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Mercedes-Benz GL450 Reliable?



  • last night my R 350 caught fire in my driveway. Yesterday we were having problems, and since is is under warranty, the mercedes tech was dispatched to my work and home yesterday to troubleshoot why the alarm was going off/rear hatch malfunction. after the second time of responding we left the car in the driveway annoyed that the car was having problems again. We have had a history of electrical issues with this car for some time
    Later that night our child was crying in his room. The alarm had woken him up. Thankfully, I went outside to turn off the alarm and noticed the entire rear right quarter-panel was engulfed in flames. The flames were so fierce it destroyed the entire inside of the car and melted the entire back of the R350. When the fire was put out the car was gone. It was evident that the fire started in the back right corner of the vehicle (right where a computer system is located).
    Anyway, has anyone heard of this happening before? It seems like some of you have experienced this problem in the GL, and I was curious the outcome... Have any of you contacted Mercedes USA about these issues...? Any help will be greatly appreciated....

  • Hello

    this happened last night to my R350 mercedes... Where you able to make some headroom with Mercedes, i.e. replacement car, etc? I am thinking about going after them...
  • ant headway on your investigation?
  • I would never buy another mb gl450. Currently I am sitting in my house on December 26, 2010 while a tow truck tries to fix electronic battery issue. I just had the battery replaced 10 months ago and this is the 4th issue with this complaint. My car also died while driving on a bridge with one way traffic while going highway speeds with no resolution by Mercedes benz. MB should just recall all 2007-2009 gl450 and give us all vouchers towards another model.
  • Insomnia had me up last night. I always read customer reviews thoroughly when researching car purchases. The reviews paint a rosy picture, more or less. I Stumbled into this forum accidentally. I was probably going to pull the trigger on a GL450 today or tomorrow.
    Probably the most alarming pattern I've seen since Prius. A sincere thanks to you all for bringing these serious problems to light. Perhaps some of you should write reviews to peel away some of those gold stars.
    I've got an awkward discussion coming when my MB sales rep calls me in for that test drive tomorrow.
  • mlevinemlevine Posts: 397
    Recently looked at the GL450 as possible replacement of infiniti QX56. Has MB improved its reliability for 2011 models. Concerned about above posts with many problems noted. For an expensive vehicle, one does not need it to go up in flames.
  • Do we know for a fact that the 2009+ GL450's have been fixed?
  • I thought that, contrary to gas, Diesel did not catch fire?
  • fabceofabceo Posts: 1
    edited April 2011
    I leased a BRAND NEW GL450 TRUCK from Mercedes Benz in Brooklyn in New York, right off their lot, and 2 years later the lease is up, I paid off for the truck in FULL hoping to keep this truck as my retirement truck. PAYING FOR IT IN FULL, was a BIG mistake. The truck barely has 35,000 I AM HAVING NUMEROUS PROBLEMS, ON WEEKLY BASIS, WHICH THEIR MB TECHS CAN'T FIX SO THEY JUST MAKE PATCH UP FIXES, AND 2 OR 3 DAYS PAST, and my truck i back at the dealer. I have had problems with the truck from the start, but I said to myself, there is no car that is perfect, so let me give them the chance to fix the problems. Now that i have bought the truck, I'm having lights inside the truck turning on by itself, hoses jumping off while I am driving, park lights saying on the dash it's blown, and when i go to check it, the light is off, then it comes on by itself. They have changed the Park Tronic system in the dash with a new one, and it's still malfunctioning. The tailgate continues to not close properly. My truck has been at the dealer for at least 3 weeks and i had to call the dealer to ask what happened, and where is my truck, for them to tell me it was fixed over 3 weeks ago. My question is, who do I go to now, as I am stuck with this lemon, and I already paid off my truck and have the title in my possession. As I type this note, I got my truck back from the MB dealer on Thursday 4-21-2011, and on Friday 4-22-2011 the engine went up in smoke and some pump in my engine must have broken, and I am out of my truck for this entire weekend. All my plans have been ruined. I can't go anywhere unless I use a CAB. for all the money I paid for this truck, is there anyway I can get my money, or is there a number I can call to get my money back, or can I get an exchange for the new 2011 ? Or should I just try to get my money back and buy a Toyota Carolla or a 1998 Honda and settle with that ? Can anyone tell me what to do, or where to call to get results ? HELP !! PLEASE ... I AM STUCK WITH THIS SALAD, AND MB HAS A WARRANTY FOR 50,000 MILES OR 4 YEARS, WHICHEVER ONE COMES FIRST, THEN I'M ON MY OWN ! !! :confuse: :cry: :mad:
  • grengar1grengar1 Posts: 1
    I own 2007 truck and gave innumerable problems since bought in. I could not trade in neither i can not keep it. The number of problems i faced since I bought this truck is so long that I can not list. (computer problem, false alarm, sensor problem, you name it) I am writing in this in July 4, 2011 in a motel on my way to Chicago from Springfield, IL since the suspension broke all of a sudden without any warning when I pulled for filling gas off from I-55 Northbound. It is so ridiculuous to own this piece of garbage not a day passes by without feeling why did I buy this crap. I sincerely advise who ever read this please do not ever, never think of buything this garbage. Any question please do not hesitate to email me [email protected]
  • ermsamermsam Posts: 3
    I took the family on vacation to Piegon Forge / Gatlinburg, TN last weekend. For no reason the latch on the hatch back door broke off (No, really it did!). and I had to drive with the hatch open. Then the car started leaking transmission fluid. (you can't make this stuff up). I can't believe Mercedes made this SUV) Not to mention 1 week after buying it, the driver seat caught fire with me behind the wheel and my babies in the car. My next car will be an Audi. Mercedes has lost my business FOREVER!
  • I've owned them all...Chevy, Ford, Olds, Buick, BMW, Ferrari, VW, Mercedes.

    I can say unequivocally that the Mercedes GL 450 is the worst of the bunch, and there isn't even a close second.

    We bought a CPO 2007 with 30K on the clock.

    In 30K miles thereafter...

    We replaced the steering column TWICE. I've owned 33 other cars and never replaced a steering column even once.

    Replaced the power steering pump

    Replaced the air suspension over EVERY WHEEL, TWICE. Yes, that's 8 suspensions total.

    Replaced the air suspension compressor

    Replaced cam sensors

    Went through a set of Michelin LTXs in less than 30K miles (never had them go less than 50K before)

    Car creaked and squeaked incessantly and the dealer could never fix it.

    The back end "danced" (slid from side to side) any time you went over any sort of bump in the road (didn't matter which tires were on the truck)

    When you turned into a driveway or a dip in the street, you could not only HEAR the car body twisting, but you could FEEL it.

    This is just the big stuff. In two years of driving, we finally decided to sell this car, but then we found out no one WANTED the car. We ending up selling it to some poor soul for $28K. With no warranty, he's liable to spend ANOTHER $28K on it before he finally decides to pawn it off.

    I have never been so glad to sell a car in all my life. NEVER buy one of these unless you have an EXTRA one to drive while one of them is in the shop.
  • tbudowtbudow Posts: 6
    I have been reading the threads about the GL 450's and noted how problematic they are, especially the 2008-2009. Those are priced in my range and what I was looking at. I want to spend around $45K, have heated seats and back-up cam and have mileage below 35K. Should I not consider? Also, it sounds like MB doesn't stand behind its vehicles. What is the general experience? Finally what do the regular maintenance costs run? Thanks for your attention.
  • aorexaorex Posts: 1
    My 2007 GL450 is the third Mercedes I've purchased brand new. My wife and I decided to purchase a new SUV to replace our 2002 Toyota Sequoia and started shopping for a new SUV close to the Sequoia in size. The GL looked really good and had a nice rice, with better fuel mileage. It was also fairly new so we decided to give it a try. We paid 66K for what we thought was a really nice luxury SUV. Three weeks later, the pump that raises the car goes out and to the dealer we go. They replace the pump and everything is fine. About a month after that, the rear tail gate will not lock into position. Back to the dealer we go and they replace the locking mechanism. Another couple of months, and the lock breaks again! Again! It was just replaced a few weeks ago. Back to the dealer for a new latch. Everything is fine for a few months until I lower the left hand side rear seat for cleaning the back area. I want to raise the seat back and it won't move. No matter what I do, the seat will not go back up. I finally realize that the seat belt is locked in place, and if it doesn't move, the seat back will not move either. I take it to the dealer and yup, the seat belt is jammed and the whole assembly needs to be replaced. A few months later, I open the garage door and notice the left hand side of the car really low compared to the right side. I turn the car on and it levels itself out, so I think everything is ok. Nope! I park the car at work, come back during lunch break and the car is leaning on it's side again. I call the dealer and the service technician says the shock is leaking air and needs to be replaced. I take it in and they recommend both front shocks to be replaced at a cost of $985 each.

    Yesterday, on a trip to Lake Tahoe, we lower the left rear seat again, only to find it not going up again. Well, guess what, the seat belt is jammed again. By now, you would think that Mercedes would know how to make a seat belt. As the car is off warranty now, I'm sure it will cost over $500 to fix it. Well, this is it. I've had enough of this POS. I'm getting rid of the car and seriously thinking of suing the dealer and Mercedes for all the headaches they have caused me. This is by far the worst car I have ever owned. Period! Also, this is the last Mercedes for me ever again. Total POS!!! STAY AWAY FROM THIS CAR!

  • monildomonildo Posts: 1
    Thanks for your post about the GL 450 leaning! I thought I was only looking for more problems because there have been SO MANY! I now know that I am not crazy and it is leaning in one direction. I HATE this vehicle!!! I have had the tailgate hatch repaired three times, the window mechanism repaired, the steering fluid was leaking and had to be repaired, the check engine light used to come on 'just because', I am in need of a second set of tires(only had the car 31/2 years), it needs brakes replaced. I've had the truck in multiple times to have the transmission checked because it seems to 'slip' and all they tell me is that the transmission fluid level was a little low. I want to drive this truck off a cliff!!!!
  • eca5eca5 Posts: 1
    I agree with you!! All the issues you are having are the same with me. I'm going to get rid of this before it gets even worse. The worse part is all the momeywe have all put into this vehicle! We shoud file a class action suit against Mercedes. They shouldn't get away with it!!! :lemon:
  • rickc1rickc1 Posts: 7
    I am currently stranded, 3 hours from home in the Sierras, waiting for a tow truck to bring my wife's '07 GL450 home - estimate is that it arrives in another 3 hours. We have had many problems with this car since we purchased it, including bad struts and air compressors that caused the brakes to malfunction and the car to slide out in the snow into the highway.

    The car started leaning more noticeably recently when turned off. The dealer insisted it was not a problem. Today, we tried to drive out to the store here in the mountains and the steering is almost completely locked. Looks like fluid under the car and it is nearly impossible to turn the wheel. So, a 3 hour tow to the dealer...

    I have complained to my service manager before about the horrible quality of this SUV, and he admitted that the early models were not great and have supposedly gotten better. I can't see why I'd buy another. I can't recommend the GL to anyone.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    edited May 2012
    My 2011 GL450 is about 1 1/2 years old, and has about 7500 miles on it. I guess you could say that it's reliable compared to the ones I read about above. But it certainly isn't reliable compared to other cars I've owned. The worst problem I had was the air conditioning intermittently not cooling. That took several days for the dealer to fix. The only other problem I've had that I've taken it to the dealer for is the tailgate latch; sometimes when the tailgate closes it comes back up again, and I end up having to close it manually. I took it to the dealer twice for this problem. They said there was a service bulletin for this problem. It works better now, but still malfunctions once in a while. You'd think Mercedes could design a tailgate latch that works.
  • I am the original owner of a 2009 GL320. I have had it into the MB dealership 11 times for warranty issues. I am a mechanic. The mechanics at MB are certainly not the best and the car has lots of problems:
    1 bad harness, caused me to be stuck where engine would not run
    2 bad catalytic converter
    3 bad key- could not lock, unlock or run
    4 check eng light on 4 times for adblue, when it was not low.
    5 lost my plastic bottom eng/tranny cover- dealership problem- not the car
    6 exh temp sensor upstream bad
    7 ac vent fell apart
    8 headphone for MB video sys went bad- poor connections
    we only used a few times on long trips
    9 dlr caused- loose exh pipe, from when they changed the cat converter
    10 noise from exh pipe, from when dlr changed cat converter.

    i love the performance, except for poor acceleration, but it is a diesel.
    fuel economy is 22-23 which is great, towing power great, looks great, interior parts/finish great, tires--- i chose not to go with 2500.00 run flats. put continental tires on from i get adblue from VW dealer for 1/2 the price.

    i will not buy another MB :sick: product, my wife's E350 has worse stories.
  • ermsamermsam Posts: 3
    Today is a glorious day for I have finally sold my wretched GL-450 and now I am forever free of its grip of terror! After nearly being burnt alive when the drivers seat caught fire while driving down the road, having to replace the transmission twice, having to replace the tail gait, and having to deal with things turning on and off by themselves I am finally free! Free at last free at last thank God Oh! Mighty, I am free. Bothers and Sisters break those LEMON :lemon: scented chains and run to CARMAX! Yes, I'm a bit over the top, but you've idea! WELL, yeah you do! So you should understand why I'm sooo dramatic and over-the-top!
  • rickc1rickc1 Posts: 7
    Here is an update. We towed the car in and the dealer found that the power steering pump failed, reservoir was bad, and right front strut was leaking. We replaced the left front strut 2 years ago. We replaced the new stuff. Then when we got home from the dealer, the window switches flew off. We brought the car in again for new switches, and the service rep calls back. "We noticed now that your right REAR strut is leaking and needs replacement!" The struts have been replaced under extended warranty so I don't think they are trying to skin me. This car is a complete disaster. Run away as fast as you can from these POSs.
  • gregoryxgregoryx Posts: 44
    edited June 2012
    Believing the hype of Mercedes and finally able to purchase a luxury vehicle, I purchased a ml320 in 2002. The car initially was great but after 4 years began to be a money sinker .... Fast forward 7 years I attributed the expenses to bad luck and then bought my wife a cpo 2009 gl 320 bluetec. I tried to convince my wife to get thebaudi q7 or the x5 or my favorite - the Tahoe. She was fixated on the Benz so I bought it.
    2.5 years and 6100 of maintenance later I am about to sell this car and buy something, anything else. She is at dealer every other month for something. It is crazy. In comparison, I have BMW and no problems at all. I also owned an Acura rl - no problems. The Mercedes line is not good
  • lsv2lsv2 Posts: 1
    I have to say, I have found the GL to be not the best car Mercedes have built.
    I have owned a 2008 GL320 cdi 36000 miles, for 18 months. The engine uses 2 lts per 700 miles, mercedes assure me this is within parameters, it breathes through the oil filler, also within mercedes parameters, black exhaust deposits on rear bumper and tail pipes mercededs assure me this is also normal!. Dealer never mentioned it when I went to buy it, how strange!) |A front suspension strut has failed (Warranty work) associated suspension levelling problems returned to dealer with steering wander (warranty work). Self levelling sensor arms seized all round, now the tailgate latch has failed, to buy, with all discounts and self fit £188.00 All I wanted was a vehicle that would drive from service to service without lifting the bonnet. My Mitsubishi did it for 12 years. NOT IMPRESSED AT ALL.
  • In 2010, we traded a 2005 Toyota Highlander for a 2007 MB GL 450; we traded at CARMAX and got a great deal on the trade. Additionally, it seemed the MB was a good deal, with only 26K miles on it at the time. We absolutely loved the MB at first...most important to us was room and comfort and it passed the ultimate test: a 1500 mile family road trip. The usual oil changes, periodic maintenance. In the last year, several things went wrong. As some previously mentioned, window mechanism switches; then, brake pads and rotors needed replacement; once or twice, it stalled while driving and explained by a mere bubble in the gas line. Some things, covered by the warranty, some not. Worth mentioning that the extended warranty expired in May this year. Three weeks ago, another instance of stalling. This time, the engine started right back up, but did not go into gear...neither reverse nor drive. I was towed to the nearest dealership and initially, the problem was described as a conductor plate sensor problem. Research discovered that this was/is a common problem. Two days later, described as a transmission problem that masked itself as a conductor plate problem. Not surprisingly, I am baffled that a 5-year old vehicle with less than 100K miles needs a transmission replacement. I am certain this doesn't happen to other vehicles of other makes. When I challenged the dealership, the onus was placed on me; that I did not have transmission service done on the vehicle and shouldn't expect relief from the balance due upon service completion. Copies of service and oil changes done on the vehicle were not sufficient. Given I don't have many choices, I requested a used or rebuilt transmission be found. The dealership did not find one to match and ordered a new one. I feel like my hands have been tied and am disappointed to be in this situation. After sinking so much money into this car, we will keep it and pray that nothing else happens to it. If so, we will certainly opt to take our losses and rid ourselves of this vehicle. Our next purchase will not be a MB; likely an Audi.
  • rmussel22rmussel22 Posts: 1
    edited August 2012
    I have the same problems with my 2008 GL 450. I have had suspension problems-one side replaced, dealer split the cost with me. New tires after 1 year. Engine light goes on and off at will. My a/c does the same thing and the mechanic can't seem to find the problem. How did they fix your a/c? I live in Texas and it is 100 degrees here and I never know when my a/c will kick in and out. Thanks for the help.
  • I agree completely.I'll never buy a Mercedes again.

    i have spent many thousands of dollars fixing my 2007 GL and it still needs more work.

    The power steering failed ($2200), the check engine light ($2200 for intake manifold and it didn't fix problem), the suspension is knocking, the transmission makes a terrible sound when going into gear.

    If anyone organizes a class action suit please post it here.
  • Just browsing this forum after being away several years. Not surprised to see posts that are similar to my experiences.
    2008 GL450 has had the following problems:
    - Power steering mechanism (something under the hood) - replaced under warranty a few years back
    - Steering fluid leaking - had to replace the entire Rack and Pinion system - ~$2,500
    - All four air shocks (when parked car would "fall" down on itself, then pump itself back up when running) - ~$2,000
    - Electronic console/nav/radio/etc. - ~$1,500
    - Ignition electronics (car failed to start) - $500
    - Now the steering column must be replaced - ~$2,200 (motor that raises/lowers malfunctioned so entire column must be replaced)

    5 years, 75,000 miles on it, so the vehicle is not young but to have this amount of breakdowns to parts that shouldn't really ever break is inexcusable. I raised the issue with MBUSA and spoke to a case manager, but they are unwilling to do anything about it.

    Unfortunate because aside from these problems, I love the vehicle. Despite the problems, I may get a 2013 because I can't find another vehicle in this size that has the same ride, handling, comfort, etc. Too bad the price to pay is unreliability. This time I will lease and let them pay for the repairs.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited December 2012
    Wow, ~$8,200 in repairs over 5 years is pretty steep. Wonder how much an extended warranty costs and whether most of your work would have been excluded anyway if you had one.

    Thanks for the report.
  • Hello everyone. Here I am again, 5 months since I posted my first message. This time, because my parking/emergency break handle broke off in my hand and the front passenger door actuator malfunctioned. The door actuator, $883 for parts and labor; the brake handle, $183. Oh and while they were at it, the dealership decided to tell me that my front brake pads and rotors should be replaced soon. Did I mention that they were changed/replaced a year ago? Additionally, power steering fluid is leaking and the reservoir needs replacing...$458; lastly and since the GL just went over 78K miles, the spark plugs needs changing...another $450. In (only)2 1/2 years of ownership, already $8K; by tomorrow at this time, another $1K. NO MORE. We WILL take our losses and on our way back from spending Christmas with family, plan to head to the Lexus dealership. I am so sorry for all those who have experienced these problems and sorry that instead of doing my homework, relied upon a product I thought had a good reputation, with above-average service and customer service departments. Boy, am I a fool!
  • We just returned from Tahoe, minus our 450GL! WE had almost arrived to our destination a week ago when the GL starting slipping and sliding in the snow! Something totally 4 wheel drive or brakes and the car slid down a driveway...we are lucky no one was hurt. A few minutes later a sedan rear ended our car. WE had to have it towed back to the Bay area. Luckily we had 2 cars...our daughter's Subaru Forrester(which performed perfectly) saved our vacation. Now I am really worried about the repair costs that the insurance will surely not cover...since it looks like there a leak in the steering column, and who know what else. I don't think I will ever feel comfortable driving this car in the was terrifying!
    On another note...I have been blaming my poor husband...because the brake handle has broken on him twice!!! I thought he was pulling it too hard..but from other posts it sounds like a common problem. WE have maintained the car well, and I mainly drive it around town...SO I am pretty disappointed. ONe other thing...we seem to be replacing our expensive tires on a yearly basis! I miss my old Suburban!! Thanks for listening.
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