Nice to hear you had that little problems with your Honda, and I sincerely hope that you will continue to have none, but a lot of people I know have not been so fortunate with Hondas and other jap. cars and ended up spending a lot of money on these.
Perhaps you maintain your Honda the way you do maintain your Benzes and thus it does make a difference on other cars too?!
I dont know and dont really care since they dont meet my personal standards for the overall package of a car and having worked as a Mercedes and BMW mechanic for quite some time I know their differences inside and out. The only circumstance someone can get me to work on their japanese car is when a really good friend approaches me for help. That would be the only reason for me to put up with these incredibly tight spaces, impossible location of some components and sharp edges all over the place that you regularly cut you hands open on etc. We used to turn people away with any japanese car, no matter how big the owners wallet. Now you may call that arrogance, stupidity or whatever, I call it selectivity and a choice that we are all allowed to make and truth is: Many people I know who own or owned japanese cars regret their choice, even if its a brand new Lexus and some have paid for their choices with their lives in an accident that they would have certainly lived trough in, ie even a 18 year old MB 190E.
Anyways, beginning the new year I will conclude my participation in this thread as I had to realize that loubapache's and other's anger and frustration is not really aimed at the cars and their engineering that I defended, but against the people who they have to deal with in a franchise MB company that does not uphold true MBZ standards and I do share their sentiments for this country completely. I dont have any reason or inclination to defend the arrogance that MBUSA franchises are conducting their business with.
I do know the true MBZ and how they operate in Europe and other countries and the difference is incredible. I am sorry to say but a clash of value systems caused this and the people running MBUSA do obviously not care for the values that MB stands for and upholds in Germany and the rest of the world and care more for the image, prestige and the money the silver star gets them.
I believe the restriction of influence that is placed on MBZ Germany and the llimited control they have over their franchise in this counrty probably goes back to roots after WWII.
And we all know that the "devilish" german and his enterprises still have to be kept under tight control of a "better knowing force".
If MBZ were to operate the way they do in Germany, there would be no franchise branches at all, so many of the problems people encounter with their dealers would be nonexistent, given the fact that the franchise owners are clearly trying to maximize their profits at the expense of customer satisfaction, which is also supported by the treatment people receive from the New jersey headquarters. They are also trying to keep MBZ a rich people's upper-class achievement only, whereas in Germany its an everyman's car and merely the sales designation destinguishes between the income classes. And I guess we all know that they are pretty much free to do whatever they want to do, whatever foreign franchise we are talking about in this country.
Anyways, I guess we all will have to battle these franchises here and there until we get an open international market with fewer restrictions on foreign companies and their operations.
A Happy and Successful New Year to everybody!