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Mercedes-Benz GL450 Reliable?



  • I had a GL 320 Diesel, what a great vehicle. Got to know my service advisor really well. 16 warranty claims. I got it fixed for good! Bought an Audi Q7. I will give the MB praise for riding/handling like a sportscar. The Audi is a bit more barge like, but in every other category the Audi out performs the MB. Google Earth gps dusts the MB dinosaur. Interior comfort for adults is better even though the third row seat is smaller. Dash is like a jet airplane. Handled a great ski trip to NC a week ago and this car handled a totally iced over road that was really steep. Very happy with the newer car. Let's see if it falls apart at 50k like the mB.
  • I am in Tanzania, East Africa. I am considering to import Merc GL 2013 or a Landcruiser VX 200? Which one? Need advice
  • i purchased a 2009 CPO GL 320 in 2011 and have spent approx 7000 on various repairs, including scheduled maintenance and i purchased extended warranty. i don't mind spending moneyon the scheduled maintenance but it's the unscheduled maintenance that bothers me.

    by comparison i have a bmw and the only time i've ever been to the dealer is for the scheduled maintenance.

    last week - after a $400 B service 2 weeks prior, my wife had the serpentine belt AND the power steering pump belt disintegrate while driving. she lost the ability to easily steer and lost ALL power to the vehicle. thank God she was able to glide into a service station. i will spare you the back story of deciding not to drive her vehicle on a family vacation over the holiday etc but suffice to say that we could have been driving in a winter snowstorm through the west virginia mountains and had the car fail. the service advisor tells me that they don't know how it happened but the belts failed becuse the pulley harness melted which caused the belts to get loose and ultimately fall apart and tear up under the hood. by the way, the b service includes an inspection of the entire assembly and belts etc. i have extended warranty and the repair is covered but i am not fearful of my wife driving it again.

    has anyone else heard of this???
  • mygl450isjunkmygl450isjunk Posts: 2
    edited January 2013
    GL450 is unreliable and has poor quality from my experience.

    I own a Mercedes Benz 2012 GL450, I bought it new. it is at 27000 miles now.

    My GL450 has so many problems. suspension noises for left and right sides, radios turns on by itself, excessive dust on front wheel, car suddenly level up when parked sometimes.. it has been in the shop back and forth at least 4 times, around 3 weeks time in the shop. Rental car guys know me personally because I have been there so many times. I finally got my car back today, suspension noises are gone finally (after at least 3 times trying), but new problem showed up, I can't start it with first try. For one time, I tried at least five times in my garage today. It is scary !!! especially for a one year old car and I am disappointed considering I bought it over $70k and it is a Mercedes !

    I tried to work with Mercedes Benz customer service and dealership. Here are their responses.

    Mercedes Benz customer service: Mercedes offers little help and very arrogant, manager told me "you car is still drivable", they don't care about customer satisfaction as they claimed.

    Dealership: they try to sell me a new GL450 2013 at MSRP. Good job dealership, take advantage of your customer who needs help and still thinking make money from your customer with a lemon car.
  • I am going to start this by copying the information that I sent to the Nevada DMW and to Mercedes corporate as well as the dealership. Mercedes WILL NOT respond to our complaints and neither will the dealership. Here is a background on this terrible car that is a big waste of money!
    We purchased the vehicle on December 3, 2011. On December 20, 2011, with only 648 miles on the vehicle, the vehicle had to be towed out of our garage due to an issue with the transmission. The transmission gave out. Had to be reassembled.
    On May 2, 2012, with 4,280 miles on the vehicle, we brought it in because of a terrible moldy, wet smell coming from the air vents. The air filter was removed, replaced and “Frigi-Fresh” was put into the blowers. The AC system was also revitalized. The smell came back within two days. The dealership did not fix this problem.
    On June 15, 2012, with 5,791 miles on the vehicle, a warning light became illuminated. There as an internal short which indicated a problem with the airmatic system. This problem was fixed by the dealership by replacing the airmatic pump, relay and fuse. The moldy, wet smell coming from the air vents was also addressed on this visit. The service department noticed the smell as well. The service department performed a cleaning on the system again as per the RO. On this same service date, we indicated to you we heard a popping sound when making sharp turns. You verified that there was a problem with the left front steering knuckle and bearing assembly. The part was ordered and the dealership fixed this problem.
    On July 23, 2012, with 6,707 miles on the vehicle, we brought in the vehicle due to the moldy, “rotten gym bag” smell . The service department verified our concern again and opened a case. Along with the FTS, the service department performed various tasks including odor evaluations and turning the AC to max and then leaving car in sun for one hour. The RO indicates the service department still found a smell. The dealership did not fix this problem.
    On August 24, 2012, with 7,600 miles on the vehicle, we brought he vehicle back to the service department for the smell of mold or a “rotten smell” . The service department performed a “Wynns Fresh Air Cleaning Treatment”. The smell came back by the next day thus, the dealership did not fix this problem.
    The bottom line is the dealership is simply putting a Band-Aid on the problem each time we go in for the mold smell in the vents. We have been told many things, namely- all cars do this so it is ok, turn off your AC 5 minutes before you go home (who wants to do that when it is 100 degrees outside). The dealership has also told us that the hot weather is to blame. Well, the first date we brought the car in with the smell was on May 2, 2012, where the mean temperature of the day was 57.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The second time we brought the vehicle in was on June 15, 2012, and the mean temperature was only 75.5. And, how can you compare a Honda to a Mercedes by the manager telling us that his Honda smells too. We paid $84,000 for this vehicle and we expect more than a Honda.
    My husband is understandably very upset. The dealership and Mercedes corporate has not fixed the problem. You, the dealership, has also treated us like second-class citizens. Our concerns and feelings have never been validated. The upper-management has never communicated with us nor acted as a liaison for us with Mercedes corporate. This entire experience has been demeaning and rude. We really expect a lot more when you pay that much for a car. You act like you sell $84,000 cars all day long. My husband works hard for his money and although the car payment is well within our monthly budget, we feel like we are wasting some $1400 a month on nothing but problems.
    We did not want to get out of our lease, we did not want a new car. We wanted you to simply fix the problem. But, the service manager has told us to get an attorney and that the problem will never be fixed. That is very sad, in my opinion, that an employee tells you to get an attorney; that is very low class. Thus, the problem will not be fixed. The dealership told us you would work on doing something for us- i.e. a new car, but the dealership had the service manager call and tell us the dealership would do nothing.
    Mercedes corporate sent my husband a letter indicating they would not buy back our car. In fact, this was not what we asked for- we asked for you to fix the problem. You did not address the issue of the car not getting fixed. Again, putting a Band-Aid on the problem does not solve the problem. My husband said that if you didn’t fix the problem, then buy back the car. You only addressed the issue of buying back the car. We were also assigned a case manager named Lois who never followed up with my husband and instead only referred him to a manager who would be in charge of deciding upon a buy-back. Again, why wouldn’t Mercedes figure out a way to fix the problem?
    We are just dumb-founded. You would think that spending a lot of money would get you different treatment. This must NOT be how Mercedes operates. You spend that kind of money because you expect to be treated better than average. Again, we work hard for our money. We are very sad and disappointed neither Mercedes corporate nor Mercedes of Reno will fix the problem of the mold smell coming through the vents. Why can’t you help us? Why can’t you do something to permanently fix the problem? That is what we are asking.

    We are now going to explore a class action lawsuit. Looking for others with this problem. My mom's 2012 ML350 is having the same problem.
  • I am sorry for all of you GL owners with problems with your expensive vehicle. I simply came here looking for information about the GL450 as I was considering purchasing one. I am going through a nightmare of a problem with my Honda Pilot and was hoping to replace it. I was going to purchase a CPO GL450. I glad I spent some time looking into it! I'm certain that this is a wonderful car, but with so many people having so many similar problems, I would be a fool to stand in line to make this purchase.

    Thank you all for sharing your experiences and helping me to make an informed decision.
  • Ha, I have a 2012 GL450 with 23K. Parked it in the garage and noticed the windshield washer lever was really hot and an electrical smell was present. Turned it off and went inside. About an hour later I tried to start the car and it would not crank. The interior lights still work, the headlights are dim, it will not come out of park. Thank goodness for warranties.
  • 2007 GL 450......cost 70k..........80k miles........transmission replaced at 40k $7500......check engine light this week, timing chain $5000 ?..........3 sets of tires.......numerous brake jobs......paint peeling on window trim........this is a pile of junk!!!! don't buy one...
  • My friend and I just returned from a similar experience. It took us 2 hours to get 2.5 miles due to complete loss of brakes, no 4 wheel drive. My GL450 slid all the way down a hill and if there had not been snow banks on the side we would have gone off a cliff. I thought the vehicle had stalled. I finally got control and within a few seconds it happened again.

    I live in Colorado and have driven in all types of conditions with other SUVs and have never in my life had anything like this happen. I am getting rid of this 2012 GL450!!!!!!!!!
  • toodumbtoodumb Posts: 1
    I am considering purchasing a diesel sedan. When MB announced that their new E280 was being offered with a diesel, it went to top of my shopping list, for about 5 minutes.

    Then, I remembered my 2007 GL450 experience. Other than the engine catching on fire, I've had most of the issues listed on this site. MB certainly knows about the problems and have done an excellent job of alienating customers who have purchasing multiple vehicles from them.

    Never again!
  • mbk1mbk1 Posts: 2
    Reading your story Steve, makes me want to cry. We too have had all the problems with our gl over the years and unfortunately have a love hate relationship with the car. Just got the word that the "clunk" I have been hearing, is the steering rack actually coming away from the car!!! The part will be 1900.00 and with labor will be almost $3,000.00 to have fixed. UNBELIEVABLE
    This expensive car has had the most problems in a car we have EVER owned. Any word back from the MB corp on your problems....sounds like a design flaw to be sure.
  • I agree we have had the same issue with the shock only it burnt out the compressor motor -$5000 repair. We have had the doors in for not locking, not unlocking breaking handle. I agree this SUV is a total POS!!! Never buying MB crap again. German engineering = complication without purpose that breaks all the time!!!!
  • I actually own both Pilot and GL450. I absolutely love them both! Not sure why you are having so many issues with two of the most reliable SUV's on the market! (By Car & Driver) bad luck perhaps (>.<)
  • I went through three generations of GL's. 2007, 2009 and 2011. I have not spent a penny other than putting gas in it! Perhaps the problems are related to the dealership? I highly recommend Helms Brother for your next car (^.^)
  • mbk1mbk1 Posts: 2
    So happy that some owners are! After reading this whole forum, you might note that a lot of owners of 2007 & 2008 (like me) GL's are all dealing with similar issues. I'm only glad mine has not burst into flames like some of the others! And btw, I do like this car, for so many other reasons. But when we originally spent all this $, I didnt think it would be a car that would have issues like this.
  • chris218chris218 Posts: 8
    I own a 2007 GL450. When I removed the key from the ignition today, the alarm went off. As soon as I put the key back in the ignition the alarm stops. I have tried this with both keys and get the same results. Hoping someone can offer a potential fix.....thanks
  • sjlmsjlm Posts: 3
    My 2011 GL450 is 3 yrs old w/ 24,000 mi. I've had no problems until now. AC works fine on short trips. After about 11/2 - 2 hrs. it stops blowing & stops cooling. On 2 long trips I shut it for 5-10 mins. & then the fan worked some and air was somewhat cool for 5-10 mins. (Not blowing enough and not really cold.) Repeated that for 5 hrs on one trip, 2 hrs on another. 88-92 degrees out -- not fun. Brought it into the dealership in between the 2 trips. Of course, it was working when I brought it in, and they found nothing. Any ideas? rcf8000 what did your dealer do about your AC problem?
  • Anyone able to explain how to adjust the sound on the back up sensor on the 2013 GL450? Complained to the dealer and now there is no sound from the front or rear sensors.
  • biglinbiglin Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 just made it to 106000...had to change the AC compressor that was about 700.00.. a local family business Mercedes shop did the work..i never take the car to the dealer..for this AC compressor job and yes we called they wanted 2000.00 to do it...thx but no thx..we also have that musty smell coming from the vents..we've tried new air filters and spray..they are lying about other cars having the same problem..i even tried dryer cloth which worked for a while..and then yes the smell came back...if you guys need another name for your lawsuit..IM IN..this ridiculous..Mercedes know that this is a problem and will not address it..If I had known about the smell that salesman would have been very unhappy that sale for him..
  • sjlmsjlm Posts: 3
    Brought it to a different dealer after the second trip. (Talked to MB USA who said they would contact dealer before I brought the car in.) They replaced the blower motor. On a 4-hour trip AC worked. Don't know whether they fixed it or it worked b/c the outside temp never reached 80. Just ordered a 2014 GL 450 b/c this is the only problem I've had with 2 of them.
  • My 2008 GL450 is having the exact issues with the AC that you are explaining (no air after 1 1/2 - 2 hours of driving in 90 plus degree heat). I have dealt with MB for two years trying to fix this. We have had the car in for service over 5 times and the dealer service department with the help of MB USA have done nothing to fix it because it doesn't produce an error code. Were you able to get any resolution to your issue?? BTW, MB USA is stating that no one else in the country is having an air conditioner issue that I'm experiencing.
  • sjlmsjlm Posts: 3
    Well, we now know there are at least two of us! I don't know whether changing the blower motor fixed the problem b/c it was only around 80 degrees during the only long trip I've taken afterwards. The AC worked on that trip. But I was at least satisfied that the dealer tried to do something instead of nothing b/c they had no code telling them what to do. There was a time when mechanics could fix AC w/o having any codes! Good luck.
  • Hello,
    I own a 2003 M-Class that I bought new and it has been free of any serious maintenance issues per se. The only out of the ordinary issues were:
    1) Transmission lines were leaky and replaced under warranty
    2) I happened to leave the moonroof open during light rain and that shorted the electricals - I had to get a switch panel for the window glass etc... in the middle - Granted it was my fault but this has never happened in my Honda S2K, Solara drop top or Lotus Elise when I have been drenched, driving into sudden rain top down.
    3) Just a few K miles ago, the rear differential was acting up and got addressed by my friendly neighborhood mechanic (NOT the dealer)

    As you may be aware, the M class was wrought with problems between 1998 and 2002 and they turned around in 2003... Truck just hit 106K and I am thinking of moving up to the GL.

    But the threads I see in the forum genuinely scare me. Is it a safe bet to go with 2013 or beyond? I see a significant drop in issues reported since MY 2013. or is it just a crap shoot?
    Your thoughts?
  • I have a 2007 gl450. I bought it in 2010 with 48k miles. Now has 130k miles. Always serviced at a MB dealer. All service done as scheduled. Big issue is the AIRMATIC... Since 2010, we have replaced the AIRMATIC on ALL 4 WHEELS... the front driver side was replaced TWICE and now the front passenger side is broken for the second time. Each time we fix the AIRMATIC costs over $1000.
    .. Has anyone had a similar issue with the AIRMATIC? Something tells me that having to replace the AIRMATIC this many times has to be a defect in the vehicle... Are there any lawsuits or recall efforts out there? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thx
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited September 2013
    Did you open up a case with Mercedes?

    How to Effectively Complain about your Car Problem may help.
  • don't do it. there are so many other options available. why take the risk with a $60k plus vehicle. i researched the alternatives pretty well and suggest the audi q7 or a good old american tahoe . . .
    more recently the buick and the bmw have come out with good options.

    do not take the risk. too much information out there

    i've had a M class 2002 which lasted pretty good until last couple of years when it became a constant expense and now i have a GL that i bought for my wife which has more yellow/warning lights than any other car i've ever purchased
  • No. I have not. Do I do that with MB corporate or the local MB dealer? Thx
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited September 2013
    I'd try contacting Mercedes customer service and explain the recurring issues and ask them if they can look into it.

    Maybe there's a Secret Warranty on the suspension.
  • Thank you, Gregory!!
    I have eliminated the GL totally. It even sounds like the 2012/13 LR4 is far more reliable than the GL. You are right, too much bad info out there to pull the trigger.
    I have narrowed down my options to wait a while and see if:
    1) the 2015 Audi redesign is worth the wait after more pics emerge or
    2) Wait till the 2015 q7 arrives and go buy a 2013/14 Q7 and save myself the depreciation
    3) Swallow the looks of teeh 2014 Lexus GX and get it for reliability reasons or
    4) Given the window of time I have, continue to research the 2012/13 Landrover LR4.

    I wish you the very best with the Missus's GL.

    Thank you again!!
  • Mine is a 2008, gl320 now with 108K miles, the only issue now is a clicking sound sometimes at 80 MPH inside the dash, driver side, car is still like new, love my car.
    Problems all got repaired by Mercedes before 50K miles: steering leak, oil cooler leak, DPF sensor. if this GL will last as long as one of our 2008 Sprinter, with now 487K miles (same engine) will be wonderful. Love mercedes
    1980 300D sold
    1983 240D sold
    1983 SD300 sold, my best car ever
    1984 300D sold
    1995 e320 wagon 175K still with us
    2002 S430 sold 139K miles
    2003 SL500 40K miles our baby since new
    2004 C320 wagon 89K still with us
    2006 R350 sold 70K miles
    2008 Sprinter 487K miles Work
    2008 GL320 108K miles love this car
    2009 sprinter 22 K miles Work
    2009 C300 wife gone lease 40K
    2010 sprinter 14K miles work
    2011 GLK wife 30K miles perfect

    My secret is to choose the right Mechanic... I spend less money on all those mercedes to keep them on the road than one of our service vehicles Ford E350 6.0 Powertroke with just 100K miles...

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