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LarryBible 12-21-2000 10:55 AM


Your car has twice as many miles as the warranty covers. It is also a year or two past the time limit. I will fight tooth and nail for work to be done within the warranty period, but I think that a car this far out of warranty should pose no question. MB can't take care of your car for you forever.

Best of luck and Merry Christmas,

zonajoe 12-21-2000 11:12 AM

I know what you are going through I have had my car in over ten times since June 2000. I have been with Infiniti since 1990 and hardly ever in for service.I now have my first Benz 99 CLK 430. I love the car but I have been in for warranty work way too many times for a car in this price range. The dealer has always been courteous and seem to try their best to get the job done. I always tip the service rep and that gets me a little better service. There is no excuse for that many trips to the dealer. I have contacted MB Customer Service and put them on notice!


bstreep 12-21-2000 11:15 AM

Seat Belt Problem

If you have a problem with your seat belts, you should report them. In the late 80's/early 90's there were hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of seat belt recalls because of defective plastic used to secure the clip. Last month we had them replaced, free of charge, on our '89 Nissan truck! Just my opinion, but a safety device that you can't really test should be designed for the life of the car. I know that seat belts CAN wear, but I've seen lots of high mileage cars with little or no wear on the belts. How would you feel if you got into a wreck and the airbag failed to deploy? If the automaker said "oh well, it was out of warranty...".

JCE 12-21-2000 01:27 PM

I second bill's omments on the safety equipment. The safety belts on our 88 Acura were replaced 2 years ago by Acura after everyone made enough noise. Acura's initial response, picked up by many newspapers, was that the belts were not defective, it was just that Americans were a dirty people and the messy junk in their cars jammed the seat belts!!! That was such a brilliant PR move on their part that they wound up replacing all kinds of things besides seatbelts when they eventually admitted the problem!

WmHarlow 12-21-2000 05:53 PM

I also must put in my $.02.

I have had only one lemon of a car... 1993 Ford Taurus SHO. I bought it new and within the first 60,000 miles it was in the shop 22 times. Mostly for electrical system problems and faulty O2 sensors. There was numerous factory recalls, but none of them major. I constantly complained to the dealer and to Ford about the lack of confidence in the electrical system, but they just kept 'fixing' what broke down. I received 2 driver's power seats, 1 passenger power seat (whole seats), 2 starters, 1 driver's power window module, 7 O2 sensors, 1 wiper switch, 1 wiper motor, 1 climate control module, 1 complete moon-roof and required electical....... you get the point.

The dealer fixed everything right up to the warranty ran out, after that, I was on my own. Three months later, a little old lady tried to drive her Oldsmobile THROUGH the front end and driver's side. The car was totaled! And, as I expected, the air bags DID NOT DEPLOY due to defective sensors or wiring. Ford takes no responsibility for the faulty system because of the history of electrical problems of this car and being out of warranty. Oh-well, that's why I have a lawyer!:)

Bottom line, complain in writing to the dealer's general manager, the owner of the dealership, and to MBUSA. Document everything, and I mean everything! Keep after them and sooner or later they will give you a car to make you go away.

Recently my father's new GM truck had some kind of transmission failure (for the second time in less than 6 months). He called and wrote to everyone including the president of GM. Now he is driving a new truck with leather -- no extra cost!

SLKBoy 12-22-2000 01:47 AM

Thanks for all your help! Here's a pic of the seat belt bracket in question..the black plastic bascially split in two. The part itself is about $70 from the dealer. They said it won't take long to install, so I figure 1 hour of labor. That's about $140. It's not bad at all..I was just hoping MB would cover it because the safety of the passengers might be compromised (I bet Ford is taking tire complaints pretty seriously now).

The rep at MBUSA that i talked to said that the gas cartridge in the seat belt should not be affected, so it will not affect the seat belt tensioning system in case of an accident. Does this make sense? I realize the other little stuff won't be fixed just because the car is WAY over warrantee. =) But it was worth a shot letting MB know that I feel the quality of their cars has gotten a little worse in my opinion. Thanks for all your help guys! I really enjoy this site a lot. Thanks to all the great moderators and members who have always offered their help...Have a great holiday!!

Jimmy Hwang

[Edited by SLKBoy on 12-22-2000 at 12:52 AM]

Richard Eldridge 12-22-2000 02:35 AM

Creative complaining
When complaining, I have had best results when I try to put myself in the company's shoes and keep personalities out of it. The assumption is that no one wanted you to get a bad car or a bad repair, it just happened, and that you are doing them a bit of a favor to report the problem before you conclude that your car is a lemon or that all dealers are incompetent. I can say only this: I was never able to find an honest RENAULT dealer.

Tell them exactly what happened that you did not like, and describe exactly what remedies you want them to take that would please you entirely. Do not skimp, it's not your money; but be realistic.

It is best to write a letter, since this way both you and MBUSA and the dealer (and possibly your family lawyer). Enclose copies of all mail sent this far and make a copy of everything sent. Sending a letter Certified Return Receipt Requested generally gets maximum attention if addressed to the person in charge, while jabbering on the phone gets an underling who is poor at taking notes.

Be courteous, but insist on a resolution to the problem: insults generally aren't useful in getting things done.

JCE 12-22-2000 03:00 AM


You also might check your state laws on safety equipment. In the Peoples Republic of California, There is a requirement for mandatory (but not necessarily listed)extended warranty on emission and safety equipment that goes way beyond what the factory says they offer, and there are state agencies (Automotive repair, consumer safety, Atmospheric Quality, etc.) that live to go after companies.
It may or may not help.
That is one of the reasons Acura finally replaced our seat belts. On the other hand, our friend asked for everything necessary that could possibly be a problem to be fixed on her BMW 1000 miles before it ran out of warranty. They did all the maintenance, and 500 miles out of warranty her timing belt failed 9500 miles early. After all the shouting and dealer/manufacturers reps and state agencies, the bottom line was "will you be using cash or credit card on the new engine?". The modern definition of Fair seems to be "the first 4 letters in Fairy Tale".

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