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

Forward Collision Avoidance & air bag issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The Mercedes Benz GLS (Geländewagen Leicht Sonderklasse), a lightweight, special-class, cross-country vehicle, is a full-size luxury SUV that’s been in production since 2006. Heralded by some as a utility vehicle wrapped in luxury, it doesn’t generally elicit many complaints. But some issues might make you label your GLS a lemon.

So, what should you be aware of if you think you’ve bought a lemon?

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020

Most Common Problems

People complain on many different platforms when they have problems with their cars. We are only dealing with the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) complaints here.

While there aren’t many complaints about the Mercedes Benz GLS, there always are some. In 2019 there were 5, in 2020 there were 8, and in 2021, so far there have been 7. These are always varied and don’t show any particular pattern.

For example, the most common problem for the 2021 model is forward collision avoidance, with 2 complaints. But this is not an issue in the previous 2 years. At the same time it’s important to realize that issues aren’t always immediately evident. For instance, 5 of the 8 complaints made about the 2020 model were between March and November 2021, and one of the 2019 complaints was filed in 2021.

Sometimes, it is also important to look at problems that other Mercedes-Benz models have. For example, we have seen there is a tendency for some Mercedes-Benz models to have serious 48V battery issues. From the complaints made with the NHTSA about the 2021 GLS, it is clear that this model isn’t exempt.

2021 Mercedes Benz GLS Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Unknown Or Other
Air Bags
Electrical System:12v/24v/48v Battery
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control:software
Fuel System, Gasoline
Lane Departure: Assist

Forward Collision Avoidance Problems

When a car warns that there is the possibility of a collision it’s alarming when there aren’t any vehicles or objects in the road. When this happened to a driver in Georgia, she deactivated the driver assistance functions. But the failure continues, with an audio alarm and warning on the display screen.

There is no solution to this problem. The dealer says she must wash her car, but it makes no difference. And it only has 200 miles on the clock!

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Problem with the Air Bags

Even though there is only one complaint, it reports an injury. The driver was traveling between 30 and 35 mph when a vehicle crossed her path. She tried to brake but couldn’t stop and collided with the vehicle. The steering wheel airbag split open and deployed, but the driver’s arm was cut and she was burnt on the shin.

There was no police report and the floor airbag was reportedly removed by the tow company. Even though she did report the incident to her dealer, and there was contact with the manufacturer, there wasn’t any further assistance.

Vehicle Speed Control Problems

Speed control problems involve cars decelerating incorrectly when on cruise control. A complainant states that the mechanic at the local dealer could not duplicate the failure so it wasn’t diagnosed or repaired. This failure was at 3,000 miles.

Battery Issues

This complaint explains what can happen if your 48V battery doesn’t work.

“The car would not start and could not be jumped. I’m told it’s the 48V battery (that) has to be replaced. I have seen on the internet numerous people have the same problem and that a large batch of these 48V batteries are the problem. Error message displays stop the vehicle and more details advise battery is malfunctioning and do not continue driving.”

It isn’t clear whether this complainant was made aware of the technical service bulletin (TSB) that warns there is a “functional impairment of 48V on-board electrical system”.

The TSB is posted on the NHTSA website as a guide to dealerships who have consumers complaining about 48V battery problems.

What to do if Your 2021 Mercedes Benz GLS is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights

However, minor you might think your problems are, if your Mercedes Benz GLS has problems that make you think it’s a lemon, do something about it.

Lemberg Law has many years of experience helping car owners who buy lemons. You don’t have to keep a lemon. You have a bunch of legal rights to return, get a buyback, or demand cash for a car that doesn’t operate the way it should.

Call our Helpline today and we’ll evaluate your case. It’s not going to cost you anything because the law says that the manufacturer must pay.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 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

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