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Old 10-14-2002, 04:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New York, tristate area
Posts: 38
Question Should'nt this be a recall?

I posted a few weeks ago about a "thumping" coming the engine compartment of my 98' ML320. (47K)
Obviously this is never a good thing.
Turns out that my Harmonic Balancer split apart.
I was lucky, the balancer did'nt chew through the timing chain cover. It was a minor fix that had the potential to turn into a major/costly operation. $$$$
Apparently (according to this board) there is a high rate of failure of the Harmonic Balancers on newer V6 and V8 engines.
This "stinks" of poor design.
Is it because it's an American built Mercedes?
Who's to blame, and is it a design issue?
Why is this not a recall?
Lots of questions, no answers.
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Old 10-14-2002, 04:58 PM
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Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Not sure why this wasn't a consumer recall issue, except for the fact that the defective harmonic balancers fell under a certain serial number range.

I'm not sure what constitutes a recall by definition, but I suppose if a part had been deemed defective in ALL particular vehicles it was installed in, then the recall option would be in effect.

I can only guess that the techs here are better equipped to gauge the failure rate of that part since they do the replacements.
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 10-14-2002, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Recalls are for "safety" related problems! However MB SHOULD stand behind this problem, AS every 1998 & early 1999 M112 & M113 engines have this possibility.
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Old 10-14-2002, 05:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New York, tristate area
Posts: 38
Well Doc, I'm really upset and have been stewing for a while.
Although I escaped a large and costly amount of damage, I do want to fire off some letters to MBUSA. I purchased a Mercedes for saftey and longevity... so far I've got one of the two.
I'm so pissed that I may even buy a Toyota Highlander, or Honda Pilot.
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Old 10-14-2002, 05:45 PM
Posts: n/a
I believe that M-Class drive trains come from Germany. There has been so much trouble with the parts of the ML sourced in the U.S. that I've never given it serious consideration.

I'm more interested in the X-5 because it appears to be one BMW that's better quality than the Mercedes competition but now I hear that they aren't perfect either.

I've been buying German cars since the 50's and Mercedes for the last 19 years. However, it appears there is really good evidence that Toyato and Honda are a lot more bullet proof than the Germans.

If I have to replace the head gasket in my low mileage '91 300E I'll probably go Japanese next time.
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