Thanks for the positive guys...
But even though the car is only a 1998 model with 38,000 miles and the part not listed in the warranty book...at least not my USA version one, the dealer would NOT cover it. Who has precedence here, the US government or Mercedes? Maybe I should try writing a letter to D/C with some EPA subject matter thrown in to pressure them for a reimbursement.
At the same visit they said my H/B was ok even though the original number is 00 00, wobbling and with cracked rubber! The S/W told me the tech looked at it and said it was OK to drive. I asked him if it was his wife's car would he let her drive it....all silence! I now carry the invoice with the OK phrase written on it in the car at all times!