hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,000 miles

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problem #2

Nov 052007

S600 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
2002 Mercedes Benz S500 sport. After vehicle was shut off a very load growl came from under the hood on the right side. It was apparently the air compressor and it wouldn't shut off. The grumble or growl shook the car and smelled of electrical. The height of the car did not change. The growl stopped after about 10 minutes. I have parked the car outdoors as to not tempt fate with the possibility of a car fire in the garage in the middle of the night. There is obviously a failure in the air ride system. While I realize everything mechanical has the chance to fail I am deeply concerned that this component was running and has a chance to start a fire with the ignition in the off position. If this component fails while driving and drops the vehicle ride height on the highway the results could be catastrophic.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #1

Feb 102007

S600 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
I own a 2002 Mercedes Benz S-430 with 69,000 miles that I purchased new. On February 7th & 8th I had the dealer perform a scheduled servicing of my car which was an extensive checkup (cost over $1,000) despite having no problems. The following day my family took an automobile trip of 140 miles. On February 10th, while driving I experienced a failure of the airmatic suspension system. The car's warning system alerted me to stop the car and not drive it. After talking to Mercedes on their emergency response system, I had the car towed to my dealer 140 miles away. This morning,2/12/2002, I went to the dealer and spoke to the service manager. He told me that it was probably a failure of a hydraulic strut/shock which suspends the car. Had I tried to turn the wheel before noticing the problem I would have been unable to negotiate a curve and would have had an accident. While at the dealer, I was shown 5 or 6 Mercedes benzes, some much newer than mine, whose cars had collapsed over the front wheels. This seems to me to be a serious safety defect which could cause serious injury or death to others. The defect is not limited to the S class that I have since I was shown an E class with the same problem. I was told that a replacement part was not the original part but rather an improved part that Mercedes engineers came up with after many reported problems. Since the part has not been recalled, the repair will probably cost me well over $1,000 despite Mercedes being aware of the problem. More importantly, drivers, passengers and other vehicles are in serious danger if the Mercedes becomes unmanagable. My car has not been repaired nor do I known exactly what failed, but given the seriousness of the potential problem I did not want to wait before reporting the problem. This is not an isolated incident since I observed many other vehicles at the dealership with similar problems.

- West Hartford, CT, USA