Had the same problem after 4 yrs on my 2000 CLK Cab. The interior is ash color. I purchased a new steering wheel from the dealer for about $300.00. Installed myself, it's easy..steering wheel removes by removing two hex bolts in the back body potion of the steering wheel (you need to fit the hex wrench deep into the two holes). I disconnected the battery prior..mechanic advised so that airbag wouldn't accidently deploy, not sure if true but did it anyway.
I changed mine too. Just remember DO NOT turn the switch on with the air bag disconnected or you will have to get the light reset. Dealer charges @ $100-150. My wheel is in great condition. PM me for the price. I can also send you a pic.
the bolts to release the airbag are not hex but rather torx. you need a T27 to remove those. then you need a 10mm allen to remove the actual wheel from the column. you do not have to disconnect the battery, just DO NOT insert the key into the ignition while making the swap.
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