Richard, unfortuneatly I hear and see stories like yours almost daily in my shop. I have many customers who have driven only Benzes for many,many years who are fed up and looking at other manufacturers. These people understand that cars are manmade products and they do require maintenance and they do occaissionally break. If they didn't,I'd have to find some other line of work. BUT, people are starting to get fed up with the major problems that they are having due (not to lack of service or neglect but) poor quality. And it is really NOT enjoyable as a tech, to have to tell people they need to spend thousands of dollars on problems that plague certain models when they break. The fact is ,the customer is usually mad...Mad because the thing broke in the first place....
Mad because their last Benz never had any of these type of failures and had much higher mileage....
Mad because it is sooo expensive to fix....
And mad because they bought a vehicle that is SUPPOSED to be built to much higher standards.
In the end,everyone loses. The customer loses all the money he threw into the thing.
The manufacturer loses a once loyal customer.
I lose a customer because I only work on MBZ vehicles.
I just hope things get better. A company with a great reputation for quality doesn't keep that reputation for long if they go around pissing off all of their customers.