Last post on Nov 06, 2013 at 12:05 PM
You are in the Mercedes Benz M-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz M-Class, SUV
#106 of 699 CRITICAL SAFETY FLAW
Apr 02, 2003 (6:30 pm)
Pardon the double post. If you drive an ML, you need to know about this:
SERIOUS SAFETY WARNING FOR ALL ML OWNERS
My wife and family barely escaped serious injury several days ago when the power steering failed while on the freeway. Fortunately, she was on a straight freeway section, but the failure occurred during traffic and she changed several lanes involuntarily and ended up in the median. Vehicle is a 2001 ML-430 with 32.5K miles.
After giving up on TeleAid (do they have more then one employee?), I tried to muscle the car home and was amazed at the difficulty in steering.
When the steering fails - and it fails very fast - the car cannot be controlled by a 5'2", 90lb female!!! I can bench-press well into the 200's (even at my age) and I could not control the vehicle.
I reported this to 800-Call-Merc the following morning as well as to my local dealer. While both were polite and apologetic, neither really seemed to be concerned about safety issue. I was astonished. My entire family could have been killed.
Someone will be killed or seriously injured under this failure scenario. Don't let it be you or your family. I'm reporting it here for your safety.
My wife said that she heard a noise like a high-performance motorcycle and was looking for it in the rear-view when the steering just "disappeared". Apparently, this was the power steering pump failing. You've got about three seconds after you hear that sound to get your life in order.
I'm not comfortable trusting my family in an ML any more. The reliability of this vehicle has been abysmal. However, I draw the line with my family's safety. This is a severe safety flaw, and Mercedes does not appear to care. Someone else will own this car by the weekend.
Be safe & good luck!
San Antonio, Texas.
Apr 07, 2003 (6:32 am)
Make: MERCEDES BENZ
Models: M CLASS
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03V121000
Recall Date: MAR 26, 2003
Component: STEERING:HYDRAULIC POWER ASSIST:HOSE, PIPING, AND CONNECTIONS
Potential Number Of Units Affected: 211000
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE HOSE CLAMP USED TO SECURE THE POWER
STEERING FLUID COOLING HOSE TO THE POWER STEERING FLUID COOLER MAY NOT
PROVIDE SUFFICIENT CLAMPING FORCE FOR THIS CONNECTION.
THE LOSS OF POWER STEERING FLUID MAY RESULT IN DIMINISHED POWER STEERING
OVER TIME AND ULTIMATELY CAN DAMAGE THE POWER STEERING PUMP.
DEALERS WILL INSTALL A NEW HOSE CLAMP ON THE POWER STEERING HOSE TO THE
POWER STEERING COOLER. DURING CLAMP REPLACEMENT, THE POWER STEERING
COOLING HOSE WILL BE INSPECTED AND REPLACED AS NECESSARY. MERCEDES-BENZ
HAS NOT YET PROVIDED AN OWNER NOTIFICATION SCHEDULE. OWNERS WHO TAKE
THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE
AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD
CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.
CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY
ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
#108 of 699 320 HESITATES
Apr 07, 2003 (11:19 am)
2003 ML320 has an intermittent hesitation on acceleration low speed (5-10 mph) and rapid acceleration (hiway on ramp). Have tried switching brands of premium gas - no difference. Hard to tell if engine problem or transmission shifting problem, Anyone else experiencing same?
#110 of 699 2001 ml320 Leaky Sunroof?
Apr 13, 2003 (11:36 am)
I have noticed rust spots on my headliner above the drivers seat and continuing on a line down 1 side of the car. The only reason I noticed it, is because I have beige interior and headliner. Has anyone else seen anything like this and what did the dealer do?
#111 of 699 Catalytic converter Problem w/ 99 ML320
Apr 15, 2003 (8:46 am)
I have experienced many of the problems discussed here, my latest being that I have a bad catalytic converter (>$750 to fix). Has anyone had similar issues? My engine started sounding like a diesel engine (or a motor cycle). Any suggestions - I'm already considering trading it in as fast as I can. And, NO, I did not buy an extended warranty (I have about 56K miles and I hit the 4yr mark next month). Thanks.
#112 of 699 Brake Pads need replacing at 20,000?
Apr 21, 2003 (6:28 am)
Both my next door neighbor and I have 2001 ML320's. She has had mulitple problems with hers and I have had no major problems (knock on wood). Her brake light came on this weekend and the MB dealer told her that it is common for the brake pads needing replacing due to "wear and tear". She has just under 20,000 miles on it. Is this true? She is so upset with her ML that she will never buy another MB ever again. Lithia just purchased MB of Omaha late last year and have changed most of service people. Not the same class and treatment as we used to get. It will be 2 weeks before they can even look at her truck. I am very nervous about my vehicle and resale value.
Apr 22, 2003 (4:46 am)
Brake pad life is highly dependent upon the type of driving (city vs highway) and driving style (fast starts - quick stops). It is true that Mercedes uses softer brake pads that result in less life but these softer pads offer the advantage of better braking with less fade and longer brake rotor life. My preference would be for "safer" brakes that will get you stopped faster in an emergency before a crash that brakes that would not get you stopped in time but last longer.
I own a 2000 ML320 with 36,000 miles and have yet to replace the brake pads. I know of others who have gotten 50,000 miles before replacing brakes and I also know of some who have replaced their brake pads at 15,000 miles. It all depends on your driving style and whether the miles are mostly city or highway.
The other thing you must consider is that you are stopping a 4,600 lb. vehicle versus most cars that weigh only 3,200 lb. Breaking more weight results in faster break pad wear.
Apr 22, 2003 (5:40 am)
Thank you for your help. Would that be what the black dust on my front rims is from? MB of Omaha wants $360 to replace brake pads and Brake Masters only charges $160 parts and labor. Does it matter who changes them?
Apr 23, 2003 (7:19 am)
Yes, that is what the black dust is on your front rims. Actually, the same dust appears on the rear rims but since most braking is done by the front wheels on any car, the dust builds faster on the front than the rear. Most european cars use similar brake pads and that is why you see this black dust on Mercedes, BMW, Volvo and the like.
Whether you drive a M-Class, C-Class, E-Class or S-Class, you usually can figure about $200 per axle to replace the brake pads. Usually, rotors do not have to be replaced on the first brake pad change. Was the Mercedes dealer going to replace both front and rear pads? Was "Brake Masters" going to use OEM Mercedes pads or something cheaper? I would not use anything other than OEM parts since cheaper pads won't stop the vehicle as well, may accelerate rotor wear and may squeal when stopping.
By the way, don't complain about Mercedes brake pad replacement cost. If you owned a BMW, you need to change both the pads and rotors which usually runs around $800.