Hoping to renter the executive size coupe market, Mercedes-Benz released their CLS Class C219 in 2004, basing much of the design on their retired E-Class W211 that had last seen production in 1995. Mercedes’ hoped that their CLS would blend the popularity of a coupe with the broad usefulness of a sedan. The C219, manufactured from 2004 to 2010, will occasionally experience problems with ESP malfunctions.
“ESP” stands for “Electronic Stability Program. Usually, the C219 will tell you if the ESP fails, suggesting that you check the owner’s manual for further instructions. Obviously, this is frustrating. In real people’s language, the ESP is the feature in your car that helps prevent skids during heavy break use (similar, in fact, to the ABS in many other cars). When it stops working, you can expect to have problems with your cruise control, and the ride might become rougher as the air suspension ceases to work properly. In the worst-case scenario, the car’s breaks could fail or lock up during an emergency stop.
A common cause for the ESP message lies with the key to the vehicle. A faulty key, or one that is sending out incorrect or contradictory messages, could easily trigger the malfunctioning ESP message. If this is the issue, simply getting a second key—or using the spare key—should clear the problem up immediately. Equally possible is that the steering angle sensor is failing, which is the case that could lead to life threatening situations.
Even if you find that a new key fixes the issue, it is not a bad idea to take your C219 to a local Mercedes-Benz service expert. At a Mercedes garage such as this, the professionals in charge can go over the problems with your car and sort them out quickly, leaving you with a car in marvelous shape and nothing left to worry about.
Search for a local, independent Mercedes-Benz repair shop with Mercedes-Benz mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.