1999 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML430 V8 from North America


A terrible, terrible vehicle


I have had so many problems with my 1999 ML430 (98K miles), I want to cry. It's been a very, very, troublesome vehicle from the day I bought it.

My current stable is made up a BMW 3 series and Volvo S80 (as well as the ML430). The Mercedes has easily had twice (if not thrice) the amount of issues of both my other vehicles combined. Not to mention one of the poorest after sales service dealers I have ever encountered, with a cost of ownership that is stifling. Unlike your other consumers that have had the unfortunate happenstance of owning one and complaining, I want to bring these issues to your attention so that maybe you can rectify your bad product line.

I, personally, would never again purchase a Mercedes Benz (or related product) as long as I live, irrespective of if I ever get my current MB vehicle running again or not. I won't even take a new Mercedes given to me for free. And I mention my problems to every person that will listen so that they never make the same mistake I did.

My vehicle has, thus far, gone thru two MAF's, one CPS, one power steering reservoir, one power steering unit, a myriad of hoses and sensors, routine maintenance (not limited to 4 brake pad changes, 4 tire changes, one set of spark plugs, and one coil), as well as several recalls. All at my expense.

My Mercedes dealership even refused to refund my cash related to fixes that were performed before recalls were done (for instance, my power steering hose connection failed, which caused the p/s pump to overheat. I took it to Mercedes, they wanted $2400 to fix. I took it to another independent shop who did it for $1100. A month later I got the recall letter in the mail to fix the power steering hose connection, which is what caused this issue. When I called Mercedes, they refused to refund my cost to fix this). This would be laughable if it was not so sad.

My latest issue is: My battery died after the truck sat in my garage. Tried jumping it, but it wouldn’t start. Went out and bought a new one and put it in. Now the BAS/ESP light is on and I have no throttle/acceleration when I hit the gas pedal. Idle seems perfect in Park/Neutral and drive … when I hit the gas sometimes there is no change to idle, other times it becomes erratic. I towed it into the dealer and they said I need a new MAF. After they put in a new one, it did the same thing.

Then they said I need a new throttle. Then they said I need a new ECU. I told them to go pound sand and towed it home. I took it home, performed the throttle reset process (leave key in ignition for 5 minutes without starting, then starting) and it worked perfectly until a month later. Then did the same thing again (no throttle response). Now nothing is fixing it. Several shops later and it's still a massive metal sculpture. Now, I have had a $40,000 paperweight in my garage for the past few months.

MB products are inferior to even the cheap Asian products, service dealers are made up of deplorable techs that know less than average artisans, vehicles are overly engineered to poor standards.. it's not just a miracle that they are running on the roads, it's a miracle that the MB company is still in business.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st May, 2009

3rd May 2009, 16:55

10 years and 100,000 miles and that is all you've had to change. There is nothing unusual to me in changing brakes and sensors on occasion.

The recall thing, well, what can they do when you already paid someone else. If you had gone to them MBZ, maybe they would have helped you.

Benzes are high-tech sophisticated vehicles and are not perfect but appeal too many.

Hey, you know this already. Right?

Why did you keep yours for 10 years?

Obviously MB is still in business because they make cars that last when properly serviced.

1999 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ML Gas from North America


Poor quality and expensive to maintain


Door locks, still having problem.

Window switch.


Recall fuel gauge.

Recall catalytic converter.

Recall power steering clamp.

Recall harmonic balance.

Repaired belt pulley.

Bad tires from beginning, no alignment on the car.

Discharging battery.

Motor cooling fuses.

Oil leaking from or behind oil filter.

Brakes worn out every 10000 miles with normal driving.

Replacement fuel filter; very expensive.

Recently problem with gauges, again.

Forgot about brake sensor.

7 new batteries.

Had lights twice or 3 times a year.

Wheel bearing in right front.

Seat heater switch.

Complain about paint chips on hood and door to the dealer (never done anything).


Key less remote not working.

Power steering reservoir tank and fluid replace due to the noise.

General Comments:

Seats are uncomfortable.

Handle well in mountains.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th July, 2008

6th Jul 2008, 11:57

Recalls are the not unusual for the first years of production with a new product vehicle. Batteries run low and if the oil filter appears to leak in front or behind. Why not tighten the filter. Brakes and headlights usually need changing on all cars. What is the dealer supposed to do about paint chips on a 9 yr. old SUV? Ever try a body/paint shop? Remote not working? Try changing the battery in it. All these are minor and simple solutions to your problems. I hope it helps.

6th Sep 2011, 10:32

I notice you have posted a couple of comments defending this vehicle from the bad review, does this mean that you own one and never had any of the problems mentioned, or know more happy owners than the amount of people giving bad reviews?