Its to MBs credit that people buy a 12 year old car, don't repair the problems it has and then gets blamed when the abuse causes further problems.
Most cars are such POSs at 12 years that we expect them to fail.
Part of the reason cars become cheaper as they grow older is that usefullness has been removed. Those that fix the problems properly as they come, can drive these cars indefinitely. Its all a matter of economics, after all you could probably get a Kia with a ten year warrantee for near what that 300E is worth.
As my mom used to say: "You can't have your cake and eat it too"
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician