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  #1  
Old 07-13-2007, 12:29 PM
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55 AMG Battery Acid Exploded Need Help?

Hi my name is Paul and I could really use some help. I own SL 55 AMG which is currently out of warranty. The other day the battery exploded and discharged battery acid all over wiring harness which now needs to be replaced. No idea what caused this to happen the question is what do I do now given the situation. My service Rep claims this has never happened and cost of repairs is $4000. He claims the Mercedes will split the cost of repairs with me. I however think I’m being misled, sounds like a manufactures defect to me. Has anyone ever heard of battery acid leaking and destroying the wiring harness to the vehicle? If so how should I proceed with Mercedes and my service agent?
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:45 PM
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You're not the first to have a battery explode. Was it under the rear seat?
I'm not sure the wiring needs to be replaced, most insulation is resistant to battery acid. Other electrical stuff and paint, upholstery, carpets is less resistant.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:24 PM
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I'm curious... Where is the battery that exploded located? Does the car have one battery or two? Battery acid is nasty, but as stated above, insulation and sealed connectors in the wiring harness should be impervious to acid. They are designed to be water tight. When did the battery explode? While turning the engine? I believe that the reason most batteries explode is that H gas inside leaks out and gets ignited by a spark. Modern sealed gel batteries aren't supposed to do this. While truly unfortunate, MB picking up half the repair out of warrenty seems reasonable to me. I would only be concerned that they are repairing more than might be necessary.
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:25 PM
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OUCH - Exploding batteries! If the vehicle is an SL55 AMG, then it's based on the R129 model. This places the battery location in the right-hand side of the truck. In my two R129's, there is a fair amount of electrical stuff in the battery compartment. I'm not sure the electrical connections in this area have waterproof connectors; I'll have to go check. But there is a small fuse panel in quite close proximity and (I think) the vacuum motor box for the door locks. Of course, I assume AMG does not move the battery from the standard MB location.

Did the MB Service guys give you break down of the parts that require replacement? Perhaps some of us may be able to help verify the true need.

But more importantly, why did the battery explode? Was it an aftermarket replacement battery? If so, I've seen the small battery vents covered/sealed for shipment. But they must be removed after installation, along with installing a plastic vent line.

Getting to the root cause is as important as getting your Roadster Rocket back on the road.
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfgray View Post
Hi my name is Paul and I could really use some help. I own SL 55 AMG which is currently out of warranty. The other day the battery exploded and discharged battery acid all over wiring harness which now needs to be replaced. No idea what caused this to happen the question is what do I do now given the situation. My service Rep claims this has never happened and cost of repairs is $4000. He claims the Mercedes will split the cost of repairs with me. I however think I’m being misled, sounds like a manufactures defect to me. Has anyone ever heard of battery acid leaking and destroying the wiring harness to the vehicle? If so how should I proceed with Mercedes and my service agent?
Paul,
First, I'm a business guy not a car guy so I'll leave the technical matters to the other experts here.

My first reaction when I read your post was MB is being surprisingly and proactively generous from the looks of it, as I rarely see them being this generous to voluntarily 'help' out with the damage cost, unless they had something to do with it. That said, my first call would be to my attorney as this sounds like either a product liability issue or negligence on the install/maintenance of the battery. Second, if you've got comprehensive insurance coverage on your car, this incident probably qualifies and if you end up having to pay anything, insurance may cover it. I would involve the insurance provider only after speaking to your attorney. Good luck with this; please post how you make out.

Bob
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2007, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfgray View Post
Hi my name is Paul and I could really use some help. I own SL 55 AMG which is currently out of warranty. The other day the battery exploded and discharged battery acid all over wiring harness which now needs to be replaced.
FWIW, it looks like this is not the first time for M-B. Please read http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w202-c-class/459114-anyone-seen-mercedes-club-america-report-about-98-99-w202-c-class-battery-explosion-recall.html?highlight=battery+recall
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