dealership appears rather cavalier about this issue but it leads to little trust with the vehicle.” This owner’s concern is that the car may propel forward more than expected, “causing a safety issue.”

The other complaint highlights an issue of aggressive automatic braking when cruise control is used. “This dangerous condition can cause an accident,” largely because the vehicle misreads the signs often.

What to do if your 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

If you suspect you have bought a lemon you are welcome to contact Lemberg Law. We specialize in lemon law and help clients in a range of sectors including car issues.

Over the years we have helped many clients get replacement vehicles, buy-back deals,  cash settlements, and refunds of towing or rental fees.

All you need to do is call our Helpline and we’ll evaluate your case for free.

Complaint Data

CategoryElectrical System
DateFeb 27, 2023
The contact owns a 2021 mercedes-benz gle450. The contact stated that on two separate occasions the vehicle failed to start on the initial attempt. The vehicle was towed to dealer who diagnosed that the firmware needed to be updated. The vehicle was repaired. The failure recurred a second time approximately 90 days later. The vehicle was towed to the same dealer who diagnosed that the battery needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 13,525.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
DateFeb 23, 2023
Many times while driving a warning pops up in the driver interface that the camera view is restricted, including an icon implying that the aeb system is "unavailable." funny thing is there is never any obstruction of the camera that I can tell. So I told the service rep at the dealer, including showing him a pic of the error message and the repair order just said, "unable to replicate" with nothing done. So unusual that mine is the only mercedes vehicle that does this! Also emailed corporate through the special purpose link on the website and got no response. I'm sure that mercedes is working diligently behind the scenes to fix this problem because they value the safety of their customers so highly, but I just thought I would let you know as well.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateNov 12, 2022
Driver side window detached inside door and will not come up.
DateSep 20, 2022
Wipers are not installed correctly on all 2021 gles on the 167 platform. Wipers make excessive noise and fo not effectively clean the windows. Dealer acknowledges the problem, states of is a common issue but has no known way to fix it.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 16, 2022
There is water ingress on the driver side front door/seat area. There are growing water stains and a mildew smell. We are concerned the water ingress could cause and electrical issue and fire.
CategoryEngine, Service Brakes
DateAug 17, 2022
I can be driving on a flat surface with out the car been on eco mode and the car shuts off for no reason without and light on the dash board I have to wait a few secs to restart the car ,brakes don't stop like they should very loud grinding noise and comes. I have report this problem lots of times and my car was not fix it stay more in the shop then with me the car senc don't work the light up red like if someones next to me
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateJun 26, 2022
Car shut itself off in rush hour traffic. Slight smokey smell. Dash light indicating a 48 volt problem. Got vehicle towed to dealership.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Exterior Lighting
DateApr 23, 2022
2021 mb gle 450 bought in april 2021, now approximately 8000 miles with two separate events of not starting. Cannot jump. Once 48v battery system updated (3 months ago), required tow to dealer. Now again at dealer with the same issue and recommended for battery change (last time was software update). Very unsafe, happened first time in public garage at night with no start, and second time in the morning when I was trying to go to work. Based on various blogs and class action law suit against mb in nj, seems like mb is aware of 48v battery problem, and installed a bad batch of batteries. Frustrating to purchase 000 car and learn that it is not safe at all, with possible malfunction at any time.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Power Train
DateApr 03, 2022
Was driving down a 2 lane road at about 55 mph, and a warning light message appeared on the dash and said "battery no longer charging" then another message that said "coolant overheating vehicle shutting down" appeared. And the car would no longer accelerate. So I had to pull over on a busy 2 lane road and turn off my car and turn it back on, and then the car was working normally again. This could have been very bad if it was on a multi-lane highway. My safety was put at risk. I took the vehicle in, and they said they cleaned some engine contact points and this was because the car lost contact with the engine
CategoryElectrical System
DateJan 27, 2022
What component or system failed or malfunctioned, and is it available for inspection upon request? The digital dashboard (mbux) screen that driver is dependent on, all of a sudden go blank with no access to heaters, no display, with no gps and no dash heater. This screen is controlled by a control unit which is right under the passenger seat and is very sensitive even to few water droplets. Yes, the component is available for inspection. How was your safety or the safety of others put at risk? With such a control unit that is sensitive to few water droplets, if a passenger sitting in the second row has wet shoes or shoes with snow or drops some water, can short circuit the unit and can result in blanking out the digital screen. On a cold day or during night on a highway, the digital dashboard screens all of a sudden go blank and the dash can get foggy, resulting in driving distraction and low visibility for driver. Heaters can be turned on manually but result in burning smell in the car. Has the problem been reproduced or confirmed by a dealer or independent service center? Yes, the dealer has inspected the problem and have also confirmed other customers also had similar issues. Has the vehicle or component been inspected by the manufacturer, police, insurance representatives or others? The vehicle has been inspected by the mercedes benz dealer service department (where I leased ) and they have confirmed that few water droplets have short circuited the control unit which resulted in blanking out the screen. Were there any warning lamps, messages or other symptoms of the problem prior to the failure, and when did they first appear? No messages or warning lamps or signs have been displayed prior to the failure. But we smelled something burning in the car before this happened. This appeared on jan 9th evening 5 pm on our way from pittsburgh to columbus on the highway.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateDec 05, 2021
Recall 21v354 has not been completed. They have had since may 14. I have contacted mbusa twice and they will not give me a completion date.
CategoryEngine, Power Train, Unknown Or Other
DateNov 30, 2021
On two separate occasions recently, the vehicle suddenly lost all power without warning and stopped. Luckily, these incidents did not occur while driving in high speed traffic, and the car restarted once shut off. When it lost power, all warning lights came on at once. After the first incident, dealer "updated the 48v system and esp control modules and the vehicle is operating as designed." the first incident was on november 9, the second incident was on november 29.
CategoryExterior Lighting:brake Lights
DateOct 01, 2021
The contact owns a 2021 mercedes-benz gle350. The contact stated that the rear brake lights did not function properly when the brake was applied. The contact was made aware of the failure when he noticed that after slowing down to stop, other vehicles from behind were stopping close to the rear of his vehicle. The contact tested the rear brake lights and noticed that they did not illuminate as soon as the brake pedal was depressed. There were also other failures where the tailgate would open about 6 inches and the moonroof would open about 3 inches inadvertently. The transmission also shifted inadvertently. After coming to a full stop, the eco mode would engage and turn off the engine, but when the engine turned back on, the vehicle would shake abnormally. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and diagnosed that it was normal for the rear brake lights to not illuminate immediately when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was not repaired and remained at the dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 500.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine
DateSep 13, 2021
I was driving at full speed on the interstate (75mph) when the vehicle died completely. I had only seconds to maneuver the vehicle to the shoulder. There was no indication of a service issue with the vehicle prior to this incident. The car is/was approximately 2 weeks old, with about 500 miles of usage. Vehicle would not restart so I could attempt to get to a safer location.
CategoryVisibility:sun/moon Roof Assembly
DateSep 02, 2021
The contact owns a 2021 mercedes-benz gle350. The contact stated that the sunroof abruptly fractured while the vehicle was parked and unoccupied. The fractured glass was retained by the sunroof cover. The vehicle was towed to the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure mileage was 10,000.
CategoryElectrical System:12v/24v/48v Battery, Engine
DateJul 09, 2021
The contact owns a 2021 mercedes-benz gle450. The contact stated while driving at various speeds the vehicle loss motive power. The 48v battery malfunction and coolant hot turn-off vehicle message were displayed on the instrument panel. The battery indicator warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the local dealer and diagnosed with a software issue. The contact was informed that the software needed to be updated. The vehicle was repaired however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 3,000.
CategoryElectrical System
DateMay 14, 2021
There are numerous reports of the 48v battery failing on multiple mercedes models using the 6 cylinder with isg engine. Mercedes should do a recall to replace all 48v batteries as this problem makes the cars unreliable and unsafe to use as sometimes this 48v battery system fails while driving.
CategoryService Brakes
DateMar 24, 2021
While the car is in park and idling, the vehicle will nudge forward repeatedly. The car dealership appears rather cavalier about this issue but it leads to little trust with the vehicle. The current mindset is that at some point the vehicle may propell moreso than a nudge unexpectedly causing a safety issue.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateFeb 02, 2021
We bought our vehicle -2021 mercedes-benz gle 350 - on january 12th and three days later we noticed that half of the mbux dual screen was black and inoperable. The car was in service 10 days. Today, 02,1, 2021 the car stop, the engine and lights, control, on highway!!!??? I call police to protect me. Mercedes dead. No hazard lights. I stay in dangerous traffic one hour for mercedes road assistance. I call from my cel phone, no energy in the car?! After one hour the lights of car start??!!! This was at 6:45 am (night). After 7 minutes, the car stop totally, but with the lights flashing. Finally, the road assistance from mercedes arrive. Now the car is in service, but never drive this car. I was in a very big dangerous wit my life.
CategoryElectrical System
DateDec 20, 2020
The 48v battery after driving new vehicle only 230 miles goes dead. The auto will not start and cannot be jump started. Result is being stranded roadside. Required a tow. Mercedes says dead battery (brand new) needs to be replaced. Battery went dead on december 10. Dealer tells me no batteries are available in the us. A battery is promised for delivery from germany on or about january 11, 2021.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Zantos

    I’m living in Switzerland. Since I got a GLE 450 2020 ,substantially loss engine power, air noise at pilot door, water filtering, bad smell in the cabin are some of issues. Mercedes Switzerland seems to be closed to these critics and they tell me maybe some updates are needed. I live in a accès of 35 and 45 percent slopes, the car stopped at the bottom loss all power for more than 5 seconds then it began to climb.

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