I sent this letter to my dealer.
Tell me what you think about the problem I have.
April 5, 2001
To Whom It May Concern:
C Class manual transmission definitely C class
“The C-class gives you an accurate, comfortable gear change each time, with a 6-speed manual transmission standard on 4-cylinder models (C180, C200K, and C220 CDI).” –
Mercedes Benz UK
“We created the New C for people who expect more out of life. People inspired by expert craftsmanship and true beauty. People with the wisdom to recognize a superior automobile, from the striking big picture to the elegant details. People whose craving for inspiration and achievement is reflected in all what they do...and in the vehicles they drive.
In the 2001 C-Class, we've created something that's completely new. And completely Mercedes-Benz. Put yourself behind the wheel of the New C.
And Live. A lot. “ -
Mercedes Benz USA
Why then am I having problems with the manual transmission of my month old new C Class 200 Kompressor?
During the whole gear change process the transmission makes a very audible ‘clunking’ noise. I can even feel a shudder at times. Passengers who sit at the back say that they can feel it whenever I change gear. The sound is also audible outside the car and it is embarrassing to drive around town.
One of the mechanics and a salesman at my dealership agreed that there was a noise and told me to demonstrate this to the district service manager, Tom Doig, when he arrived for an inspection. Mr. Doig said that this sound is normal! He said that it happened on the old C Class manuals and it seems that the new C Class has the same problem. He suggested that I change my driving style so that the sound is less audible! Maybe Mercedes should offer a course on how to drive the new C Class because everyone else who has driven the car has heard the same noise. Mr. Doig said that he has noted the problem and he will have to wait for a response if any from Mercedes Benz Germany if anything will be done about the "normal" sound. I met Mr. Doig on the 9th of March 2001. I have not heard anything from him and no one from the Mercedes dealership is able to help me.
When I purchased this vehicle there were no demo manual models to test drive and I was not made aware that the manual version made unusual noises when changing gear.
This is not an isolated incident. A colleague of mine has the exact same problem with his 200 Kompressor and Mercedes has given him the same answer.
I am expecting my next C Class in June. This is a replacement for my initial Avantgarde spec order which was damaged whilst on transit. The vehicle I currently have is a loan car until then. For this I do not want the same problem occurring with my next car.
I feel that Mercedes Benz should not be selling an inferior product if they know full well that there is something wrong. I would like them to either fix the noisy transmission or add an automatic transmission to my next vehicle.
I am frustrated after spending over R190 000 on a "luxury" car that it sounds worse than an old bakkie when changing gear and I get a response that it is “normal”.
This is not what I expected from Mercedes Benz. It’s now my turn to make a noise.
Gregory D. Naidu
A Once Proud Pre-Owner