Last post on Aug 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM
You are in the Mercedes Benz M-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG, SUV
Jul 30, 2003 (10:07 am)
This long note is to show everyone just how far Mercedes Dealers and Mercedes Benz USA are willing to go to resolve problem cars and keep their customers happy. So if you have a problem Mercedes Benz, approach your dealership with this posting or just call the people I mention here.
My wife and I bought a black 2001 C240 sedan with the C-1 memory package, automatic transmission, and heated seat/headlight cleaner package in March 2001. Our purchase was the first sale for our salesman and we were thrilled with our stylish and relatively inexpensive “Baby S Class”. The car has been a joy to drive when not in the shop. In defense of the dealership, which is an hour from where we live, every service call was handled perfectly. A driver would deliver a clean Mercedes loaner before my wife would leave for work. Over the last 28 months we have driven a variety of loaners including; first generation C320 sedan with the sport package, C320 Wagons, C240 Wagons, ML-320, E320 Sedan, C240 Sedan and a ML-350 Inspiration. When the service was completed, our C240 was returned with a light-detailing job to my wife at work or home.
The problems with the car included; four attempts at repairing rattles and groans from the front suspension, replacement of both front headlight assemblies, five attempts at the C1 memory seat/mirror system, three or four key replacements, ESP failure, EBD failure, disappearing mud flaps, cracked speaker grill, and two Tele-Aid upgrades. I might have missed something, but you get the gist of it, lots of little things that I never though I would get in a $33,000 car.
My wife has been a polite complainer throughout, never whiney, just disappointed. She reminded everyone we dealt with at the dealership that our neighbors always asked about our “New Car” every time a different loaner was parked in our driveway. She also told the service manager and loaner scheduler that it was a shame that we might leave the brand. After all, we’re the exact demographic that MBUSA was targeting with the “NEW C” campaign and we also know about how valuable an entry level buyer is in the luxury car segment. After the latest attempt at the recurring front rattles, we my wife decided to contact the owner of the dealership. Cheryl spoke with the owner of the dealership and asked what the dealer and MBUSA could do for us?
After a few days later the dealership sales manager called my wife and told her that since we took advantage of MBUSA Finance to buy our car there was a variety of dealer allowance money he could use to get us into a replacement car with as little pain as possible. When he said this I researched what MBUSA sales incentives were being offered to dealers. I read about the various incentives and financing offers on C-Class sedans, wagons, and MLs.
My wife and I debated the pros and cons of the ML350 and the C-320 wagons for several weeks. Most of the discussion was gas mileage vs. carrying capacity. We knew how the C-Class would drive so the sales manager arranged for two separate Thursday night through Monday night test drives of ML-350s. The first was a basic P37 Inspiration edition. The AMG sport seats are great but the dark wood interior looks like dirty plastic according to my wife. I was more interested in the M2 convenience features but I wanted my wife to experience the car herself. The next week we drove a silver ML350 with the M2 full convenience/charcoal leather package, M5 sunroof, Bose radio/CD changer, heated seats and some lightly used all season floor mats. The exact options we wanted and the bonus of a hefty loaner/demo car discount.
With MBUSA and MB Chase Credits help the dealership offered us an aggressive trade value for our C240 with 30,000 miles on it and dramatically discounted the 3,900 mile demo silver ML350 with M2, M5, 873 heated seats, and 168 Bose stereo/CD changer. I got a three month old ML350, got out of the C240 and MB credit beat the current rate from one of the on line car loan banks. We shook hands and signed the paper work. Our sales person introduced us to his delivery assistant who showed my wife the details of the car for at least an hour past closing while I entertained our 13-month-old son.
In closing I have to admit that I still have my concerns about dependability issues on the ML350. I hope that unlike my new model year C240 that the bugs have been worked out. I think that a lot of MB dealerships need to learn a thing or two about customer service from the people at my dealership. Specifically I would like to thank our salesman and his manager for making the deal happen.
#7089 of 8199 Confused shopping for a Used 2001 ML320
Jul 30, 2003 (11:47 pm)
Since the past couple of days I have been searching for a used ML320. I am impressed by the safety features that comes this SUV, but going through some of the posts in this forum, I am really worried, regarding quality of the components used, and the frequent visits to the Service station to get things fixed.
I found a seller who has a nice Silver 2001 ML320 in very good condition, with 40K miles on it. The test drive went well, has a good ride. But my question is, is it worth the risk buying this car, when it is 10K miles shy of its factory warranty expiring?
All, please find time to help me clear my confusion.
Jul 31, 2003 (8:24 am)
Taskish, there is no clear-cut answer here. There is absolutely no doubt that a 2001 ML is likely to give you more problems than a 2001 Pathfinder, 4Runner, or MDX. All the info we have says this. But you have a little bit of the warranty to protect you and you can always throw money at the issue with an extended warranty.
I'd use this as a litmus test. Assume you're going to have three problems with the car in the first six-months ... based on ML trends, let's assume the a CEL comes on and requires a sensor fix (under warranty), the sunroof makes an awful noise (fixed under warranty), and the brake pads are going to need replacing ($225). If this idea really bothers you, then get a Japanese with a better record (RX300 and the MDX come to mind immediately). But if this doesn't sound like a huge deal and you can accept it as part of owning a nice SUV, go for the ML.
Aug 02, 2003 (7:20 pm)
For anyone considering a used ML, I have a 2002 ML500, leased it new, already have about 30k in about 20 months. Had a couple problems, but the most annoying has been the damn automatic volume adjustment for the radio. It automatically compensates for surrounding noise(e.g. if you open the window). Well it would go from being barely audible to very loud, and would happen with both the Bose stereo and the navigation voice. Long story short, after repeated trips to the dealer, and they did shut off the auto feature, it still does it. Terribly annoying, enough so that sometimes I just shut the radio off. BTW, the nav does a fairly good job, but doesn't always choose the quickest route. I wouldn't pay extra fo it, but on the 500 it came standard. On a good note, my car doesn't seem to be eating up its brakes as I guess they are prone to do. Mine are original, working fine, tires are original too. Another plus, I average over 21 mpg, doing a lot of highway driving at 70 mph+(this is better than my V6 Audi A4)!
Plusses: safe, room enough for 4 comfortably, wonderful power, good fuel economy for an SUV, invites jealousy.
Minuses: ride quality sub-par, some squeeks from dash, stereo sucks, overall quality not what you'd expect for $51k.
My humble opinion: I don't plan on keeping it past warranty, would consider another, wish it was built in Germany, not Alabama.
#7094 of 8199 Extended warranty
Aug 03, 2003 (7:26 am)
Can anyone recommend where I can buy an extended warranty for my ML? It's past the 12 month 12,000 mile mark, so I will need an after market one. TIA, H
#7095 of 8199 Haven't been to this board in a long time
Aug 03, 2003 (4:44 pm)
I really got disgusted by the shots I would take when I mentioned all the problems I was having with my 2000 ML430. It looks like the tone has changed since then, so I'll give it a try again. I came here looking to see if others were having the same issues, or if mine was an isolated case. As a reintroduction, below is a chonology (by miles) of my issues I have had. I would welcome any comments of others who have had similar problems and what they were able to do to resolve them. Some of mine are common based on what I have read, the differentials, xfr case, and tranny don't seem to be so common.
Miles (est) Problems
0 Trailer hitch installed, wiring kit improperly installed, trailer lights won’t work.
1000 Grill guard didn’t fit, had to slot holes (self installed because parts not there as promised and didn’t want to drive 2 hours back to dealer.
1000 Sold wrong phone, only worked analog, was not aware until too late for dealer to exchange.
1000 Phone installed, gps cable left disconnected, had to take back.
10000 Arm rest dimpled, replaced.
15000 Driver side window switch failed
18000 Auxiliary cooling fan motor failed
20000 Arm rest dimpled, replaced
22000 Fuel pump failed, had to have hauled in
24000 Brake light switch failed (ETS, no cruise, etc)
26000 Rear brakes worn out
31000 Transfer case making noise, changed out after several attempts to convince dealer
32000 Front differential making noise, dealer changed out differential
34000 Door locks failed, replaced module
45000 Shifter bushings worn out, replaced
45000 Noise and small leak in rear differential, dealer says will replace later even if out of warranty if it gets worse.
50000 End of warranty work.
51000 Power steering hose blew off at oil cooler connection, I repaired in parking lot.
52000 CD player quit working.
54000 Lower dash lights out.
55000 Arm rest dimpled, dealer won’t replace out of warranty even though 2 previous replacements.
60000 O2 sensor causing check engine light to come on. Dealer replaced $395.
60000 B service done, $400 even though our understanding was the oil change was free for as long as we owned the car (original salesman represented this).
60000 Dealer won’t honor earlier promise to repair rear differential.
62500 A/C auxiliary fan out again, found blown fuse, ok for now.
63000 Drivers’ window switch bad again, window will not go up.
63000 Transmission hesitating when shifted into gear from park.
#7096 of 8199 Please help - ML320 Front brake pads
Aug 04, 2003 (6:41 am)
Does anyone know where to buy OEM brakes pads for 2000 ML320? What's the brand Mercedes use as their OEM pads for ML320? Galfer USA or Textar? (Jurid or Pagid?)Please post the websites ASAP. Thanks!