Mercedes-Benz C-Class Problems: 7 Known Issues (Explained)

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is a well-respected compact luxury sedan that has always received favorable reviews because of its perceived quality. It is capably built, hence its overall general acceptance worldwide.

However, like all other cars, the C-Class has some problems that plague it and need addressing.

1. Electrical Wiring in the Rear Compartment

Electrical problems are highly synonymous with modern cars, and it is no surprise that the C-Class is one of those affected by it.

It has been observed and reported that the C-Class amasses moisture in the trunk. The moisture could escape into the signal acquisition module (SAM) and may cause an electrical short circuit.

Consequently, the electrical short circuit in the signal acquisition module (SAM) could result in various forms of risks such as rear exterior lighting failure.

We would agree that a vehicle’s tail light is an integral part of a vehicle. It serves as a means of communicating with other drivers, especially those driving behind you.

So, when the rear exterior lights experience a failure, those driving behind that vehicle are relatively left in the dark. This is risky because it could lead to unwarranted accidents.

Another risk posed by an electrical short circuit in the signal acquisition module is the unintentional folding of the rear seat. Since this feature is powered, it is dangerous for adult passengers but particularly for kids and babies.

An unintended rear seat folding could be fatal for kids and babies seated in the rear as they would be relatively helpless if the seat folds.

Also, an electrical short circuit in the C-Class’ rear compartment may cause rearview camera failure. This failure (as you know) is capable of causing a crash as one is unable to see what is behind the vehicle.

Additionally, an electric short circuit in the C-Class poses a heightened risk of a fire. Don’t forget to explore the best and worst years for the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

2. Steering Wheel Hands Detection Control Unit

The importance of a vehicle’s steering wheels cannot be over-emphasized. The steering wheel is laden with the responsibility of guiding the vehicle in the needed direction.

The Mercedes C-Class has had some issues with its steering hand detection control unit.

A faulty hands-off detection prevents the C-Class’ DISTRONIC system feature from functioning as it was intended to. This may cause the hand detection to fail as it would not warn the driver to grab the steering wheel when needed.

This is a serious problem since it could cause a crash when a driver is not notified on time to grab the steering wheel.

The Active Emergency Stop Assist may fail to call first responders when hands-off detection is faulty/deactivated. In the event that the hands-off detection fails and the vehicle crashes, the Active Emergency Stop Assist is programmed to call for help.

But when it fails to do so, it could lead to various degrees of injuries since help is delayed.

3. Faulty Fuel Injection System

The injector of a vehicle is more or less like the heart of the vehicle since it serves to pump fuel to the needed parts. Closely working with the fuel injector is the fuel rail.

The fuel rail therefore could serve as the veins of the vehicle in this analogy. And, we may have an idea of what it’s like when these body organs fail.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has suffered some drawbacks with its fuel injection system.

This could have been caused during the course of manufacturing, particles may have been trapped between the injectors and the fuel rail. These trapped particles can result in fuel leaks.

Fuel leaks on its part pose a serious risk of fire when close to an ignition source like a hot engine and hot exhaust components.

Most often than not, car fires are a result of unchecked fuel leaks and most fires are highly injurious. Car fires generally do not leave a memorable experience in the minds of those who have been affected by them.

4. Front Seat Belt Retractor and Warning Light

A seat belt is an essential safety feature in cars, as it serves as a restraint for occupants’ in the event of a crash.

The seat belt warning light on the dashboard notifies both driver and passenger whether the seat belt has been strapped. Simply put, it serves as a reminder to buckle your seat belt.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has been recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the failure of its front seat belts to retract back.

Therefore, failing to meet the standard requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) for ‘Occupants Crash Protection.’

The inconvenience caused by the non-compliant front seat belt retractor may result in the occupants not wanting to use them. Not putting the seat belt into use poses a high risk of injury in the event of a crash.

Also, the seat belt warning system could be faulty, thereby not alerting the front occupants that their seat belts are not buckled.

Instead of blinking continuously and making an audible sound, the C-Class’ front seat belt warning light may remain solid and stagnant. Therefore, not serving its purpose as a reminder.

Without the blinking light and audible sound, the driver or passenger may forget that the seat belt is not fastened and an unbuckled seat belt could be detrimental in the event of a crash. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is also among the Mercedes models that you can lease.

5. Incorrect Passenger Airbags

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has had some passenger airbag-related issues in the past. The C-Class has suffered some recalls by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) due to its faulty passenger airbags.

Airbags have been life savers since being introduced in the automotive world and a faulty one could spell disaster for an unlucky occupant.

You may have heard of or seen first-hand the devastating effects of a faulty airbag in an accident. So you know how significant the airbag is, especially for passengers.

Seeing that they have relatively nothing firm to grab hold of in the event of a crash.

Therefore, an incorrect passenger airbag may not provide sufficient protection for the passenger and may increase the risks of injury in the event an accident occurs.

6. Unsecured Battery Mounting Bracket

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class has had some problems with its battery mounting bracket. An unconstrained mounting bracket could affect a myriad of the car’s modern technological features.

This basically is because most of these modern car features are powered by the battery of the car.

Consequently, an unsecured battery mounting bracket could cause the battery to shift, leading to the battery being disconnected from the terminals.

It is always a bitter experience when a car loses the power generated by the battery. This is because many standard and available features may not function as they should.

Power loss from an unconstrained battery poses quite a danger in the event of an accident. The reason is, the C-Class has some post-crash assist features like automatic activation of hazard lights and communication with emergency services.

So, these significant post-crash features would be impaired if the battery is detached from the terminals.

If these post-crash features have issues and do not function properly, it may make it difficult to contact and get help from first responders or emergency services.

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7. Incorrectly Assembled Seats

Some C-Class model years have been recalled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for incorrectly assembled seats. You would agree that a shaky seat would be hell to seat in for a while in transit.

Seats that are not correctly assembled pose a high risk of injury in event of a crash as they may not adequately restrain occupants of the vehicle.

The car seats are supposed to be firmly assembled so as to avoid gory experiences such as being flung out of the car in event of an accident.

General Pros and Cons

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class like every other vehicle model has its highs and lows. Listed below are some pros and cons of this ‘beloved’ compact luxury sedan.


  • State-of-the-art comfort and safety features.
  • Exquisitely designed interior and exterior.
  • Powerful, efficient, and durable engine.
  • Balanced ride and handling.
  • Prestige and class.


  • Complex infotainment features and controls.
  • High cost of ownership and maintenance.
  • Cramped rear seats.
  • Below average predicted reliability rating.

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is without any reservation a very prestigious and luxuriously built premium sedan. It has been compared to its bigger cousin, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (only it comes in a smaller package).

The comparison was in respect of interior and exterior design, and plenty of similar technology features by Car and Driver. Not surprisingly, the C-Class got an impressive rating of 8.5\10 on the same platform.

Similarly, Gearpatrol has also compared the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to the bigger E-Class and S-Class. Hailing it for upholding the general qualities of what makes the Mercedes-Benz brand special.

These qualities include

  • Elegant design
  • Supple ride
  • Loads of technology
  • Solid construction, and so on.

Overall, the C-Class has mostly positive and favorable reviews. This is mainly because it offers relatively everything the bigger brand models boast of.

From technological features, efficient engines, and powertrains to plush interior and exterior design and so on.

What’s the Resale Value of the Mercedes-benz C-class?

Here is the resale value of some Mercedes-Benz C-Class model years.

Model Year                    Approx. Mileage (Miles)                    Price

2022                                13,500                                                   $43,424

2021                                27,000                                                   $40,760

2020                                40,500                                                   $30,727

2019                                54,000                                                   $18,652

2018                                67,500                                                   $13,641

Final Thoughts

Like all other cars, the Mercedes-Benz C-class has its own issues. So, if you are considering buying a used C-Class, you sure should check for some of the known problems of the model. Such as the problems listed in this article.

However, it is imperative to search for other potential problems that may have not been mentioned in the article. Since we only dealt with the major issues facing the C-Class.

Of course, there are possibly other minor problems plaguing the C-Class but that should not deter you, once you know what to inspect in the used car.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons for the C-Class and it has good resale value. I am confident that the Mercedes-Benz C-class would be, on average, a good buy.

Go Back: Problems for all Mercedes models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.