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by Brett Davis

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Mercedes-Benz and AMG over an alleged defect involving the M156 6.2-litre AMG V8 engine. The lawsuit claims the defect leads to premature engine wear, and potential engine failure. Mercedes-Benz has previously filed a report about the potential problem but has not issued a recall or stated how many vehicles could possibly be affected.

The AMG 6.2-litre engine is found in various Mercedes-Benz AMG models, including the C 63 AMG and E 63 AMG, as well as other models in various tunes. The lawsuit was filed in New Jersey, USA, by a previous owner of a Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG who claims that the engine wore prematurely due to problems with the valvetrain.

According to the lawsuit, the engine’s camshafts, made from cast nodular iron, and the associating valve lifters, made from 9310 grade steel, are either not installed properly from the factory, or are not heat treated correctly which causes early wear. The plaintiff says that his now-sold second-hand E 63  suffered engine failure due to considerable wear on the left bank camshaft. The issue was not covered under warranty so he paid US$4594.26 to have the problem fixed.

Three months later, the right cylinder bank camshaft suffered the same problem. He then had to sell the car, which he says, put him at a loss of $25,000. All this happened in 2008, but according to reports, Mercedes-Benz has been aware of the potential engine problem since 2007, as cited in service bulletin S-B 05.20/20b.

Mercedes-Benz USA is aware of the lawsuit but isn’t allowed to talk about further details prior to the court action. Corporate communications manager at Mercedes-Benz USA, Donna Boland, said in a recent Motor Trend report,

“While we’re sensitive to the issues of every customer, the fact that one owner claims he had an issue does not mean that the vehicles themselves are ‘defective’. We’re pretty confident that will be apparent when this gets to court.”

Up to three different lawsuits have apparently been filed against Mercedes-Benz surrounding the same issue, with the main complaint being that Mercedes-Benz has been aware of such potential defects, but has not issued an official recall.

A specific court hearing date is yet to be finalised.

Perhaps you have or you know someone with a 6.2-litre AMG who has experienced such problems? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments section below.

  • Berrice

    I find it funny how every German brand tries to make the problem like a minor problem or thats it’s your problem..

    We owned a Volkswagen Tiguan which we got rid off (thank god) the car had problems, lights kept burning out, engine made unusual noise, the car had problems in winter weather etc.. So when ever we called up Volkswagen they would always almost refuse responsibility and it seemed like they’re paying you to have the car.. Seriously their customer service is very terrible..

    • Roadtard

      But haters will tell you only GM’s Gen-III V8 was a dud and only the Yanks could stuff up like this.

    • Thema

      Yep know how you feel…I’ve owned two VW Golfs from new and both were lemons..engine pinging under load, electrical gremlins, power window failures,a/c issues, cracked engine mount, inermetent engine failure etc
      POS VW will never buy another German car again.

  • A.S

    “Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don’t do one.”

    -Fight Club

  • David

    If this is true and the cars are defective, then wouldn’t it suck if you just stumped up $0.5m on a new SLS? I was considering a used C63 as my next car but I think I will hold off.

    • JB

      The SLS uses the M159 motor and not the M156. The M159 has forged internals and a different valve train.

  • John Citizen

    My C63 dreams now tainted, yeah right a) as if I can afford one b) as if I wouldn’t risk it if I could afford such a machine

  • Charger

    No Suprises here at all!
    Everyone bags out Holden, Ford, Toyota etc as they actually do have recalls to fix possible faults with there products to protect the consumer and un educated Idots then bag them out as a poor product.

    VW should be taken to court over there faulty Injectors
    BMW N54 Engines have the simliar cam related problems but they will never admit fault just charge you 4/5 k to get it fixed!

    • Golfschwein

      But isn’t there an issue with Hilux injectors (oh, and clutches) that Toyota are similarly reluctant to come to the party with? Is that true or another internet myth?

      For the record, I ran my Golf diesel for 104,000 kms and always refused the dealer’s expensive offer of an injector clean at every service. It still ran like a charm.

      • Faire

        Toyota has just gone through one of the biggest recalls in the industrial age.. So I suppose they have no problems with facing their own product quality..

        Volkswagen is well known for their poor quality and reliability yet they haven’t ever had a significant recall.. Due to that going against the mediocre way of German efficiency.. Except the Audi 5000..

        • Golfschwein

          Are you referring to the unintended acceleration debacle? Driver error. The 60 minutes demo was rigged and a court subsequently made a finding of pedal mis-application. No Audi 5000’s accelerator was ever powerful enough to overcome its braking power. Think about that…

          Oh, and to be fair, I’ve never believed that the recent incidents were Toyota’s fault. Driver error again. Silly people can’t tell the difference between their accelerator pedal and their brake pedal, and they died for it.

          • AndyGF

            Not strictly true…

            Almost all petrol cars use vacuum from the intake manifold to power the brake booster. If the throttle was stuck (due to electronic or mechanical fault) wide open like they claimed it was, there would be virtually no brakes at all.

            DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME: But that is why if you cut the power to the engine while you are coasting down the road, you have to STAND on the brake pedals to feel any braking at all!
            No vacuum in the intake manifold, No brake booster, No Brakes…

            It could be toyotas fault? Or as you say a dumb driver or floor mat problem. But we will never know for sure…

            By the same token, nobody really knows what this person did to their C63 while they owned it? Some people really do not know how to look after their cars, does not matter how much money they have, or how high their expectations are.

      • Charger

        Yeah you are correct on both fronts with the Hilux. Although the clutch one is a little shady. They upgraded the clutch in size and strength as a result of feedback from customers So people assume if they have the smaller one they should get a free one once it wears out.(its hard to warrant a wear and tear part)
        My brother has a Hilux 2wd and tows a mowing trailer etc with it still got 100k out if it so they are not to bad. His was upgraded to bigger flywheel and clutch when it was changed
        Injectors are an issue although not in my experience as common as Golf Injectors

        • Golfschwein

          I guess I’m heartened that VW aren’t alone in missing stuff in their R&D. Interesting that Toyota’s customers told them they wanted a bigger clutch, and not the engineering and road testing guys who supposedly develop the thing.

          Jeez…maybe carmakers are all the same! Or maybe we, as owners and enthusiasts, need to stop bagging the makers of cars we don’t own. Surprisingly, that’d make me happy.

          • Jim sim

            Exactly right Charger and Golfscwein. Every manufacturer does have there problems (some more so than others), it all comes down to how the problems are prevented or fixed. Putting the exact same injectors that originally failed in VW’s isn’t exactly fixing the problem, just masking it for the time being.
            Theres nothing wrong with a recall, its a manufacturer taking responsibility for their actions.
            HiLux clutch issues have been resolved by fitting a larger Flywheel, Pressure plate, Clutch disk, as well as a teflon coated Thrust bearing and fork pivot.
            HiLux injectors issue have also been resolved by fitting a new type of injector called a DLC type…
            Geberally doesnt matter if The vehicle is out of warranty, Toyota will *Usually* pay goodwill on parts and labour on a known fault. (Except clutches due to a wear and tear item)

    • Damian

      Just admit it – you probably despise black people as well.

    • Tom R

      You must drive a Camry.

  • John

    This has put me in a very awkward position. About a month ago I placed an order for a c63 coupe performance pack which is set to be built on the 10th of October and arrive in Australia/take delivery early december. I have paid an initial $5000 deposit and HAVE entered a contract with mercedes with an additional $5000 due on the build date. Any advice on what I should do? Is this enough evidence for me to be concerned about? considering the engine has been built since 2007 as much as 3 filed reports of this engine problem doesn’t really seem to be a significant amount…

    • Golfschwein

      You’ve no choice, John. Take delivery and enjoy it like there’s no tomorrow.

    • Camski

      2009 C63, ~20,000KM’s, no problems thus far. They like oil though, Benz covers the cost of top ups between services but it’s a pain to have to go back all the time for oil. If you intend on using it as a daily drive, check your oil weekly is all I can suggest (as well as tyre pressure, extremely important, as I’ve noted before on Car Advice) and you should be good to go.

      These engines (bar this lawsuit) are virutally bullet proof when put under pressure, mechanically they should be rock solid and I’m not sure if these cases above are isolated or not so read them with a grain of salt.

      • Freddo

        20,000 and burns oil…what a joke! Ill stick to my crummer.

        • Golfschwein

          Tee hee. Yes. A little like a Gen III V8…

    • FrugalOne
    • Mikefucee

      Don’t worry.  I drive mine like I stole itr and no problems. 09

  • Y

    Costs 10 times more than a Corolla. But reliability 1/10 of the Corolla. What’s this world coming to?

    • igor

      Only 3 lawsuits out of how many cars sold ?
      Haters love to hate.
      Let’s just all trash the Mercedes brand over 3 cars.
      Ridiculous, pathetic, small minded & immature are just a few words that spring to mind.

      • Mad Max

        Yeah its like the total BS the arm chair experts like to spout about the VW Golf twin charged engines. If you were to believe it these are hand grenades. What a load of crap!Nobody ever admits to owning one that has had the engine replaced. They always know somebody who knew somebody that overheard some conversation…
        As always the árm chair experts know best and you can state all of the facts but they still know better.

  • Lazza

    German engineering anyone? With all the cost cutting they’re doing and brand consolidation to make bigger profits they’re all cutting corners… Your best bet these days is to look at which manufacturer offers the best total customer experience from go to woe. I believe Lexus is rated considerably higher in the US in that regard…

  • Ant

    Hi John Dont worry and have fun. I know someone who has had a c63 since 2008 and it has been perfect. It is a wonderful car.

  • Force1

    Yeah honestly German cars are disgraceful..

    You can get a Jaguar which cost less then a German badge or you can get a Lexus, which has the substance and is superior to anything out of Germany or Europe in that case..

  • IqEr

    I don’t buy German cars nor will I ever want to.. (Mercedes, Volkswagen, BMW & Audi) are all the same overpriced POS

    • Mad Max

      Oh please, I think that mummy is calling you. Its time for your bedtime story and a bit of sleepy time.

  • qikturbo

    I have never regarded Mercedes Benz as a great engine builder.The other German manufacturers such as Porsche amd BMW do a far better job.
    Nevertheless I would be absolutely livid if I had a C63 AMG that had ANY problem,considering the price of such cars!

  • FrugalOne

    What ever happend to Benz quality and GERMan engineering

    Look elsewhere these days….

    • Mad Max

      Yeah like that 1.4 Hyundai Getz you probably drive!

  • The dodgy salesman

    There are so many law suits and allegations by people these days whom often should have allowed the dealership to service the car properly. In the thirteen years I’ve spent in the industry both in service and sales it seems to me that most problems arise with cars which are not serviced properly and the offer the owners are to ignorant to listen to the experts instead insisting that because they know how to use google and look up the opinions and assumptions of other idiots that they are then some sort of officianardo on the subject. It also saddens me that most of the people who give opinions on this site seem to be just such idiot some exceptions excluded of course. By the way John there have been less than 10 claims world wide for an issue most likely due to idiots again thinking they know better than the Manufacture. It really is wrong to assume anything based off the limited information in this article, after all we are talking about Americans. The people who sue when cruise control won’t work as an auto pilot and the reason our owners manuals are such legal mumbo jumbo.

    • Bangel

      Dodgy ,congadulations ,at last someone with a brain passing a comment with credence , you nailed it USA and lawsuits .

      Ever car maker has a history of the odd engine failure , thats life , get on with living and enjoy your drive .

      • fwefewfewagwa

        dumb twat

    • Mad Max

      Good grief! Sombody on caradvice that speaks with a voice of reason!
      Yes cars are machines built by humans and SOMETIMES things will go wrong. BUT (and yes I work in the industry as well) the number of times that cars go wrong AFTER they are not serviced or are serviced away from the dealers, or we find out that the driver uses them on track days or in motorsport events or fit aftermarket parts like power boostchips thzen claim they did not and try to sue. I worked for many years for Subaru and WRX,s were renowned for just this. Anothertime at Mazda we had a guy with an RX7 that blew a clutch and damaged the gearbox housing. 25 something years ago it was a $10,000 claim. Big money then. By chance we found he had entered in a street drag meeting at Calder! Checking confirmed a matching car and rego entered on the weekend before the claim. I could go on and on. So just because you read these things it does not mean they are true.

    • Charger

      I agree but alot of it is Manufacturer based, Life time oil’s and up to 30k between services combined with light weight materials for greater economy etc all combine to make things under engineered and fail.

    • fwefewfewagwa

      Off yourself cretin

  • Phil

    These engines are handmade with AMG’s “one man, one engine philosophy”.

    It’s possible this problem (if it is true) is caused by faulty workmanship by a single engineer. This would explain why so few have had a problem and why Mercedes didn’t bother with a recall. Still, (if it is true) pretty poor of Benz not to take care of the customer even if outside of warranty.

  • Nobody

    German car makers historically focused more on use of technology with no serious importance to car’s reliability but their Marketing depts always done a good job on selling the brands. Customers are faced with poor customer service, reliability issues, expensive maintainence

    Moral of the story – Get a Lexus because their story is the exact opposite on each of the above factors.

  • RB26

    If one really needs or wants an overpriced German car, buy the C63 or any other Merc with the same engine, take out the AMG engine and put a RB26DETT engine in it! Bulletproof!
    Easier on the pocket when you need more power too…just change to bigger turbos.
    Sell the AMG engine on e-bay.

  • Anthony

    just reminding people that <$10,000 cars will break down occasionly. $1,000,000+ will also break down occasionly.
    deal with it. if your not prepared to spend money then walk.

  • save it for the track

    HMmmm. Yet back in VT and VZ days Holden had spare diffs and gearboxes on hand and in stock at dealerships for SS Commodores used by a certain organisation. No dramas with warranty, no mention in the press about the breakages either…
    I seem to recall some Toyota sludge issues with particular engines as well.

    • Freddo

      Ah yes, but they are not $100,000+ cars.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1715760895 Charles Dean

    European cars are nice when their brand new.. But 1-3yrs down the line they really do fall apart..

    • laurie

      My European built Ford Mondeo is still going strong after 4 yrs. so much so I’m keeping it longer great diesel,great auto,and novrattles

    • MattP

      I have owned two small Mercedes over 5 years each and 150,000km each one. Never missed a beat and still looked like new when sold at over 50% residual. No falling apart issues at all in my experience. Please tell us all about your personal experience?

  • AndyGF

    Every engine has a weakpoint. Achilles heal…

    Just cause one fool probably topped up his C63 AMG engine oil with the stuff he used in his weed-whacker, does not make it a bad or defective engine.

    Lawsuits… That same guy would probably sue his mother if he could too.

  • Stooge

    Rb26 you are a numpty…..

  • Rodge

    I had very serious problems with the diesel particulate filter in my M Benz diesel. IMO the cars are built well but they’re just as likely to break down as any other brand, the thing being when they do it’ll cost you four to five times the price of a Jap or Australian car.
    The original cost of the car is your clue to how much it’ll cost you to run it compared to other cars.

  • GG

    Avoid ML63 AMG, pinging problem.

  • Jimmy James

    How many of these engines have been installed in cars?
    How many of them suffer this problem?
    The answer to this question should determine whether or not a person shopping for a car with this engine should be concerned.

    Americans will sue if their coffee is too hot…just ask Kramer!

  • PeterG

    People feel ripped off when they spend a fortune on a car
    that has major manufacture faults.These should be made good ,especially an engine, even if it is out of warranty.
    It is irrelevant whether there is one problem car or 1 million.
    What penny pinching warranty accountants don’t appreciate is the damage to the brand that these disputes cost.
    That’s one reason why a Maybach will never be a Roller.

  • http://Porsche MB

    My 08 C63 has had no problems in the 45000km I have driven.

    Unless you call 5 sets of tyres a problem, but track days will do that.

    My oil use has been minimal even with a thrash @ Sandown etc….I do check the oil levels (on all of my cars) and I have only ever had to top it up a very little bit but it is nothing like an RX8 of GenIII.

    I too go to the dealership for top ups or just have a litre of Mobil 1 in the garage for all my rides

  • Yojason

    On average, AMG builds 25,000 6.2 V8s a year since 2007. They go in the C63, CL63, S63, SL63, E63, ML63 and CLS63. Of the 100,000 engines built since they started, 3 have experienced camshaft failure that seems as though it could be prevented with proper engine oil level management. My C63 used, not burned, a quart a month. And I drove it like I stole it. Flawless engine.

  • Adrian

    I’d like to know how an engine uses oil without burning it….must have a leak…lol

  • Mescudi

    It’ll be weird to see the new 5.5 biturbos with 63 badges, supposedly the economy is too f’d up for a car with 8MPG…..
    6.2V8= best engine ever

  • http://Thisone Bill J

    According to the video I just watched. This engine uses old fashioned flat lifters, most all new engines use roller lifters. The reason for the move away from flat lifters especially on a high end vehicle. Is many of the EP additives have been removed or reduced in the motor oil, due to it contaminating catalytic converters, and I’m sure there is something else that it can be blamed on as well.
    If not broken in properly and the proper lubrication isn’t used, the old school flat tappet technology is a recipe for failure. The reason it was used on this engine is because its a cheap way to manufacture it. It uses less parts. But with the oils today its is a huge mistake. Or was it?

    • JB

      Finally, somebody who knows what they’re talking about!!

      Flat tappet design and modern oils don’t mix very well. Plus the oil will bleed overnight making cold starts very wear inducing.

  • Audrey

    I have a 2004 CLK55 AMG with 115,000 kms in with the Mercedes dealership and they tell me the camshafts, rocker panels need to be replaced on both sides and both heads are scored; estimated cost of repair is $20,000+
    which is probably as much or more than the car is worth
    The damage to the camshafts and rockers is exactly the same as the damage on the cars with the lawsuit. I would really like to hear from any other AMG owners out there that have had similiar problems with their AMG motor.
    I had a 300E before this and had 430,000kms on it, original engine with no work done on it and it worked Excellent!! Surely at this price tag the motor should be lasting alot longer than this!

  • Bruce_b

    Have an ML63 with this motor and over 100,000 klms.

    No problems and car is a joy to drive.

  • E46citornado

    people have break down on car usually is lack of car’s knowledge. There is mainly 4 reasons why car does not last to people.

    1. Asking the wrong people and low quality parts to your car from your friends and next door machenic (including dealership tech), when the origional problem never been solved, constant going back to the shop people thinks the car and car brand have issue. The people who work on your car and getting pay by labour hour will never tell you they do not know how to fix it.  

    2. Leaving the floor wet, or salt water in car. A lot of wires going through under the seats and interior carpets, wires gets wet or corrosion they damage. Sensors does not pick up signal then the lights on.

    3. Lack of knowlegge to how things work in car, cost people to lack on maintain the car in proper health condition. They end up relie on the the machenics, which machenics will tell you I am lack of this paticular car’s knowledge. at the end they never fix it properly from the begining. lack of knowledge on things that a car needs. Good condition engine oil, gear oils, knowledge of heat and friction.

    4. People who do not understand cars talks about their experience in the past. And they pretending they are expert. Because most of them are experience the three reason above, and they never know. People influence people makes the German cars went down with relibility issue, the reason is German car is the earliest car maker try to bring quality comfort, detail design, performance and safty into a car as a whole.

    German cars and all other cars they are all good. Different flavors that is all. They are never the same. If you want a north american, Japanese and Korean import to feel like a German car you probably end up spending the similar amount on $$$$. More $$$$ that you pay for the long lasting and slow ageing design of your car in both interior and exterior. Ride quality that involve comfort and performance get you from A to B. Better quality materal for interior enjoyment. Better train people with higher service standard to serve you and greet you.

    Do NOT hate try to understand before your comments.      



    • ralt620ij


  • Ain

    35000mls and engine failure!
    AMG should make recall ASAP. There is tons of faulty M156 engines!

  • MST63

    I have an E63 and this is the issue that I am facing. It just happened 2 days ago and I am finding this out now.  There are more than 3 cases unless I am the 4th.  This is a known issue and as long as my warranty still covers it I am fine but it they try and tell me that it is becuase of neglect or something like that (all records are at dealership) I am going to raise heck.  Love the car and the motor just wanted this fixed without costing me anything.  Oh and only 49K miles on it. 

    • Elenak999

      What year was your car built in?

  • evoxrs

    I drive a 2007 ML63, and love it. I service it myself. I’m very conservative on oil changes (5000kms) and never rev it over 3000 until the oil temp is over 95 deg C. I never move it until the oil has had a chance to lubricate the valve train( around 15 seconds). The car is a total joy to drive. I have 8 other cars including several Evo lancers and the AMG is my all time best all rounder. But I treat it with great respect when it is cold and keep the oil like new.

  • Siltransportptyltd

    i own a 2009 c63 which has 47,000 ks ,engine has let go,two pistons broken ,rubber o ring found in oil pump pick up no warranty just 2 months out off.Not only that this hand built engine has done this Mercedes benz  head office will not tell me why the engine has let go because reasons are  the car is out off warranty 2 months,K & N air filters & after market exhaust these were 3 reasons .The dream of owning amg has been robbed by the actions off Mercedes Benz, can anyone help? thanks Silvio

  • rockdizzle

    i have a 2009 c63 amg with p 30 package it has 49000 miles on it and no problems yet, but after reading all this heard there is a major problem with head bolts. should i sell b4 to late?

  • Margaret Shields

    I have a C63 with just 30 thousand miles .head bolt problem mercedes says its not fault with the car. great service what service ? had a m6 and 911 both were recalled with fault and repaired free. mercedes should look long and hard in a mirror. 

  • Tigra

    I’ve lost my engine because of defective spring. 2 commission of experts, 12-months in court. Waiting for decision soon…

  • Ward O

    I have a 2009 SL63 with less than 30k miles. Took it into the dealer for transmission problems. After 7 weeks at the dealer service facility plus 5k in repairs, I picked it up and on the way home coolant light came on. The next business day took it back to the dealer. I was told the head gasket failed and perhaps a bent rod… Really?

    Any thoughts or suggestions?



  • ralph

    I have an ML63. has had 2 rebuilds on the valve train. Now starting to knock and run rough again. So at 110,000 miles my 2008 ML63 AMG will have gone through 3 valve trains on both right and left bank. questions about this email me at alpjumper@yahoo.com

  • Jennifer

    I have a 2009 C63 and no engine problems so far. In the beginning it used to click when starting and idling, topped up the oil myself (don’t know why the dealer didn’t check the oil level at the last service) and it got better but didn’t go away completely, sometimes it used to be really loud and would not stop. During the 50 000 km I never saw clean oil in the engine even after services at the dealer. Eventually I got fedup with the oil not getting changed so one saturday we performed an oil change ourselfes, I did buy an OEM oil filter and Shell Helix Ultra Fully Synthetic, aparently fully synthetic oil have become too expensive and the dealers no longer put fully synthetic in the engine anymore as per their explenation. After we removed the very black oil (who know how long its been in the engine) and filled the engine with new Shell Helix Ultra the clicking sound disappeared when starting and idling which is a great relief. However I read an article on the internet that the M156 unfortunately / aparently have a problem with valve buckets that wear prematurely. How true this is I do not know. I have been disappointed too many times by the dealer I used to service my C63 and as a result do not trust any dealers, the others are too far away to use anyway. We have now taken over the mantenance of the C63 and will next service the transmission and differential. Just hope this one does not have the premature valve bucket problem as I am not prepared to let the dealer service the C63 let alone work on the engine. I love German cars and only have German cars, my other car is a VW Golf 4 GTI R. German engineering is supposed to be the best and I just keep faith mine will not give engine problems unless they have done high mileage :)

  • Saf Canada

    I had a similar issue. After replacing the head bolts, distribution system and $4k, out of my pocket and 2400 that MB Canada covered, the car had a major failure a month later which was estimated at 20K. Im getting ready to sue these bastards for either incompetence or a defective product. Bottom line is someone screwed up and nothing I could have done would have prevented it based on their own admission.
    This POS has spent more time in the shop than on the road. No more MBs for this customer.

  • Bernie

    I own a 2007 ml63 which we love but have had a load ticking noise in the top of the motor I have owned the vehicle for just under a year and have changed the oil more times than we think is reasonable more than 6 times and we have only put about 13000kms on it. the ticking does not go away and I have been told it most likely will have to have the cams replaced. I have been told it is a 6-8000. dollar job, I was also told that this is an inherant problem with this model does anyone know much about this issue.