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Transmission problems with our new GL320

8576 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Steve Birge
I posted this on the MBworld forum also:

I picked up our week old GL320 yesterday from the dealer after dropping it off for service and the tranny still downshifts too early. The 3-2, and 2-1 downshifts occur too early and induce engine breaking.

According to the work order the code they used to try to resolve the problem was:


I also had a major transmission clunk yesterday just after picking it up from the dealer while driving in stop and go traffic at about 25 mph. As I recall, it happened as I gently rolled on the throttle after coasting for a bit.

I am so impressed with this vehicle, yet this is putting a damper on it. The downshifts are totally unnacceptable. It's not something minor that I can ignore. At this point I'm not sure what to do except tell the dealer about it and hope they have another update for the electronics to try.
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4 days ago the GL was still downshifting really hard. Two days ago my wife called me(she drives it) and said it was driving her crazy. So she set up an appointment to meet the service manager and take him for a drive and try another one on the lot to see if there was a difference. Well Thursday she said it wasn't doing it anymore so she didn't go to the dealer. As of right now she says it's still shifting o.k.
oknish said:
str8line - it could be a "temporary" issue but I would definitely recommend taking it in to dealer and documenting the problem. From my experience with transmission, I had 2 dealers apply 2 updates in less than a week. My point is that it looks like they have frequent software updates for this transmission and it won't hurt to have yours updated to most recent version.
Thanks Oknish. I already had it in the shop for the hard shifting when it was 1 week old. They ran the latest update. It was in the shop again last week after it left us stranded with a loose intercooler hose. The service manager drove it 60 miles(he took it home with my permission) to check out the shifting problem. He did notice the hard shifting but didn't think it was too bad.
boxboss said:
When you pick it up, make sure you find out exactly what they did. Intercooler hose/clamp replacement or repair should be mentioned - be suspect if it is not. BTW, what was your build date? I am continually amazed at how many 320 owners are having this problem. Wouldn't it make sense to correct this at Vance and eliminate the warranty repair/tow payments. This has to be a major known issue for MB.
I'm still finding it hard to believe that our GL with less than 500 miles on it left us stranded on the way to a wedding. Thank God it didn't happen to my wife with our kids in the vehicle.

In my opinion this is a major safety issue that should require a recall. As you said boxboss, it is apparent that this a widespread problem. The sudden loss of power and ensuing breakdown could easily result in serious injury or death. Imagine making a left turn in traffic and having a sudden loss of power, or being stranded in the desert on a 100 degree day, or losing power in the left lane during rush hour, etc.

I bet if this were Toyota the recall would have happened weeks ago.

Between this problem and my transmission problem I am pretty down on Mercedes right now. Also, I still haven't heard back from Mercedes customer service after two conversations with their representatives and a promise that a regional rep or a manager would get back to me. It has been over a week.
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