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Old 10-02-2002, 09:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: chicago
Posts: 19
Class Action Suit

Has anyone heard anything about the class action suit that mercedes just settled concerning fss and dino oil? I heard that they are extending the warrenty on 98/2000 models useing fss to 8 years/15000 miles.
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Old 10-02-2002, 10:47 PM
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I thought it was 10 years/150K but it doesn't make much difference. How do you prove that any problems you have are due to using dino oil rather than synthetics?

Just think about all the car manufacturer's that could be sued because they recommend 5W-30 or even 5W-20 dino oil just to improve their CAFE averages at the expense of long term reliability.

BTW, can anyone remember a case where somebody besides trial lawyers benefited from class action suits
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Old 10-02-2002, 11:55 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
What I read was in part that mbusa will extend elements of the engine warranty for 10 years/150,000 miles. On the surface, that is about 3x what any other manufacturer I know of will stand behind their product. Id call that excellent crisis management. Whether there will be a large enough number of FSS engines to fail to make further news is unknown. My experience with mb is that they generally offer an excellent and inclusive warranty and darned good engineering.....

...But not always. Personally I don't follow the FSS schedule for oil changes. Id like to see more specifics on what is warranted in this settlement.

About oil viscosity. The MB guidelines in the owners manuals that I have are stated for the expected outside temperature ranges. As an aside I remember reading somewhere that the only consideration for synthetic oil is the coldest operational range. According to the report all synthetics are capable at withstanding much greater max temps than dyno.

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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Old 10-03-2002, 09:58 AM
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I believe Mercedes have told their dealers no 0W-30, 5W-30 or 10W-30 even if it's synthetic. The Germans appear to be the only ones who are not sacrificing reliability to help them with their CAFE averages in the US.

Note that it appears that none of these viscosities now meet M-B specifications (at least for Mobil 1).

Honda has joined Ford in going over the top in recommending 5W20!
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Old 10-03-2002, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 396
The letter applies to 1998 and 1999 vehicles.

The letter states:

...."we will cover your vehicle up to ten years from the date of first purchase or lease or 150,000 miles (whichever comes first) under the terms of the existing warranty or any extended warranty you have purchased from MBUSA in the unlikely event of any future oil sludging or related engine damage in your vehicle from the earlier use of conventional, approved motor oil (API, SH or SJ). MBUSA will encourage its dealers to mainain their regular policy on loaner vehicles and other customer care benefits during any needed repairs. This coverage applies as long as you maintain your vehicle in accordance with our recommendations, including making the switch to approved pure synthetic motor oil as recommended in the March 23, 2001 letter."

The March 23, 2001 letter advised owners of 1998 & 1999 vehicles to switch to synthetic oils IF they maintained the (extended) FSS intervals. Anyone following a shorter schedule can use conventional oil without problems. However, if you want to benefit from the extended warranty you would be advised to switch to synthetic. The real issue is the long oil change intervals. Some people think an expensive auto should require no service and MB responded. I'm of the old school that loved the extensive preventative maintenance that MB recommended in the past.
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