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2006 E320 CDI
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259 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been in contact with the NHTSA regarding the SBC service threshold issue. They advised me to have as many owners of vehicles with these units to contact them via www.safercar.gov and file a complaint. This is the only way the NHTSA will take any action.

This is a safety issue since the brakes go into backup mode with no prior warning. At the very least MB should issue a recall to interrogate the units with STAR DAS.

Thanks for your help.

John

Below is what I submitted to the NHTSA website. It will ask for date of incident, but just use the date you file.

This vehicle is equipped with Sensotronic Brake Control that has a service threshold. When this threshold is reached the brake system defaults to non power assisted hydraulic mode to the front wheels only. This occurs without any prior warning and results in increased stopping distance. I have sent a copy of the Mercedes service bulletin S142.46-P-0012A which addresses this issue. Mercedes stopped installing this system in 2006. At the very least, Mercedes should issue a mandatory recall to interrogate these vehicles with STAR DAS to determine how close to the service threshold the SBC unit is and replace them at the dealer's expense. This is a major safety issue that needs to be addressed.
 

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E350 4M 06
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2,744 Posts
I imagine more and more owners will be experiencing this as the vehicles get older.
Brake activation count is just one of the failure modes of this system, in my case it was a failure of the pump which resulted in virtually no braking power and no warning.
MB replaced under the extended warranty and I did file a NHTSA complaint.
Judging from the fuel vapor case, NHTSA will need to see more than 2000 complaints to lift a finger.
 

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Purple Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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I will make it sticky when I am on my home computer. I can't do with the mobile version.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,319 Posts
I would be watching it just for statistics.
As far as I know Roadking is the only one who reported actual SBC failure, while lot of others simply did not like maintenance bill when the pump become due for replacement.
Different stories, different resources.
 

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2006 Merc E320 cdi
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981 Posts
So what's to stop Mercedes from creating a 'software' update to allow for say 2 million brake activations instead of the 300k??
 

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2006 e320 CDI Williamsburg, VA
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416 Posts
So what's to stop Mercedes from creating a 'software' update to allow for say 2 million brake activations instead of the 300k??
I heard that when the dealer flushes your brakes, they do perform a software update (if the latest software/firmware is not installed), now what that update does exactly, no one knows.
Mike T.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,319 Posts
The counter is like brake pad sensor. It tells you to replace the part before it might fail.
Good idea IMHO, but making $3000 part that require replacement every few years is not making sense economically.
Now that the priced dropped to $1000 it might become different story.
 

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Purple Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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The new price on the reman unit from MB is less money than a lot of their ABS pumps for cars that do not have SBC.
 

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13 GLK350, 02 325, 94 sonoma, 12 RAM, 01 WS6
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In the hundreds of SBC brake flushes I have performed I have yet to perform a software update. ITS not part of the brake fluid service.

The only time I perf a update is when SDS tells me to due to a fault code guided test.

good luck with this. MB extended the warranty on the pumps for 10yrs from date of initial in service date. I agree the new ABS units are stupid expensive compared to the SBC units.
 

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2006 E320 CDI
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259 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
In the hundreds of SBC brake flushes I have performed I have yet to perform a software update. ITS not part of the brake fluid service.

The only time I perf a update is when SDS tells me to due to a fault code guided test.

good luck with this. MB extended the warranty on the pumps for 10yrs from date of initial in service date. I agree the new ABS units are stupid expensive compared to the SBC units.
Are there other brake systems with a service threshold that when reached they default to an inferior backup with no advance warning? Can STAR interrogate the system and indicate how close to the threshold the unit is?

John
 

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13 GLK350, 02 325, 94 sonoma, 12 RAM, 01 WS6
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I have never even looked to see how close a threshold is. I am not sure if we can even see that. SBC is the only system that has this threshold due to the fly by wire nature.

all the rest of the cars are like a regular ABS system.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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I heard European technician can read the count and they can read at what mileage service on the car have been performed.
Suppose those cars store lot of information on the computers, but it takes some know-how to find the way to access it.
 

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2013 E350, 212.059, Avantgarde, Engine: 276.952, Gearbox 722.906
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507 Posts
I have just submitted my complaint to the NHTSA. I believe all owners need to do the same, so that problem could get some traction.
 

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W219 320CDI -07 W220 320CDI -01 W210 270CDI -01 EX: W211 320CDI -04
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1,021 Posts
I heard European technician can read the count and they can read at what mileage service on the car have been performed.
Suppose those cars store lot of information on the computers, but it takes some know-how to find the way to access it.
Current counter value can be read but no one can say what is actual trigger limit because it's not fixed. Like said lot of info stored and system estimates counter trigger level according that. Reported everything between 150k-500k cycles.

I think these SBC fault issues will increase in future because many of current cars has been treated against service program (longer fluid change intervals, regular bleeders where emergency circuit is not properly bled etc.). And system design is stupid, emergency brake force should be much better because like said it can come out of blue. And it's also stupid that you cannot replace the system by conventional servobarkes (well not with reasonable efforts, I remember some did it...)

I think the spare part thing will improved, now that Bosch sells those new/refurb (not sure) units, end they start deliver them all around. What I've read these units are not yet available in US and not even in UK. Price of unit is still high but much less than MB.
 

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500E, E320, 190E, E55
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our family car has 196K miles (not gentle miles) and we have had absolutely zero SBC brake related issues since new. I feel this system is far less troublesome than what everyone says. I also do a lot of work with a MBZ independent shop and their techs say the same thing about W211s w/SBC. Heck if was good enough for the handbuilt SLR McLaren that says something..
 
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