The exploration process for your car was similar to mine. I bought mine in Rochester while living in Seattle. Since I didnít want to add a cross country trip to the purchase price, it was important to get as much information as I could. Thatís why the records were so important. I also had the car taken to a MB dealer in NY. The service manager at the MB dealership cautioned me about the dealer where I bought the car. Without going into that, I had them do a so called Starmark inspection (even though the car didnít qualify for Starmark due to age), look at the service history, and lift a valve cover to see if there was any sludge buildup, and a few other things (rust inspection, inspect the inside, look for body damage and repairs, etc.)
It was the combination of this independent inspection, the MB records of the car, where I found out that the car had had itís oil and filter changed every 3000 KM(!), and that the car was previously a MB Signature (Canadian Starmark) that gave me a good feeling about buying it. Plus I got a great deal on a warranty (4 yr/ 48,000 miles) to cover the usual stuff plus electrical issues. Even after this, the car still had a few minor issues. When your buying long distance you canít be too careful. In fact no matter what, you canít be too careful.
My motivation for being as thorough as possible was a car I found on Ebay. Prior to finding the car in Rochester, I made an phone offer on a car in Houston, and it was accepted. I did a Carfax report, (even though the seller swore that they had done one as well) in the report I did, the report indicated that 2 years prior the car had at least 20,000 more miles on it than the seller stated it currently had. To make a long story short, during my search I found that more than 50% of the cars (all 400E) I saw advertised had had their odometers rolled back.
The only thing that came as a surprise to me was the outright reluctance of MB to disclose the vehicleís history. I understand and agree that privacy is important, but to have a policy to withhold information about a carís history, IMO borders deep in the area of being unnecessarily secretive.
BMW had to have traveled this same path at one time and decided itís better to disclose.