German Version of FSS System
I have been looking at an interactive version of the E-Class Owner's Manual for cars sold in Germany. For those of us in the U.S. there are some differences in the Flexible Service System. In Germany it's called ASSYST PLUS.
The Assyst system permits changing service frequency and also to put into the system a reminder for General (German) Inspections and Exhaust Analysis.
I don't think there is any so-called free maintenance in Germany so they can apparently shorten the time between service visits.
I wonder what the default maximum time is between service visits in Germany. I'll bet it's not as long as the FSS system where MB-USA is going to be worried about having to pay for too many free oil changes.
BTW, MB has worked toward providing a more pleasant driving experience. Apparently, they've tested 2,500 people in their new cars in a very scientific way and found that (as an example) the new S-Class reduces driver stress by 25% over the W140. There is a piece on Edmunds.Com about a reporter who was wired up for a drive from Switzerland to Munich. The results show that he was most nervous driving through tunnels and that the new Mercedes version of Distronic? cruise control reduced this guy's stress quite a bit.