• Jan 19, 2008
Mercedes sold over twelve-thousand diesel-powered vehicles in the US last year, but a crankshaft issue is sending 9,004 units back to the dealer for repair. NHTSA says the problem lies in a crankshaft sensor that can fail, which causes the engine to lose power and makes you the "disabled vehicle" the traffic reporter on the radio warns your fellow commuters about. That won't do. The recall affects 2007 E320 Bluetec, ML320 CDI, and GL320 CDI models. Since the sensor defect could leave drivers stranded, we're going to go ahead and recommend that you get this one fixed right away. We're still bullish on diesel, however, because high fuel economy and gobs of torque are a wonderful combo.

[Source: Auto News (subs. req'd)]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I suspect this would affect 2007 and 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD models...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Used German cars just aren't worth the risk. If you have to own a German car, I recommend leasing.
      wendler
      • 6 Years Ago
      I bought a brand new E320 in 2008 Since the very begining I had problems with a foul odor form the AC. It was taken for service 4 times already. They cannot or would not take car of it for it is a design fault YOur comments?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I thought I may as well jump in and get a few kicks in with both feet while you all have MB down.
      I left my lust for ownership of MB autos after purchasing 2 (yes I know) in a row. Both had to flatbedded out on my garage because of no start conditions during the first year of ownership. I was coddled very nicely by my "sevice advisor" but I do not really want to be on a first name basis with him because of problems. Never again !! I have turned Japanese Oh BTW I think it is miss leading of autoblog to state MB is recalling autos because of a "crankshaft failure" its a sensor prob .........again
      • 7 Years Ago
      That sucks. I hope they can fix it with ease. I like the potential for deisels in the future to take over a larger slice of the pie. Bad press like this does not help.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It'd help if the only people who sold diesel passenger cars in North America (VW & MB) weren't the most statistically unreliable makes in existence.

        Imagine how bad hybrids would be if Europeans made them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is nothing to do with diesels per se, rather a faulty gizmo.
      The E Class has been unreliable on many levels - as friends of mine can testify: rust, electronic glitches, suspension problems, running on getyouhome mode more than once (petrol), and finally the tailgate struts going - at fewer than 60,000 miles. Everything costs a fortune in cash and time to fix too. This was supposed to be a well built car, but Mercedes caught a cold with it. Recent cars are supposedly improved, but when I read of people forming permanently negative impressions of a manufacturer based on perceptions of sometimes more than twenty years ago, I realize how significant faults can be.
      Truth is, all cars go wrong sometimes, and there is no manufacturer immune from the reality. However, some are given the benefit of the doubt whereas others are seemingly cast in the role of bad-guy for ever. Snobbery comes into it a lot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I recently had a chance to ride in an LS430 and then drive an S430 back to back (both had all their maintainence done by the dealers through the years), and it was pretty drastic how much worse the S430 had held up over the years. Not only did it just feel like the car was a lot less put-together than the LS, but the brakes made weird grinding noises (not worn pads), and the whole car just seemed like it was way older than the LS even though it really wasn't.

        I hate to say it but, it really ruined my image of the S-class. All those magazine reviews and just the look of the new S550 had made it a car I was hoping to one day buy, but driving a slightly older S-class made it a lot less appealing. For one thing, I realized that the insanely overcomplex German way of designing power seat controls was not really my cup of tea. Maybe it's because I'm used to driving my Camry, but the fact that the MB seat control required 5 separate buttons and tilting the seat forward and backward required tilting 2 different buttons that also controlled other things drove me insane. Lexus just uses your usual Toyota power seat controls, and even though it's not as fancy it's a lot easier to tweak your seat while driving when there aren't 5 ridiculous buttons.
        Also annoying was the fact that MB put a down arrow on the left side of the climate control, and an up arrow on the right side-which lead me to think that pushing the left side would turn it down, and pushing the right side would turn it up. But no, even though they're on opposite sides of a long horizontal control, it's actually a toggle switch (why in the world they didn't put both arrows in the center so this would have been obvious is beyond me-they would have easily fit).
        The next day driving a Lexus ES I noticed that their climate control was also a long horizontal button with an up arrow on one side and a down arrow on the other side. And guess what? You actually did just have to press the side the arrow was on to turn it up or down.
        MB seriously needs to make their cabin controls more intuitive (and less complex in the case of the power seat!) and make their cars hold up better. And why did all the last generation MBs still have a phone dial pad on the front console? Has to be the least used feature ever.

        Anyways, point is, I'll probably get a Lexus when I have the cash to spare.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "I read of people forming permanently negative impressions of a manufacturer based on perceptions of sometimes more than twenty years ago"

        Come on now, the W220 (1999–2006) S-Class was not from 20 years ago. These cars are probably the worthless pieces of junk Mercedes Benz ever made. Ah, lest we forget the original M-Class (W163) 1998 - 2004. Ranks right up there with the W220 in the junk factor.
          • 7 Years Ago
          Point taken; but I was really meaning all manufacturers, not especially MB. One distant bad experience can colour perceptions for a very long time, and judging from the posts here from time to time, often does.
      • 7 Years Ago
      man i would hate to have to be the techs that has to replace one of those. Flat rate=FTL!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Man this is unfortunate, Americans are fickle enough about diesels (in general, not those reasonable ones who've already got two in their garage *cough*).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does this also affect 2008 Model-Year Mercedes'?

      I am wondering because I currently drive an 08 ML320 CDI and i'm not sure whether to bring it into the dealership...
      • 7 Years Ago
      its not only german cars - diesels in general have more issues than petrol vehicles - powertrain is more complicated (turbo's, high pressure fuel injection, high torque - clutch/transmission, fuel quality - fuel pumps, injectors).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, generally speaking if an engine is more complex it's less reliable (assuming the same company is making it anyway).
        The diesel engine blocks themselves tend to be pretty reliable because of how strong they had to be built, but the turbos and whatnots aren't really any more reliable.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I am talking from experience - work at dealer in Europe. Also, all reviews of used cars in german mags confirm it as well.

        theory is one thing and actual facts are another. All those issues i mentioned are real life issues with diesels.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is so dumb, I am a tech at the local mercedes dealer and mercedes has always had bad crank sensors. Its the first thing we do when the car has a crank/no start condition.

      I mean is it like a revelation that Merc can't make a crank angle sensor that works. Every Benz since like 1998 has probably had the crank sensor replaced at one period of time.

      The real problem with the Diesels is the driver side fuel rail. Ive replaced 3 of them already and they cause a crank /no start condition intermittently. So yeah thats what this story needs to be about.
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