Last post on May 11, 2010 at 11:16 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan
#6269 of 6720 Re: Extended warranty? [flyered]
Sep 16, 2005 (10:29 am)
I don't have much to add other than my 2001 E320 4matic also has the squeaky (it sounds more like a plastic on plastic or rubber on rubber moan on my car) steering wheel. Also only in warmer weather. I mentioned to them that I thought it was related to temperature change. Of course I know nothing. They changed a power steering boot. Well, it took two tries, first time it "popped back off", which I noticed as an unusual amount of road noise getting into the cabin. Typical...multiple visits for a problem.
Oh, I still have the groan.
It's pretty clear what has happened w/Mercedes. In one of the other forums (LPS I think) someone posted an MSNBC link to a story detailing how Mercedes put pressure on suppliers to cut costs. And it allowed these suppliers to be less strict on tolerances to meet those goals.
I've had two fan speed regulators go.
I have the steering wheel that groans when it's warm.
I currently have a speedometer that jumps rather than sweeps once my car has been parked in a a hot parking lot all day.
My drivers side headrest motor burned out in the first year. I'm the only driver of this car so it is NEVER used.
My car was serviced 3 times for leaks in the transmission (identified as 3 different components).
There is plenty more where this came from...
My parents, in Florida, have had 3(!) rear windows drop/shatter due to failed lifter mechanisms.
After the transmission fiasco, the dealership gave me a complimentary 1 yr extension on the warrantee, I guess under starmark. That made my coverage 5 yrs/100K (from 4/50K). No sooner does the factory warrantee end, my passenger side headlight washer springs a leak. (This is another of those items I NEVER...and I mean NEVER...use). My first inclination was to just let it drain..but, wouldn't you know it, those crafty mercedes engineers linked the two fluid resevoires together. So, of course, I couldn't wash my windshield either.
Anyhow, back to the story. Starmark did not cover this repair. When I asked them if they felt that the washer was a safety system, they said no. Interesting how they list it under safety features on the SALES brochure.
I wouldn't buy the extended warrantee. I'd add the 3+K you save to the 20 you'd make selling the car and buy a Lexus.
#6270 of 6720 Re: Extended warranty? [flyered]
Sep 16, 2005 (1:28 pm)
Hmm, $3K for an aftermarket warranty? I think that when you bought the car, you had one year to buy MB's own 4/50 extension for under $2400.... Seems like a good deal now?
I guess that's why I only buy slightly used MB's; I get the Starmark warranty and buy an additional year or two to make sure I get to 100K with coverage. I'm on my second such deal now. I actually kept my 1996 far beyond the 100K mark (140K); and it cost me...! Head gasket at 120K...!
I also currently have the 2001 E320 but without 4-matic. I've had it for 18 months now and it just turned 60K without anything going wrong. It's just had two service trips. Now, since I mentioned it, watch me have to take it in for a dropped window or tranny leak or whatever.. BTW, if you are the ONLY driver, how did you ever realize the headrest motor burned out?
#6271 of 6720 This remains a sad thread,.....
Sep 16, 2005 (7:00 pm)
There are a ton of strong MB E supporters here...but paging through the various posts suggests that even the new E350 has some serious quality issues including the transmission. Why it has taken MB so long to understand that the Japanese and even Americans are eating their lunch on quality, is beyond me. People salivate over any new Lexus, even though it lacks the "soul" of a MB or BMW - why - because it will run forever on routine maintenance. Somewhere in the late 90's, MB achieved a level of arrogance that caused them to ignore how well they were making cars. We are MB, therefore our cars are wonderful, apparently became their mantra. Well, guess what, they were wrong. While they snoozed, the rest of the automotive world caught and often passed them in terms of quality and reliability. Today, we are subjected to endless Edmunds message board posts about the horrors of owning a MB. In the military, when there has been a major screw up, they take a day or more to "stand down" for refresher training and focusing on the important issues. In my humble opinion, MB needs to do this NOW! It is incomprehensible that such an important marque can allow its reputation to be trashed while doing so little (seemingly) to fix these problems. Obviously, they know about them, but somehow, have allowed the E to slide into the 06 model with many of the same, and some new (7 speed trans problems) to creep in. Come on, MB, how "loyal" do you think your clients will be if this keeps up? Your Japanese and American competition will kill you as your reputation continues to erode because of quality problems that should NOT continue to happen.
#6272 of 6720 extended warranty ctd
Sep 18, 2005 (12:27 pm)
I didn't know Starmark 4/50 extension at purchase would have cost $2400, but in that light an extra $600 doesn't sound too bad. I do want to keep the car a few more years b/c just doesn't make sense to me to pay the new car premium more often than you have to. But 3k is no chump change, so I am still torn. In other words, more opiinions welcome. Also, if anyone has had experience with Warranty Direct or 1Warranty, much appreciate the feedback. Last thing I want is to pay up, think I am covered and then have troubles with claims. Thanks in advance.
#6273 of 6720 Re: This remains a sad thread,..... [pearl]
Sep 18, 2005 (9:02 pm)
I think at this point we're in the "pile on" phase. I mean really, reading some of the posts here you'd think that no E or any other Mercedes was capable of holding up the day after it left the dealership. This is mesg board and thus the place for folks to vent their problems. Every brand of car sold here has a thread on the Repair board with posts in them and MB is no different. There are some posts here from the same people that state their problems and that hardly means there is some major problem with the E's tranny or engine.
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying for a moment that MB doesn't have a problem with reliability, but its been overblown by many at this point. The way CR has talked about the E-Class no one here will ever think it is reliable no matter how the cars actually hold up in the field.
BMW while having proved more reliable is no Toyota either. Not by a long shot and them running forever is one of these statements that glosses over the fact that keeping a BMW running "forever" is no cheaper than keeping a Mercedes running forever. Well at least for the first 4 year or 50K, which BMW now pays for.
MB's problem isn't due to them thinking they could do whatever, it comes from being spread too thin and having too much else going on (mergers etc.) to keep their eye on what they did best.
Also, IMO reliability and quality are different things, or reliability is a component of quality. Audi's have fabulous "quality" but terrible reliability. The day an American car is built as good as a Mercedes I'd buy one. Sure they're getting good marks in reliablity surveys for using ancient technology not nearly on the level of any European or Japanese luxury car, but to say they're eating Mercedes' lunch on quality is simply false. An American car riding on an ancient platform using a derivative of a 20 year old engine might be less trouble to own, which it should be, but it isn't nearly the car a Mercedes is. This is what the surveys and the people who live by them continually miss and evidently can't even begin to understand.
#6274 of 6720 Re: Extended warranty? [microrepair]
Sep 19, 2005 (11:57 am)
I didn't find it, their service department did when doing a Service A or B. I was none the wiser.
They are quite good at finding problems. They aren't always that good at properly identifying them. Nor are they that good at obtaining parts to fix them.
As I've said before, most of the time issues I'm experiencing are not critical. My car has never been on a flatbed. However, they are continual, frequent and quite disappointing.
#6275 of 6720 Re: This remains a sad thread,..... [merc1]
Sep 19, 2005 (2:05 pm)
I fully agree with merc1. I currently own a 02 C320 (wife's) and a 05 E320 CDI. So far both have been trouble free. I previously owned a 95 C280 and a 01 E320 that were also pretty much trouble free with only minor problems (fuel pump on C280 at 40K+ miles and an outside temperature display on the E320). I would purchase Mercedes again.
#6276 of 6720 Re: This remains a sad thread,..... [merc1]
Sep 21, 2005 (5:55 am)
Maybe...and I do agree that there are always tendencies to "pile on" when something/someone is down; however, the frequency, depth and breadth of the complaints about Mercedes and their dealerships are abnormally high. What seems especially troubling is that complaints have been going on for years, are documented widely by respected sources like CR and JD Powers, yet are continuing to surface on the newest models like the E350 - and not just trivial stuff (transmissions, etc). No doubt there are plenty of people who have not experienced problems, but enough have, consistently, and made noise about them, that Mercedes truly has a major PR issue here that won't go away until both HQ and their dealer network get serious about fixing them.
#6277 of 6720 Re: This remains a sad thread,..... [pearl]
Sep 21, 2005 (7:05 am)
I am in PR, and I have to smile everytime someone brings up MB's "PR" issue.
Sadly, in most cases, these "PR" issues are borne from operating or business issues that business executives or managers refuse to acknowledge or correct until a public outcry ensues. MB's is a textbook example of this. MB really doesn't have a "PR" problem as much as a "reality" problem: they have been unresponsive to the growing evidence that their products, processes, systems and infrastructure are not best-in-class. One can debate the how or why, but that doesn't really matter to the consumer. They are the only arbiter that matters.
I have owned 3 Mercedes (and many other lux and non-lux brands) and my problems have been mostly minor, but I know others' are not. What I have experienced though is that the customer service experience -- from sales to service -- is inferior at MB, especially compared with other manufacturers. This has exacerbated the physical quality problem, and is, in my opinion, more problematic over the longer term than the manufacturing quality, because perception is so slow to change, once it has been formed.
#6278 of 6720 Re: This remains a sad thread,..... [albell]
Sep 22, 2005 (12:18 pm)
A very thoughtful post on the challenges faced by MB. I still own one of their vehicles and sold my other to buy a BMW 5-Series in 2003. No regrets on the vehicle side and have been more than pleased by my BMW Dealer experience to date.
One of the 4 MB's purchased by my wife and I had a structural problem with the front bumper assembly... it completely separated from the car when pulled onto a flatbed tow truck! Without boring everyone, what MB put us through soured us both on the brand more than the car itself (1999 ML).
MB has tampered with what it's customers have held most dear over decades... engineering excellence and top-drawer quality. Sure, it costs to maintain an older MB, but well worth it IMO. Whenever I've had my Rolex cleaned and maintained over the years, it has cost me a considerable amount. Well worth it for me based on the ownership experience of having a watch I'll wear the rest of my life!
Arrogance and the ownership experience will never mix successfully and MB has been forced to rethink how dealers hold up their end of the bargain. Some get it... some don't. Those that don't send customers to their competition - simple as that. THe branded image becomes tainted and it is difficult to regain. Witness Audi and unintended acceleration. Problem handled arrogantly and the public responded. Although they build a wonderful car line from top to bottom (especially the A8), their sales numbers in this country lag those in comparable European settings.
If I were running MB, I'd have already bent over backwards to get the dealer (sales and service) channels and the manufacturing operation on the same page with a more collaborative business process focused on a quality ownership experience. Can't have both arms of the MB organization on different pages or the customer ultimately suffers.
One interesting thought... Toyota has historically had the highest "quality" car lines but among the worst retail experiences. They still sell lots of cars on quality perceptions (and reality) alone and people still endure cheezy dealer experiences. Tells me that if MB can arrest the quality issues and thoughtfully engage its consumer base, they will pull out in fine shape. The competition is nipping at their heels and, in varying degrees, successfully taken long-time customers away.
We'll se if real leadership surfaces at DCX.