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Old 07-17-2002, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Actually, Honda and I think also BMW are not publicly traded companies.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 07-17-2002, 02:23 PM
junior member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 592
honda publically traded? yes indeed
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Old 07-17-2002, 02:31 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Wow, this is news to me!

Not to hi-jack the thread, but I've always read the Honda was a privately held company, that they don't even release their financial information, whether they make money or not, what their profit margins are, etc.

Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 07-17-2002, 03:01 PM
Snowman's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 230
Wow I at least thought that the high end (S class) and top of the line (S600) would be at least flawless in the way it was made. Looks like all their cars aren't up to it now. That's very disappointing to hear.

To tell you the truth, I don't know what to trust anymore and what kind of car to buy. I've heard bad things about every car maker but I've heard a lot now about Benz and somethings about BMW.
1985 500SEL 124k miles
2001 Honda Civic EX
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Old 07-17-2002, 03:55 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: SW Colorado USA
Posts: 296
I heard from the service dept on my S600 just a little bit ago. Last week when it was in for the first drivability fix they put new plugs (12 in one bank!) and a new coil pack on. Now they are replacing at least four fuel injectors on the same side of the engine. I still think they are shooting in the dark on this one. The fault codes finger the injectors but I don't buy it, niether did the last tech that looked at it last week. That will mean a third trip for the same problem, I am honestly shooting for a fourth and a buy back.

My BMW 750 has seen similar woes. It has 45k miles and 19 dealer visits under its belt. Number 20 is coming up as soon as the MB is fixed. It is just an airbag light, for about the sixth time, and likely just a faulty seat belt buckle causing it.

It seems that only Lexus has a handle on keeping the new technology working. On top of that they give you a LEXUS loaner when you bring in your LEXUS car. I have three MB dealers to choose from, two use rental cars and one has a fleet of crusty old Ford Tauruses. What a joke, MB needs to WAKE UP!

In addition I had a HORRIBLE dealer experience. I wrote a letter to MBUSA. That was months ago, no response, EVER! I guess I will just have to seek out nice examples of the 124 and 126 cars as they seem to be the last decent machines MB produced.
1995 G320
1984 280GE
1971 Unimog 416
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Old 07-17-2002, 04:57 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
With just about all product lines, the most expensive products seem to have the poorest record for overall reliabilty, thanks to pioneering technology.

Go back a decade. The W140 was the least reliable of the MB products.

BMW's V-12 cars (especially the 1988'ish versions) were troublesome cars, to the point of depressing resale values to levels below "garden variety" 5-series cars.

Is this right? Nope. They need to get their act together.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 07-17-2002, 05:04 PM
Keith Lucy
Posts: n/a
126 is the way to go

I agree that the 126 is the way to go. It's the last car MB made when all's they cared about was making cars.

Hatch and Son's have a few in-stock, and they only stock the cream of the crop.
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Old 07-17-2002, 05:26 PM
David C Klasse's Avatar
CheFrac is Back!
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mission Hills in the City of San Diego
Posts: 2,352
Well EXCUSE ME for barging in on the bash parade, but I have had nothing but good dealer services from my (and others, once or twice) Mercedes dealership! My entire family, and all of my friends receive nothing but the best from Fletcher Jones Motorcars... although I have heard they can be TERRIBLE to some people.

But I beg to differ, alteast on my end, my family and friends have great experiences when we take our Mercedes' in for service... and we get Mercedes rental cars from Enterprise!
2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)

1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)
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Old 07-17-2002, 05:28 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Fl
Posts: 140
Smile count me in the good MB dealer experience

count me in as the good MB dealer experience

I can't complain, they have treated us good so far....

...and no big problems with the cars iether (door seal on C, sender unit on ML, brake light switch)

For the Lexus lovers, how about the 3 million cars (RX300, Camry, etc) with potential oil sludge problems?
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Old 07-17-2002, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
Your dealer experience with MB seems to be the same as everybody else. I can't remember the last time I heard / read somebody had a good experience at the dealer.

FWIW, everyone I've talked to who owns a Lexus has had zilch to few problems, loved their cars, and waxed poetic about their dealership experience. There are those that have complained about high parts cost, but it doesn't seem to bother them.

MB really needs to get their act together.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 07-17-2002, 05:50 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 463
The only way to do that is product.

That should be the be all end all.

Fire those *********s picking their bums in the marketing promotions department.

Remember the simple marketing plan of the 80's? Why fix something that isn't broken and wreck it.

I think there are too many heads in there getting paid for no value added work.

Product line needs to be slimmed down, less models.
Staff needs to be slimmed down, less marketers (go back to pushing your junk elsewhere)

The old cars sold themselves, that could happen again.

Jurgen Hubert needs a swift boot out of the top floor window.
190E 2.6 - 244 000 km
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Old 07-17-2002, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
I hate to always go against public opinion, but I have found the dealership is made of people, and usually the management is tuned in to making customers happy so they come back. So, if you get to know the people, understand they did not design or build the car, but are there to service it you usually make out ok. It is when you approach the people that are going to service you and your vehicle with an attitude that says I paid $60,000 for this car and it better be perfect that I believe you can make the situation less pleasant than it has to be. My personal relationship with people at the dealership I use goes back a few decades, to the previous owners, and I have generally never had a wholly bad experience. Yes, I have had some stuff fail, and I did have a 350SD that suffered the bad engine syndrome/failure sequence of events, but ultimately they have done their best to make up for the shortcomings of the product, if there were any.

The 1999 C230 Kompressor Sport we had was rock solid reliable for 45,000 miles, the duration of the lease. Not a single component failed. And, when my daughter ran over a truck tire tread that shed in front of her on the Mass Pike the soundproofing above the transmission was apparently knocked loose. When I noticed the extra noise during hard turns I pointed it out to the dealer. The dealership fixed it under warranty. No questions asked. If the car had been a manual transmission version, we would still have it. I hated the automatic, but I hate all automatics.

The same has been true for my 1998 E300D Turbodiesel. The mass air sensor failed while I was on a business trip and I called the dealer to ask if it was something that needed replacement right away. They said no, but I should do it sooner rather than later, and if I brought the car in that day before 2 PM they would fix it while I waited. I did and they did. No antics. I have had to replace both headlight bulbs and a sidemarker lamp bulb. Every other complaint I have had (and I have looked for things to get done before the warranty expires) have been addressed quickly, and with the feeling they enjoyed the opportunity to succeed at making the customer happier with his vehicle.

I have a great relationship with the guys in the parts department, as I have been a good customer for more than twenty years. I buy my Delvac 1 and Mobil 1 0W-40 oil as an adder to their bulk oil purchases, saving me a load of money on oil changes. I believe giving them the opportunity to make me happy is the key. I am never pleased to have to buy a part, but rather than blame them for the part failure or come in with an attitude, I have managed to let them know getting me the part when I need it is doing their job well. I believe everyone likes to do their job well, and they respond favorably to doing business under conditions where their efforts are appreciated and they get to succeed.

I tend to agree other makes of automobile have improved to the point where Mercedes-Benz's edge in reliability and durability has become hard to distinguish. This is expecially true in the first year of ownership. I am betting the 15th through 25th year are going to be better than the competition.

I am also alarmed that Mercedes-Benz, rather than devote resources to continue to ratchet the reliability and durability up a few more notches, has been lured into competing with these other makers on the basis of integrating electronic and electrically powered conveniences. Maybe we are to blame for that as we are the variable in the equation that defines the market by the cars we choose, and we seem to choose cars with more convenience features even though we all know they detract from reliability and durability.

In any case I see the obsession with electronics and electrical goodies distracting the Mercedes-Benz management from the chore of maintaining ultimate reliabilty and durability. This is an especially poor situation when the development schedules and dollars are fixed. Maintaining or improving the legendary reliability and durability gets less of the budget in terms of time and money for every added gizmo that makes it into production. If reliability and durability fall to the point where customers no longer associate Mercedes-Benz with these qualities there will be a general rejection of the automaker's products in the market. Afterall, the GPS system and the infinitely adjustable seats will not get you to your destination if the engine won't start.

As for materials, I think the discussion is like one of style. No one can be right or wrong. New materials are available today for application to every part in the car. Some choices will be good ones and some may not. But overall I doubt any selections have been made to purposely cheapen either appearance or quality just because of cost. For example, I believe some material selections are made to comply with plastic recycling schemes that are invoked in European and other markets. To comply with this initiative Mercedes-Benz may have experienced some constraints on the variety of materials available to select from the day the selection was made. In other cases someone may have made a selection based on styling likes and preferences (I have yet to see a Designo package I think has any semblance of good taste, for example) which others find unappealing.

I have a W123, W124 and W210 in various stages of being used up. Based on experience to date, the W123 is clearly the most durable, and will die when Nature reclaims the body. Unfortunately that is not too far off. Rustproofing on the W124 is much better, and I therefore anticipate the body lasting much longer on that car - but the more electric nature of it's equipment leads me to predict things like the seats, windows, climate controls and so on will be its slow downfall. The W210 is too new to make a real prediction, other than that the seat cushions seem to be heading to a failure before the car gets 100k miles on it, and the shocks seem to be asking to be replaced in hard driving at just over 51,000 miles. Overall I am not impressed with W210's rack and pinion steering and would much prefer the feel of the recirculating ball system on the W123 or W124. We will see how durable it is as time goes on.

Things change, and if Mercedes did not take a leadership role in the changes being implemented in the auto industry it would become uninteresting over time just because of that. Being a leader, out in front on the design and manufacturing in the auto industry is a high risk position. While I do not agree with some of the choices, I do not find the guys at the dealership in my area to be the problem. Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)

Last edited by JimSmith; 07-17-2002 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 07-17-2002, 07:45 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,123
Originally posted by JimSmith
I am also alarmed that Mercedes-Benz, rather than ratchet the reliability and durability up a few more notches, has been lured into competing with these other makers on the basis of integrating electronic and electrically powered conveniences. Maybe we are to blame for that as we are the variable in the equation that defines the market by the cars we choose, and we seem to choose cars with more convenience features even though we all know they detract from reliability and durability.
D@mmit G-Man, it's your fault for buying that $130,000 S600

91 300SE
87 300SDL
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Old 07-17-2002, 09:33 PM
rickg's Avatar
User friendly
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Utah!!
Posts: 4,494
Geeese! I'll keep my '84 SD and call it good! I had a goal of eventually buying a new Benz. (They sure are appealing in the showroom!) but I live too far from a dealer to be having to take it in all the time, even if they do stand behind their warrenty.
BTW, I WON"T be buying a new american car again. Our chrysler Cirrus has just over 100k on it now. It has not been a real bad car, but it's had it's problems, and not one thing was ever repaired under warrenty. The Chrysler dealers as I see it don't want to stand behind their product. They would always use stupid excuses why it was MY fault the problem occured. I maintain my vehicles pretty well!
past MB rides:
'68 220D
'68 220D(another one)
'67 230
'84 SD
Current rides:
'06 Lexus RX330
'93 Ford F-250
'96 Corvette
'99 Polaris 700 RMK sled
2011 Polaris Assault
'86 Yamaha TT350(good 'ol thumper)
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Old 07-17-2002, 09:42 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Raleigh, NC currently residing in KL, Malaysia
Posts: 460
Hello Jim,
I can only nod in agreement with your post.
Have a god day.
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