1999 Mercedes 500SL rollbar is locked upright

My husband’s 1999 Mercedes 500SL rollbar is locked upright. He currently has the hard top on, and can’t get the rollbar to unlock. Does anyone know why it came up? Any thoughts on how to get it to unlock?

Thanks in advance

The rollbar is controlled via a switch on the dash. This switch has been known to problematic in the past on SL’s of that vintage. The switch can be cleaned or replaced.


Thanks for the reply. Could it be something other than the switch?

There had been no problem with the switch. The roll bar came up automatically, and the switch is not working to bring the bar down.

Well there could be other issues, but that sure sounds like a switch.

I’ve never played with one of these, but it’s my understanding that there is a fairly complex computer control for the whole roll bar system. Personally, I would probably do simple stuff (like checking fuses) then take it to a good benz shop or the dealer.

When you say the roll bar came up automatically do you mean that it deployed? The roll bar has a pendulum/gyroscope type sensor that will deploy the bar when the system senses a degree of tilt.

The switch on the dash should return the roll bar to it’s retracted position. If the switch is not working, and they have been a problem area in the past, then the roll bar will stay locked in the upright position.

My experience has been the switch gets a slight oxidation coating and fails to make proper contact. This is not a switch that gets a lot of exercise, and is therefore susceptible to oxidation issues. The switch can be cleaned or replaced.

As stated, if it’s not the switch it may be the sensor or fuse problem. Not much else there. But on other vehicles like yours the switch has been the overwhelming culprit.


Thanks so much for the advice - yes the roll bar deployed. My husband didn’t admit it at first : ) but apparently he hit a curb in a roundabout.

We will have the mechanic check the switch, sensor and fuse. I will check back in and let you know what we find out.

Thanks all!!