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  #1  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:25 AM
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Are the newer Mercedes fire hazards?

Currently on E-bay, there are two fire damaged late model Mercedes. One is a 83K mile 1995 S600 coupe, that had a underhood fire and the other is a 2000 S500 4dr, with a interior fire. Seems unusual for newer cars, especially Mercedes to have this type of problem. Has anyone here had any gas leaks or electrical problems on their mid 90s to 2000 Mercedes? Are 90s-2003 Mercedes as reliable as the 70s and 80s models?
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:38 AM
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Well that is assuming the fires started due to electrical problems stemming from an MB design fault. You'd have to investigate the causes of these fires. Could have been anything...insurance fraud for all we know. IMHO, if this was a serious problem and gutted S Classes started showing up left and right, we'd hear a lot more about it and something would be being done about it, like a recall.
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:57 AM
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True. You may be right. Possibly something like insurance fraud. Who knows.
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1991 Lincoln Town Car Executive (33k miles)
1991 Cadillac Sedan DeVille (77k miles)
1992 Toyota Camry LE (177k miles)
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon (44k miles)
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1988 Mercedes 300SEL (was mine, now mothers)
(Prior MB's: 1974 240D, 1985 380SE, 1984 190D)
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2003, 08:49 AM
LarryBible
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Yes, if there was a problem that caused fires there would be a safety recall done so fast it would make your head swim.

MB has a team of engineers in the US that investigate accidents involving MB cars. A fire hazard would show up very quickly and be addressed very quickly. MB is not interested in a liable suit that involves loss of human life. Engine wear caused by FSS issues is a much different legal issue than fire.

Given todays economy and, sadly, the number of people willing to do such things as arsen(sp?) it's not surprising that you would see some expensive cars set afire.

Have a great day,
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2003, 09:04 AM
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MB did have a problem with the 2000 S-class burning & there was a recall issued on THOSE cars by VIN number. The problem started from the Blower motor electronic regulator.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2003, 10:11 AM
Potomac German Auto
 
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I ain't touching this question w/ the preverbail 10' pole
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2003, 11:22 AM
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I'll touch it...
Interesting as there are documented NHSTA complaints referring directly to the 93-95 wiring harness as a very real fire hazard. All dealers are certainly aware of this problem as a fire hazard, and once one dealer starts to see a trend, then all dealers are notified.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/defect/defectsearch.cfm

Do a search here under the 'Complaint' directory on the left, once there, under search: Mercedes-Benz>1995>320>(or E320)

Not a peep from MBUSA. No recall, no tech bulletin, no nothin'.

Thanks MB!! Way-to-go in efforts to capture improved customer loyalty and relationships! Nice!
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:11 PM
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Could leaking EHA valves contribute to this?

I don't know if the newer cars use the EHA valve, but the leak from mine suggests a fire hazard.
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:40 PM
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I was wondering that myself after I saw two late model E-class sedans (post '95) in a local junkyard that were burned to a crisp.

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  #10  
Old 01-28-2003, 01:08 PM
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Before jumping all over MB (though they would do an Ollie North and deny, deny, deny) watch out for aftermarket electrical installs.

When I owned a car electronics biz, we saw TONS of phone, stereo and other gizmos installed by owners UNFUSED. Amplifiers running wire from the battery post to the amp unfused. After time, the wife chafes, works loose, etc, and "poof" the car is toast. (get it?) Seen a modern car with a small electrical fire? It's a large fire in seconds. That plastic stuff might as well be made of gasoline.
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2003, 03:04 PM
LarryBible
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I'm surprised by the MB element here. Very disappointing.

As far as blackmercedes comments, he is right on target. It has never ceased to amaze me that someone would put their car in the hands of some high school kid who doesn't even understand, or has never even heard of "Ohms Law" and let them start cutting and splicing into a wiring harness. I've seen cars with nails driven in the battery post with unfused feeds running off to who knows where. I don't understand why you don't see a car burning on the freeway every day.

Have a great day,
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2003, 03:36 PM
Potomac German Auto
 
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Talking

Most of the engine harnesses for ALL M104 engines until 1997 are prone to excessive spliting. Therefore exposing wires & causing a myriad of problems.

It's no big surprise though. I mean Mercedes has these harnesses available at every dealer. For about $700+

As far as (W140) goes ? ?

But DOC is right on the money about the heater regualtor problem.

The bad part is that I am going to be buying a NEW harness for my 16-vlv. I thought $700 was expensive, but I am paying $954.00 (US$) for mine. OUCH ! ! ! !
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2003, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for all of the replies. While it is true that the possibility of fires can be started from aftermarket accessories installed improperly, I guess there are still issues such as factory electrical problems. Its not just Mercedes either, but from all of the NEWER
cars I have seen on E-bay, it seems like it is more common on European cars. This seems like a problem that should not be a issue, especially on newer cars, but again, like some has mentioned here, it could be from aftermarket equipment or fraud.
Again, it is not just Mercedes- here are some other makes I have
seen on e-bay with damage that seems unusual:
There was a 2001 Volvo convertible with a underhood fire due to a fuel leak, a 2002 VW Cabrio convertible, with a underhood fire, as well as a 1998 Range Rover with a underhood fire. I know some of the Fords of the 1980s often had fires, because of the bad ignition switches that lead to one of the largest recalls ever.
The Japanese makes do not seem to have a problem in this area.
Chrysler corporation cars of the late 60s, 70s and 80s seem to often have a great deal of electrical problems and fires- due to poor electrical and carburators, on the older cars with carburators.

Here is the e-bay link to the once beautiful 2000 Mercedes S500, that got a little too hot. Also, as MBDOC mentioned about the blower motor regulator causing the fires on the 2000 S-class cars- note that this fire looks to have started near the blower motor area on the passenger side rear of the hood and the passenger side dash.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=6336&item=2401219195&rd=1

And here is a link to a fire damaged 95 S600 coupe.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2400705789&category=6333

The latter is not burned too bad, as most of the damage was confined to the rear part of the engine compartment, but the interior on the 2000 S500, is burned to a turn.

Last edited by 86560SEL; 01-30-2003 at 01:03 AM.
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2003, 01:01 AM
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What does suprise me though, is that the 2000 S500 is already @ $11,900. Aside from using the engine and transmission and some body parts, what could someone possibly do with this car? I just do not see a $12K car there. Sure, you could salvage the engine and transmission, but by the time a car like this needs a transmission or engine, it would be no where near worth the price to get the $12K back out of it I do not think.
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2003, 09:24 PM
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That burned s500 on ebay

I looked at the photos carefully, and counted at leats $6000 in parts cost alone that were toast.

The electronic throttle actuator, knock sensors, top wiring harness, main wiring harness, brake booster, wiper assembly, etc.

At least 40 hours labor to remove and replace the wiring harnesses.
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