Last post on Dec 04, 2010 at 4:10 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz CLK
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Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class, Coupe, Convertible
#1351 of 1636 Our C320 Experience- A Nightmare
Feb 14, 2003 (3:17 pm)
We purchased a C320 when the new 2002s came out. Over the next year and a half we had so many problems with the car that we finally traded it. Problems included: Noise, memory functions not working, sensor malfunctions, brakes, and worst of all the transmission.
Dealer "could not detect" most problems we requested fixed, so we finally threw in the towel. For the money we spent, it was a REAL disappointment.
We traded for a 2003 Lexus GS-300 and we have had no problems with this car. Much nicer, luxurious, quiet, comfortable and quality.
Goodbye Mercedes...... Hello Lexus.
#1352 of 1636 Mercedes Experience - Customer Satisfaction???
Feb 14, 2003 (6:08 pm)
In this day and age, I do not believe that Mercedes has learned what customer satisfaction really is!!! From the manufacturer to the dealer experience (ughh!!!) they really have a lot to learn. If anyone in this world needs to lay off old stagnant and unresponsible people, this company needs to start from bottom to top. Not only do they have problems, but they fail to address their problems and need to start by being aggressive with working with their customers. I cannot even get a response from my dealership when they tell me a responsible individuals name that will help me to get service when I have a need! The only thing they have to sell is their "brand" anything else is gone. The quality and longevity that we purchased Mercedes automobiles for is "gone." Now you only purchase them for the "brand." No quality, service or customer satisfaction. If they will survive in this industry, they need to step up to the plate and provide customer service in line with the Japanese brands or even the South Korean's who are ready to eat their lunch. Although the Hyundai brand name is questioned by many, I believe they will be the next Toyota in automotive leadership. Even Mercedes now has purchased 20% ownership in this brand.
Feb 14, 2003 (7:00 pm)
I couldn't disagree more, my MB dealer is fantastic, from sales to service they are top notch. I think Mercedes cheapened their cars a bit with the last generation but the newest generation Mercedes are back to traditional MB values - cutting edge technology and leading edge fit, finish and material quality. I've dealt with Mercedes dealers in 3 states and have never had a bad experience. Actually my parents have owned Mercedes since I was a little kid, I've been around them all my life and I know for a fact that there is no differece in the Mercedes experience in the last 20 years I've been around them. I think it's great that MB is making more affordable cars.
You mentioned in an earlier post that your sunroof has a squeak - in this post you mention you don't know where to go to get service - or the "responsible" person to contact - try the service department! If they can't get to it right away they'll give you a loaner while it's fixed, no problem. You sound totally unreasonable over a little sunroof squeak, try just taking it in and getting fixed - no big deal. If your C230 coupe wasn't perfect when you picked it up - get it fixed and get over it.
Feb 15, 2003 (3:47 am)
"In the Town Hall, my username is bobeberhardt.
And the car I own now is a 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class."
Well, that right there explains everything. My condolences.
Feb 15, 2003 (5:23 am)
Yes, I also own a 2000 ML320 which now has 33,000 trouble-free miles. Only thing that I have needed to replace were two headlamp bulbs and a brakelamp bulb. Original brakes and tires (tires look like they will last to 50,000 miles). Unlike most, who complain about ML quality mine is near perfect. The 1998's and 1999's have had their issues but I would say that since the 2000 models, these are great vehicles and would have one over any other SUV out their.
Also, own a 1995 C280 with 77,000 miles which is also trouble free with the exception of having to replace the engine wiring harness at 70,000 miles for which Mercedes offered a "good-will" warranty repair paying half of the labor and parts.
Don't get me wrong ... I love Mercedes vehicles!!! I just question why the want to tarnish their brand by delivering a brand new vehicle with obvious defects that should have been corrected before delivery. Experiencing the squeaking skyroof I have learned now that the C-Coupe has had this problem since its introduction last July. Mercedes is aware of the problem (its in the sunroof cartridge), and knows how to fix it. Whoever prepped this car had to have heard the squeak since it is continuous when only driving a few miles per hour. So given the Mercedes brand name and their heritage, why do they not make sure the car is "right" upon delivery? I can get this treatment when I buy lesser brands.
Feb 15, 2003 (6:30 am)
...I've been buying MBs for 35 years, 14 cars in total. Some have been better than others, and the worst was a '76 300D that many people hold up today as an example of the "good old days" of MB quality.
Without getting into a protracted debate about the state of the MB franchise in North America, it is fair to say that all dealers are not created equal, and that a good dealership can make all the difference in the ownership experience. Luckily, in those 35 years, all in the SF Bay Area and Sacramento, I've been treated well and generally with competence in the service dept.
One other observation: I NEVER take delivery of ANY new car under ANY circumstance without giving THAT particular car a thorough "acceptance" test drive. If the roof was squeaking so badly, and so early in the game, it should have been apparent before taking delivery. Then you have the more pleasant choice of picking another car, or making sure that a commitment to fix is part of the transaction, or simply walking away. Roof noises from the pano roof have been endemic - I would never buy a Coupe with this feature. Some problems are easy to fix, others have been more persistent - I won't argue that this makes MB or the dealer less culpable, but like COMAND, another trouble-prone option, I wouldn't tempt fate by ordering this feature.
When we picked our '02 C240 sedan from inventory, I noted on our acceptance test that the car had wheel alignment problems, and made sure this was noted before signing anything. But I was also confident [ a confidence that was justified by the outcome ] that this was a problem that could be remedied by the dealership in short order; if the car had had any significant interior noises on our test [squeaks, rattles, mysterious noises of any kind] I would have immediately rejected the car. My experience is that dealer service depts [ALL makes, not just MB] have an extremely hard time fixing these kinds of problems. There are a couple of other symptoms [wheel shakes, electrical gremlins] that are grounds for rejecting a car out of hand and looking for another example - or another make.
Having taken delivery of the car with the squeaky roof, you now have to hope that the dealer can indeed fix it; this board and the one at MB World.org suggest that the chances are about 50-50.
But I reject the notion that what MB is producing and selling now is inferior in any significant respect to what they were selling 20 years ago - my 1976 300D was structurally as solid as a rock, and a miserable car that spent half of its very short life with me in the shop. It's the only one of the 14 that I would have gladly dropped from a very high place....
Feb 15, 2003 (9:52 am)
As an update.....
The dealer called this morning and set up an appointment to fix the squeak in the sunroof. They indicated that this would involve replacement of the sunroof cartridge (basically the entire sunroof, operating mechanism and guide rails). They indicated that they have done this on previous C-Coupes with the panoramic roof which has solved this problem. It appears that Mercedes has solved this problem which has been endemic since its introduction in July, 2002 but my car which was produced in October, 2002 still has the original design which has now been updated to correct this problem. The sunroof cartridge has been ordered and should be delivered by Tuesday 3:00 PM. They will check it out first to make sure it is the updated design and will install on Wednesday. They indicate that this will take the entire day. Can't imagine what this warranty repair will cost!!! Eight hours labor plus the cost of an entire sunroof assembly. I have spoken with others in the Mercedes field and they also indicate that this solves the problem. It makes you wonder that if they know that the roof will be bad based upon production date, why they don't go ahead and do the update before delivery. Sure would help the customer satisfaction scores the Mercedes does internally, Consumer Reports ratings and J. D. Powers ratings not to mention all this stuff we talk about on web sites such as this. Hopefully this will fix this problem since I can live with an occasional squeak but not the continuous persistent squeak I now have when driving down the road even at low speeds. Why did I bother to get the upgraded Bose system when all you hear is an irritating rubber/glass squeaking noise?
#1358 of 1636 Good to hear you got the right response, anyway
Feb 15, 2003 (3:22 pm)
Sounds like you have a responsive and knowledgeable dealer - let's hope they're equally competent on the shop floor.
I too have puzzled over the years about the reluctance to fix known problems that are likely to affect cars in inventory, but no one I know in the business does it unless there is a safety related campaign. Not Honda, not Toyota [nor their lux-nameplates], not BMW, not Porsche, not MB...I've even asked about this curiosity, and been told, in so many words, that it is easier to wait for the customer to complain, and bill it as a warranty item, than to try to get the factory to pay in advance for correcting the known weakness. Translated, I deduce that what this really means is that experience suggests that some number of customers will simply not complain - and no one wants to spend the money on cars that might not generate any complaints.
This doesn't make it right, but it does seem to be a universal practice. I once joked with my local MB salesman that I would gladly take minimum wage [I'm retired] to take every one of their new cars in inventory on a shakedown test to turn up exactly the kinds of things that drive new owners nuts. This kind of thing seems to be a speciality of mine - no one is more tuned to listen for noises, feel vibrations, and generally be aware of anomalies than I am - I've had a lot of practice [50+ cars in 40+ years]. Needless to say, no dealer seems to think this is a cost-effective practice. There are at least a couple of us here who obviously disagree with that assessment.
Feb 15, 2003 (7:52 pm)
That's because fixing problems in a finished product, post-assembly and distribution, is much more expensive than identifying said problems.
Feb 16, 2003 (8:43 am)
Personally, I think it comes down to reimbursement for repair from the manufacturer. It is probably much easier to get reimbursement for a warranty repair for a documented item from the customer than it is for a dealer who collects on the repair to indicate that an item needs correction. The manufacturer would probably want some "third party" to document that the repair was really required. Just my "two cents" worth.