For several months dealers and customers have been reporting a wide range of electrical faults in the new E-class, which launched in March 2002.
These include fluctuations in the vehicle's system voltage, overnight discharge of the starter battery and failure of the navigation system when cell phones are used.
Some dealers said that, at times, repairing the on-board electronics of the W211 takes up to 50% of their repair shop capacity. Supplier Bosch is also aware of the problems. However, the company stated that a check found that none of the Bosch components are the reason for the disruptions.
Several components within the E-class are interlinked via a so-called data highway and this makes the search for the fault even more difficult. The cause of the problem is not always obvious and that is why repair shops often replace the wrong components. The E-Class advertises itself as the "trendsetter in advanced engineering."