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Old 03-20-2003, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 29
Angry Did I do the right thing ? Help

My Benz 98 E320 hit the curve last Tue. After that, it couldn't go straight, and keep pulling to the right. The car was also very unstable between 20-50 mph. I brought it to a dealer (Luxury Imports, Orange County, CA), and ask them about it (I bought the car there on the
first place). They asked me to leave the car there, so that they would take a look at it and fix it.

Later on, I received a call from them, telling me that my right control arm was bend, bushing & rod was ruined, and I need to replace both. They also told me it would take 2 days to get the car done.

They then keep giving me one reason to another (basically "it'll be done tomorrow"), after 8 days, I was so fed up, and told them that I would pick the car up, regardless. I stoped by the dealer yesterday and was told that the job was done, however, I need to have alignment done to my car.

There're no difference in the car behavior before and after the repair: still pull, still shake. I went home and take a look under the car, to my surprise, both of the control arm and bushing look old and dirty, just like the left one (the "untouched" one). Moreover, the thread on all of the nut& bolts link to the control arm still cover with mud, just like the other side, one can tell that they have never been opened (since the thread would be clean once turn). All of the rubber seal & bush look dirty and old, basically identical to the other side.

I have the car through the alignment shop this morning. While it's being fixed, I had chance to craw under the car and look further. This did nothing to confirm the fact that the two side (bush, arm, nut & bolt) look the same, and have never been touched (cover with mud & dirt). The technican also confirm with me that the control arm is original and never been opened. After leaving the shop, the car run perfect, just as before.

I called the dealer, and told them what I observed, along with what the technican told me. They now change the story, and tell me that they got the control arm and bushing from the junk yard, to save me money. That why these parts look old. I put the charge on hold, and told them that I would need to pick the old parts up, and have an independent shop to check and confirm that they came from my car. I haven't told them about the nut&bolt thread, would be interesting to see how they respond to that. I asked that they give me all of the old part by this Sat, and would only release the fund of independent confirmation show that they came from my car (highly doubt, especially now that I have my car, I have no idea how they gona make it age to match the other side, not to mention the thread cover w/ mud).

Did I do the right thing ? should I complain to the consumer bureau or local DA office for unprofessional service ?.

I forgot to mention, I have chrome wheel, had my car washed a day before drop it to the shop. My rims are now cover with dirt, however, there's no finger on it whatsoever, like it have never been touched.
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Old 03-20-2003, 11:17 PM
DuckMuck's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Posts: 804

Personally, I wouldn't even PAY them...
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Old 03-20-2003, 11:49 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 601
They didn't do anything so there's no need to pay em for services not done. Besides, bending a control arm takes a lot more than hitting a curb, your tire wouldn't exist any more and you'd have more problems than just pulling to the right.

Take lots of pictures of the area so when your on Judge Judy you'll have proof.
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Old 03-21-2003, 12:25 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: lynchburg, va.
Posts: 60
Ask them to provide a receipt from junk yard along with the old parts. Also a question! Was your wheel bent from the impact? From your description it looks like it was not bent. If this is a fact, the dealer story does not hold a water. If your front end took such strong impact that it bent control arm, which is made out of steel, it would definitely damage your aluminum wheel. Don't pay. In my opinion it is a ripp off. Seek expertise of at least two independent mechanics just in case you need to fight them in the court. In my opinion they should ask you if you will accept a salvage part, also if some garage replaces a control arm the alignment should be done before they release the car to a customer. Simply without alignment, the car can be unsafe to drive. One more think, I could be wrong on this, I think MB does not authorize a franchise dealerships to use a salvage components for repairs of any kind.

Last edited by kjsabat; 03-21-2003 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 03-21-2003, 12:27 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
Take lots of pictures.

Get your "old parts"

Keep the dispute on the credit card active.

Get the credit card company involved.

Get the local attorney general involved.

This is called fraud. You were charged for work, never performed.

Call the Mercedes Hot line and get the regional service advisor to look at your car. With your reciept in hand. He will be able to tell the lack of new parts.

Get a Lawyer.

Make post here

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Old 03-21-2003, 08:44 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
I agree with kj.... that I cannot possibly imagine any MB dealership using USED parts on a 1998 vehicle (or any age vehicle, for that matter). They simply don't do that.

Report this to the highest authorities (state attorney general, as suggested above) and seng a registered letter to the president of MBUSA (call 1-800-FOR MERC and you can get his name/address.)
'93 400E
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Old 03-21-2003, 09:42 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 205
I don't think they will bother to respond or try to get their money.
3 years ago I stoped payment for slopy 60k mile service at a dealership. Sent them a letter explaining why. They never responded, sent me the same bill once every few month for a year and than stoped.
Never heart from them again
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Old 03-21-2003, 10:02 AM
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Location: So. Cal.
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Luxury Imports in Orange County, I know where to stay away from

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Old 03-21-2003, 11:58 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 29
I forgot to mention, Luxury Imports is NOT an franchise (authorized ?) Mercedes Benz. They're used car dealer, that sell mostly late model European cars (Benz, BMW, Porches), as well as Lexus.

Thanks for all of your advises. Now that I've shown it to couple people (all know mechanic pretty well), and they all confirmed the same thing, I would not back down and accept the dealer BS
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Old 03-21-2003, 10:04 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,485
Hey zam, if I read your last post correctly, are you saying you didn't go to a MB dealer? There's a big difference between a used car lot and an authorized dealer. In the future, please include accurate information when posting a question about your car. It makes it easier for the members of this Forum to help you, and avoids any potential mis-understandings. Thanks
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