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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Speakers Melting

 
Old 07-23-2016, 07:18 PM
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Speakers Melting

So my saga continues. First, the rear passenger door speaker (the larger midrange one) started making popping, crackling, strange sounds. It then started burning (strong smell)...so I removed the door panel and discovered the center of the speaker cone was melting. I disconnected it.

Now the rear factory sub is making the same sounds.

It's been pretty hot here (100+F), and my car sits all day in the sun sometimes.

The radio was not in use during the noises/melting. It was on, but volume was at zero. I turned the unit off at the first sign of problems, but apparently the head unit doesn't need to be on, because the sounds and melting continued.

Another note, if I walk out to my locked car and press unlock on the key fob, the sounds and melting start before I even put the key into the ignition.

Does anyone have a similar experience or any advice? I currently have both speakers disconnected so I don't have to hear all of the crazy noise and smell the roasting plastic & rubber. Now I'm worried I'll slowly be melting them all because of defective materials.

I'm curious if MB will help me with this (2014 but out of warranty, 65K miles), since it is not a user issue and should not be happening to such a new car (and I almost always don't listen to anything, but if I am listening to something it's primarily talk radio). These speakers are expensive and I don't want to throw a bunch of money into replacing them, just to have it happen again.

My gut tells me this only happens on 100+F days and the car sitting in the sun for hours before I drive...so the speakers have inferior glues/adhesives and start melting, causing the speaker to short out (which is making all of the sounds).??
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:53 PM
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Depends on the service advisor you get at your local dealer. He/she may be helpful, or may make you pay for everything out of your own pocket, who knows. Only one way to find out :B
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:39 AM
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Yeah I would not be having the dealer replace speakers if I'm paying out of pocket, too easy of a job to do myself. I can't leave this up to a local service advisor...they'd have to go to MB to get approval anyway...so I'm going to contact Mercedes directly and see what they say.

It shouldn't be something that happens...I'm not even a music guy and I rarely listen to the radio...but even if I did blast it every time I drive, they should not spontaneously melt on me. My vehicle is too new to be dealing with this...and unfortunately I'm over the miles for my warranty, and it wasn't eligible for an extended one from MB.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:28 PM
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Seems like something that's reasonable for them to take responsibility for. Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:10 AM
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This is a moot question but Did you try to get extended warranty before your original warranty expired? I hope MB corporate will address the problem and take it in their stride in good faith.
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pamiboy View Post
This is a moot question but Did you try to get extended warranty before your original warranty expired? I hope MB corporate will address the problem and take it in their stride in good faith.
Purchased vehicle used at a Mercedes dealership in town - was not CPO and I tried to get MB extended warranty, but it was not eligible...but I did purchase it with several thousand miles left on the original warranty.

Regardless, I rarely add warranties because (1) I don't keep my vehicles very long (2) I drive a lot of miles (3) I've only had a warranty pay for itself once...I was actually going to buy one this time because I plan to give this car to my daughter in the next couple of months.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:48 PM
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Keep us posted on this issue, I have a 2014 and it's hot as heck here too.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fosterelli View Post

My gut tells me this only happens on 100+F days and the car sitting in the sun for hours before I drive...so the speakers have inferior glues/adhesives and start melting, causing the speaker to short out (which is making all of the sounds).??
I don't think its weather temperature related. because I parked vehicle in a cover driveway while doing a 15min showing (I am a Realtor) and outside temperature was about 95+/-f . The weird sounds started almost immediately when I start the car which I thought some critter has gotten into my car, then this strange smell started... I pull dover 3 times less than 1/4 miles before i was able to id the source because I can literally see smoke coming out of the rear passenger side door panel where the speak is located.

I pretty much txt my service adv. saying I am 2 blocks from the dealer and I am coming in 'HOT" oh and I need a loaner as well.
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:29 AM
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Yeah it definitely happens as soon as you hit "unlock" with your key...because I had the door panel pulled and reconnected the speaker wire, hit unlock (no key in ignition), as soon as the car "wakes up" the melting begins.

My assumption is speaker failing due to glue not holding up to elevated temperatures in the car, allowing center of speaker to move, causing short, which makes the noise and smoke. If you could see it like I saw it (with the door panel removed and melting before my eyes).

If it isn't heat related, it's just bad speakers. Either way, I'm out a lot of money if I want to replace them both. I lean towards the combination of heat and poor materials in the speakers...because I've had two go so far.
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Old 09-10-2016, 01:30 PM
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How much did the replacement cost you?
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:48 AM
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Old 09-29-2016, 12:12 AM
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Awesome, third speaker just started doing the same thing on my way to my kid's football game. Turned radio/head unit off, still doing it. Cab filled with disgusting burning smell. This time it was directly above the nav screen. I had my son film it as we were driving down the road.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by fosterelli View Post
Awesome, third speaker just started doing the same thing on my way to my kid's football game. Turned radio/head unit off, still doing it. Cab filled with disgusting burning smell. This time it was directly above the nav screen. I had my son film it as we were driving down the road.
post that video.
that looks likeca safety issue , make dealer fix that shizzle asap
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:02 AM
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Video is here. Doesn't capture the rank smell of burning plastics, but you get to hear it shorting...even with the nav/radio turned off. I took it to the dealer about a week ago. Since I'm over the miles for warranty the service manager said they'd take the door panel off, capture some images, and submit to MB for approval. But that was over a week ago. Guess I'm going to give them another call and direct them to the video as well.


Last edited by fosterelli; 09-29-2016 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:53 PM
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Wow that's loud.
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Old 09-29-2016, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Peachy View Post
Wow that's loud.
And the sound is nothing compared to the smell! The smell starts first, then the shorting out sounds. 100F outside, windows down to keep the lung cancer to a minimum! Can't talk on the phone (speaker and road noise combined). No way to stop it without unplugging the affected speaker. The sub was easy to unplug, the door wasn't too terrible. The front dash speaker looks like a more complicated matter!
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:13 PM
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Yeah the smell was horrible.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by MBATF View Post
Yeah the smell was horrible.
Hey I sent you a PM - what dealer did you use in DFW?
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:35 AM
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Update. Mercedes replaced my melted speakers, and at least one that wasn't melting (left rear door). Since I have 70K miles and no warranty, they did it as "goodwill" but I'm assuming they know there is a problem on some of these.

Car was in the shop for exactly one week, and they gave me a brand new C300 to drive. I gotta say, I'd take my 70K mile almost 3 year old E350 over a new C300 any day of the week. I couldn't wait to get out of that C class. But at least it had the AMG styling package so it looked decent on the exterior. Can't say much for the rest of the car though.

I assume I won't have any more melting speakers until next summer, that'll be the test. Because all of my speakers melted on over 90 degree days, after car was sitting in the sun for a while (guessing it was 100-120F inside the car when I got in). But hopefully my issues are gone forever...it'll be my daughter's car in no time at all, so fingers crossed!
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Old 11-11-2016, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by fosterelli View Post
Update. Mercedes replaced my melted speakers, and at least one that wasn't melting (left rear door). Since I have 70K miles and no warranty, they did it as "goodwill" but I'm assuming they know there is a problem on some of these.

Car was in the shop for exactly one week, and they gave me a brand new C300 to drive. I gotta say, I'd take my 70K mile almost 3 year old E350 over a new C300 any day of the week. I couldn't wait to get out of that C class. But at least it had the AMG styling package so it looked decent on the exterior. Can't say much for the rest of the car though.

I assume I won't have any more melting speakers until next summer, that'll be the test. Because all of my speakers melted on over 90 degree days, after car was sitting in the sun for a while (guessing it was 100-120F inside the car when I got in). But hopefully my issues are gone forever...it'll be my daughter's car in no time at all, so fingers crossed!

so the problem was with speakers then?


and the C class felt even if comparing to a 3 year old e class?? is that what you saying?
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Old 11-11-2016, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by belarus27 View Post
so the problem was with speakers then?


and the C class felt even if comparing to a 3 year old e class?? is that what you saying?
Apparently it is the speakers, because that is what they replaced. I assume it isn't a component (like the amplifier) because it happens to one speaker at a time - and only on hot days. If it was a component, I'd suggest ambient temperature wouldn't be the factor, and that it would adversely affect all of the speakers at once, rather than individually. And because the speakers affected are in separate parts of the vehicle (front center, rear passenger door, subwoofer on rear hat shelf) I have to assume wiring is not an issue either.

I am saying I hated the C300 (2016, 2,000 miles on the odometer). It was slow, unresponsive, boring to drive, and didn't have the E class feel or smoothness. I'd take my older E any day. So for those in the market for a new C class, I'd suggest arranging an extended test drive with your local MB dealer of a loaner C300 and a used E...and then decide for yourself.
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Old 11-11-2016, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by fosterelli View Post
Apparently it is the speakers, because that is what they replaced. I assume it isn't a component (like the amplifier) because it happens to one speaker at a time - and only on hot days. If it was a component, I'd suggest ambient temperature wouldn't be the factor, and that it would adversely affect all of the speakers at once, rather than individually. And because the speakers affected are in separate parts of the vehicle (front center, rear passenger door, subwoofer on rear hat shelf) I have to assume wiring is not an issue either.

I am saying I hated the C300 (2016, 2,000 miles on the odometer). It was slow, unresponsive, boring to drive, and didn't have the E class feel or smoothness. I'd take my older E any day. So for those in the market for a new C class, I'd suggest arranging an extended test drive with your local MB dealer of a loaner C300 and a used E...and then decide for yourself.
defective speakers , interesting.
im glad everything has been resolved for you , atleast until the summer hits. )

yea those 2.0 engines are not the fastest lol
thats funny how a lot of ppl saying that C class is no good.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:56 PM
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I understand one or maybe two defective speakers, but several in the same car makes me suspect another cause. However, they likely couldn't find it. Hopefully, you won't experience future issues.
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by belarus27 View Post
defective speakers , interesting.
im glad everything has been resolved for you , atleast until the summer hits. )

yea those 2.0 engines are not the fastest lol
thats funny how a lot of ppl saying that C class is no good.
Yeah I think it's great for those who want an entry level MB...but now that I know, I'd consider a used E first...to each their own though.

Yeah, hopefully next summer will prove to be problem free for my 16 year old...don't want her breathing in the toxic fumes I had to deal with while my speakers melted.
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thefisch View Post
I understand one or maybe two defective speakers, but several in the same car makes me suspect another cause. However, they likely couldn't find it. Hopefully, you won't experience future issues.
That would've been my guess too...but these symptoms cause me to think otherwise:

1) they started melting before making any noise
2) even did so with the stereo turned off (and car off for that matter)
3) all problems happened independently over different days/weeks
4) only 3 speakers failed, we have 14 speakers
5) 100% on very hot days
6) they know of other speakers failing in a similar fashion (including another member of this forum, also in Texas)
7) MB covered this without even talking to me for more details (service writers didn't take much info from me) which tells me they already know...or there's even an internal bulletin about it
8) they replaced at least one that did not exhibit problems yet, leading me to think they have batch numbers to replace before it melts too

All of this makes my assumption that the adhesives holding the cones together became very liquid...which after several minutes of a fire smell, resulted in loud shorting/popping noises.

My ultimate guess is a bad batch of adhesive at Harman...or adhesives that cannot hold up to 100+F interior temperatures for extended periods of time...but I can't really tell you.

When I removed the door panel on the rear passenger during a meltdown you could literally see the center cone melting.

Last edited by fosterelli; 11-11-2016 at 02:57 PM.
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