10 Mercedes S Class Problems, Top Issues and Best S-Class to Buy Used

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you a proud owner of a Mercedes S-Class or considering purchasing one? It’s important to be aware of some potential issues that may arise with this luxurious vehicle.

In the following paragraphs, we will explore common problems reported by Mercedes S-Class owners.

By understanding these issues, you can better prepare yourself and ensure a smooth driving experience.

Mercedes S class problems

Most Common Problems

As a Mercedes-Benz S-Class owner, you might come across a few common problems that could affect your vehicle’s overall performance.

Here, we will mention a few problems you should be aware of to ensure a smooth driving experience.

Engine Issues:

One issue that some S-Class owners have faced is the engine not restarting due to a wiring harness problem.

This issue arises from a faulty camshaft signal that could confuse the electronic control unit (ECU). Make sure to stay alert for any signs of engine trouble and consult a professional if necessary.

Forward Collision Avoidance:

Another common problem reported in the S-Class is related to the forward collision avoidance system.

Some drivers have experienced abrupt phantom braking, which could be dangerous under certain driving conditions. Remember to keep a close eye on the car’s safety features and address any unusual behavior as soon as possible.

Electrical System:

There have been recalls related to the electrical system in the S-Class, particularly the 2022 model.

These recalls were issued in March 2022 and emphasize the need to monitor your vehicle’s electrical components and take advantage of any recall services.

S580 vs S500 models:

Various problems might appear depending on whether you own an S580 or an S500. Make a note of your vehicle’s specific model and stay updated on any issues that could relate specifically to your model.

In summary, these are a few of the most common problems Mercedes-Benz S-Class owners may face. By staying informed and vigilant about these issues, you can help maintain your vehicle’s performance and safety on the road.

RELATED: Checkout similar resource about Mercedes C class problems and best ones to own.

Recalls and Solutions

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has faced some recalls involving different issues.

In one recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported concerns with a heated leather steering wheel issue.

Another recall affected the rear lighting because of a software bug. To address these issues, your local Mercedes-Benz dealership will perform necessary repairs as part of their commitment to provide safe and reliable vehicles.

Remember to stay updated on any communication from Mercedes-Benz or check the NHTSA website for any potential recall notices.

Infotainment System Issues

Your luxurious Mercedes S-class may encounter some infotainment system issues. Complaints about distracting drivers have led to recalls, particularly in the 2021 S 580 and 2022 EQS models.

The MBUX infotainment system has also been under scrutiny for its TV disabling functionality.

While driving, it’s essential to be aware of these possible challenges to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience behind the wheel of your Mercedes S-class.

Ecall System Problems

Your Mercedes S-Class may encounter issues with its eCall system. This emergency call feature is designed to automatically contact emergency responders in the event of an accident.

However, due to a problem with the communication module’s SIM card software, the eCall system could potentially send the wrong location to emergency services.

To ensure your safety, it’s crucial to be aware of this concern and stay informed about any updates or solutions.

Quality and Manufacturing Issues

Your Mercedes S-Class may experience quality and manufacturing issues in various areas. Be aware of these potential problems:

  • Customer service: Sometimes, you might face challenges when seeking assistance from customer service representatives.
  • Airbags: Ensure your airbags are functioning properly since there have been reports of malfunctions.
  • Panoramic sunroof: Keep an eye on the sunroof for potential leakage or operational issues.
  • Corrosion: Regularly check for signs of corrosion on your S-Class exterior to maintain its sleek appearance.
  • Windshield: Ensure the integrity of the windshield and watch for potential cracks or defects.
  • Rearview camera: Double-check the rearview camera’s functionality, as it is a crucial safety feature for you and your loved ones.

Remember, always address these concerns promptly to enjoy a worry-free ride.

Which S-Class Years Should I Avoid?

As a fan of Mercedes S-Class vehicles, it’s essential to know which model years could potentially give you more headaches than luxurious driving experiences.


Based on various sources, I discovered the W220 generation (2000-2006) is the one you should avoid.

The W220 S-Class appears to have more problems than others. Some common issues include sagging suspensions, slow and clunky transmissions, and a higher rate of electrical failures.

The overall build quality of this generation draws comparisons to economy-level cars of that era.

To make a smart purchase, keep an eye out for very high-mileage examples and be prepared for potential engine failures, although they are quite rare.

Always remember— when buying a used luxury car, it’s crucial to have a thorough inspection by a trusted mechanic to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Technical Failures

Your Mercedes S-Class, including the Maybach S580, may experience technical failures. In some cases, these might be related to software design or software updates.

Mercedes-Benz USA is dedicated to maintaining quality, so it’s important for you as an owner to stay up-to-date.

Issues like phantom braking related to Forward Collision Avoidance have been reported in 2022 models. Furthermore, a few owners received warnings about the risk of their cars catching fire.

Remember to address any concerns with your dealer to ensure a friendly and safe driving experience.

Connectivity and Network Issues

Friendly reminder: Your Mercedes S-Class might experience some connectivity and network issues. The car’s communication could be impacted by mobile network connection failure or electrical system problems. Be prepared for:

  • In-car features not working properly
  • Connection interruptions

Stay informed and keep an eye out for updates to ensure your S-Class stays connected.

Safety Concerns

When it comes to Mercedes S-Class problems, safety can be a concern. In some cases, there have been issues reported with the electrical system.

You should also be mindful of potential brake failure. Always remember to check your seat belts, tires, and structure integrity for optimal safety.

Don’t let driver distraction become an issue by staying focused on the road. Stay safe and enjoy your Mercedes S-Class!

Best Year for Mercedes S Class

As a fan of the Mercedes S Class, you might be wondering about the best years to consider when making a purchase.

Here are some top picks based on reliability, design, and overall performance:

W221 (2007-2013):

This generation is known for its exceptional design and bringing the S-Class back to prominence after the shortcomings of the W220 models.

Sporting aggressive styling and advanced technologies, the W221 quickly became a popular choice among luxury car enthusiasts.

W222 (2014-2020):

The successor to the W221, the W222 continued to build on the success of its predecessor.

With a robust selection of engines, improved interior quality, and cutting-edge safety features, this generation offers a perfect blend of elegance and performance to suit your needs.

W126 (1979-1991):

A classic choice, the W126 generation is well-regarded for its unmatched ride comfort, reliability, and build quality.

Although it might lack some of today’s modern features, the timeless design of the W126 continues to be admired by many car enthusiasts.

Each of these years has its unique qualities and advantages, so consider these factors when making your decision.

As you dive deeper into the world of Mercedes S Class, remember to also take into account your personal preferences and driving habits to find the perfect match for you.

Expert Advice and Opinions

Friendly ASE certified master techs and parts specialists recommend staying updated on your Mercedes S-Class issues.

As a driver, you should be aware of the 2021-2022 S-Class recall involving heated leather steering wheels.

The all-new EQS model boasts innovative features like the MBUX infotainment system. Still, it’s essential to monitor its long-term reliability and consider expert opinions.

Remember to follow regular maintenance schedules to ensure smooth performance and address any potential issues.

Mercedes S Class Competitors

As you explore the luxury car segment, you might want to consider the following competitors to the Mercedes S-Class.

BMW 7-Series

The BMW 7-Series best models brings a perfect blend of performance and comfort. You’ll find powerful engine options and agile handling, making it fun to drive.

However, its Infotainment system may not be as user-friendly as the one in the S-Class.

Audi A8

If you’re looking for a well-rounded luxury sedan, the Audi A8 top models might be a great choice. It offers a comfortable and high-quality interior.

Nonetheless, it may not have an as extensive list of standard features as the Mercedes S-Class.

Lexus LS

For those who value reliability and a plush ride, the Lexus LS shouldn’t be overlooked. It has a reputation for long-lasting quality, and its suspension system delivers a smooth journey.

However, it could be lacking in the innovative technology department compared to the S-Class, but avoid some LS 460 with nagging issues and even the LS 600H complaints been reported by owners and drivers.

Genesis G90

Lastly, the Genesis G90 might interest you if you want a luxury sedan with a more budget-friendly price tag.

It boasts standard features to give the S-Class a run for its money. On the other hand, it may not provide the same level of prestige or brand recognition as the Mercedes S-Class.

Anyway, like the S-Class, there are Genesis G90 issues and years to avoid due to these stated problems revealed.

Remember to take these comparisons into account while exploring your luxury car options. Keep in mind there are more close rivals including the Cadillac also with reported issues, like the Cadillac CT6 issues explained here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How reliable is the Mercedes S-Class?

The Mercedes S-Class is generally considered a reliable luxury vehicle, but like any other car, it may have some issues. It is essential to keep up with regular maintenance and address any problems as they arise.

Is the S-Class high maintenance?

While the S-Class boasts advanced technology and top-notch engineering, maintaining it can be more expensive compared to other vehicles. However, if you take good care of your car and follow the recommended service intervals, you should be able to keep maintenance costs reasonable.

S-Class vs E-Class: Is it worth the upgrade?

The decision between the S-Class and E-Class depends on your preferences and budget. The S-Class offers more luxury, advanced features, and a more comfortable ride.

However, the E-Class provides a sportier driving experience and a lower price tag. Consider test driving both models to determine which one better suits your needs.

Are there any known problems with S580 or S500 hybrid?

Most common problems for the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class are difficult to find, but some owners mentioned phantom braking incidents. Always check with your local dealership for any specific issues concerning your vehicle and keep an eye on recalls or other known issues.


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