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Old 06-22-2003, 05:34 PM
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Just want to make a point that the Town Car and Crown Vic's have exactly the same gas tanks as the Fords that have been involved in disasterous fires of police cars. Of course, Ford products have been noted for doing that all the way back to the Pinto.

As for reliability, we might be *****ing about new Mercedes but we're comparing them to other Mercedes, not American cars. In almost any long term reliability survey, American cars are consistantly at the bottom.

The guy that currently runs Chrysler said that the only way American cars can improve their resale value is to improve their quality.
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Old 06-22-2003, 05:44 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 104
In a collision there are so many parameters that we can agree on sitting in a Mercedes is one of the best options. And in America you are even safer in most cars than elsewhere since the reinforcements you mention are not always in place on other markets. And recalls in the US are not always mirrored on other markets either. Your aggressive and costly lawsuits keep the manufacturers perform better and earlier in the US than elsewhere!

On the quality decline I think the problems are transfered to the repair shops that has to be qualified and equipped in a pace they can not always live up to. And that is why we now trust our problems to our fellow MB-owners before we talk to the garage...

Many thanks for the best site at our service!!

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Old 06-22-2003, 08:49 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Quinta, CA
Posts: 271

With all the negative "press" the new Mercedes seem to be getting, what are you going to get if you lay out $300,000+ for the new Maybach?
What your are going to "get" is an owner who has way too much money and wants everyone to know it. The Maybach ranks right up there IMHO as one of the worst looking cars since the infamous Chevvy Caprice, the queen of all police departments' parking lots.
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Old 06-22-2003, 09:27 PM
Gilly's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
Quote"It would be interesting to dig up the prices in German Marks for those examples you gave."

The price of a E320 Cabriolet beginning August 1994 was 104,132.50 DM, starting in May 1995 it cost 106,720.00 DM.

Quote"Another testimony to the quality of W124 is that Taxi drivers in many European citys kept their cars for many years after W210 arrived. Some are actually still driving these old reliable cars!"

I think alot of taxi companies are like this. I know there are examples of taxi companies in the US and in other countries where new or "newish" vehicles are used, but by and large most taxi companies use older cars, such as here in the US where most taxis are former police crown vics and caprices. So I wouldn't be surprised to see German taxi drivers using 124's and 123's, and by now maybe early 210's.

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Old 06-22-2003, 09:30 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC area
Posts: 24
A spelling (or typing) mea culpa..

I posted the original msg about quality and MB.

Now I realize that I typed the main word in the subject wrong (left the 'a' out).

The punishment is long and persistent ; the damn typo repeats itself in my e-mail everytime the system notifies me that a new msg has been posted.

Can we correct that?

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Old 06-22-2003, 11:21 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Originally posted by Gilly
...So I wouldn't be surprised to see German taxi drivers using 124's and 123's, and by now maybe early 210's.

Last year we got addicted to "Amazing Race." I noticed that in Germany and Spain most of the taxi's they took (that were MB's) were W210's with diesel engines and roll up windows, cloth interiors, and manual HVAC controls.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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Old 06-23-2003, 12:15 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,096

Did yo try editing your original message? Clicking on the edit button?

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 06-23-2003, 12:21 AM
Gilly's Avatar
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Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
Either the forum moderator (Donnie) or the Webmaster will need to change that. You can go in and change it with the "edit" feature but it won't affect the actual name of the thread, just the first post. So when you are looking at the list of all the threads in the forum, it will still be wrong. Strange but true.
The moderator or webmaster will need to go into the "admin options" and select "edit thread" to change the name of the thread. I'm sure either one will be happy to change it.
I noticed the typo too, had to laugh. A typo in a quality concern thread, ha ha.
I'd do it myself, but I can only do that in my forum (The ML/GWagen/UNIMOG forum).

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Old 06-23-2003, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 321
i run a number of elderly benzes. 1986 560sel with 250k miles. a 1987 560sec with 80k miles. a 1979 6.9 with 50k miles. an e320cab with 10k miles. and recently added a 1997 s500c with 20k miles.

these cars live in a country county seat in the metropolitan houston area. they are rarely driven in start and stop fashion. they are always driven as fast as possible. driving them this way, i care that they be kept in virtually perfect mechanical condition. i do not stint on maintaining them mechanically as well as cosmetically.

had i not found a good independent mechanic and garage, i would have abandoned the benzes for more disposable vehicles. principally because the benz dealers began to lose interest in maintaining older benzes about 1995. the service directors explained it by saying that his shop was so overwhelmed by the newer models that the older cars just didn't get the attention.

my independent garage gives them attention. i consult on some technical issues where i ask him to do something he has not done before.

the560sec began to run funny over the last six months. sometimes rough idling. sometimes an inexplicable hesitation after cold starting in both drive or reverse. it was as if the car did not want to take the throttle. long and the short of it was tht the service records indicated the the car was still running the o.e. spark plugs, ignition leads, rotor, distributor cap.

a straightahead maintenance proposition. no peculiar electronics. simply the replacement of parts that were 16 years old.

that is what i like about these older cars. and besides, i think they look better than the new ones.

i think that the comments are correct about options available in the european market that are not available here. when i routinely traveled into europe, i marveled at the fact that mbusa forced its us customers to accept options that some percentage of the customers might have preffered to delete.

on the other hand, obviously there is a reliability factor that has been lowered at d-b since the chrysler acquisition. my two w126 cars were state of the art at the time: cruise control, climate control, suitably versatile seat controls, central locking, etc. i have never had a problem with any of these electrical functions.

the vickers power steering pump is a maintenance area that could have been ameliorated.

but by and large, these have been bullet proof vehicles that have caused me no maintenance mysteries.

in the 2 months that i have been driving the s500c, i have concluded that it is a more fragile vehicle. i love the way it runs. its suspension is superior to the w126's. but it has some weaknesses that i consider inexcusable for a vehicle of that original price tag and benz'es desire for excellence vis a vis lexus.

and even though this was a starmarked car, it may never see the dealer.evenfor a starmark problem. i just have no respect for the dealers and their service departments. they are negligent. probably because they are overwhelmed by the servicing of new cars under warranty. that is my friendly theory. it could be that they are just incompetent.

lastly, someone mentioned the current line of benz diesels. boy do i wish i could have one of them to euro specs. i rented a e270cdi in france last year. ran through many mountainous twisty bits. the compression braking and the slap shift tranny made it a great deal of fun. i especially enjoyed outrunning a new maserati whose brakes gave up shortly after he started trying to push me.
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:02 PM
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Posts: 1,158
Albert Champion I have a question why would someon buy a Starmarked car which cost more because of the warranty and then not take advantage of the warranty? I'm sure you could have bought the same car for less without it from the dealer.
I would personally take advantage of every bit of the program.

"and even though this was a starmarked car, it may never see the dealer.evenfor a starmark problem"
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:32 PM
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1995 E320 SE
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Downingtown, PA
Posts: 658
My air conditioning is fixed, but wow!

Wow, the bill from the dealership was $879 to fix my air conditioning by replacing my expansion valve and my receiver dryer. Oh yes, I also had the oil changed. The valve was $47, the dryer was $136 and the R134 was $48, but there were a number of seals $22, the new charcoal filter $43, "switch seat" $39, "switch liqui" ? $42, and now they charge $90/hour for labor. Wow$$$, but I did get cold while driving home. Can you imagine how much it will cost if my evaporator goes bad?

My car looked so awesome when I went to pick up my car. The dealer has a brand new facility with 3 story ceilings and an automatic door that opens as you drive in to drop off your car or return the loaner vehicle. It is a spectacular new building with soaring ceilings, stone walls, tile floors, Starbucks coffee, and of course they have many millions of dollars worth of new cars lined up inside the building’s new show room. My car was just sitting there all shiny and clean and it was so perfect. My car truly is a match for those new machines and it may actually be a representative of cars that were made at the pinnacle of what Mercedes cars are known for. I was so happy to get my car back after driving that 2003 ML for 5 days. My car is magnificent!

No matter what breaks on my car, I will fix it because it will be worth it to be able to drive this amazing machine.
I just couldn't give up on my 1995 E320.

I think it might be like always going back to that same bad relationship with an ex girlfriend.
You feel you love them too much, or you are just too stupid to know any better.

Flickr slideshow of my 1995 E320
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Old 06-23-2003, 09:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 512
For what it's worth, this is from my local Star newsletter...

Best First-Quarter Ever

May/June 2003

Mercedes-Benz USA reported the best first-quarter in company history as sales of 19,837 new vehicles sold in March bround the first-quarter total to 51,577 - a 2.7 percent increase over last year.

I don't like the dealer attitude and am scared of the lack of quality, but it seems like they're doing something right. I personally would not buy a new MB, but lots of folks are.

The C230 and the E320 each have about five more years to depreciate, then I'll see about leasing a Toyota.

1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
1994 E320 Wagon
1997 C230
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Old 06-23-2003, 09:42 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 321
boy, do i think that i have a starmark story. long and the short of it is that a 12 month starmark warranty was included in the price. and the price was more than fair for the condition and the mileage of the car.

and i suppose that if i have a major problem, i might take it to the dealer. but so far, i have had so much waffling from the dealers and mbusa as to what is warranted that i am forced to say "to hell with them".

for instance, when i inspected the car when i first put a deposit down on it from m-b sanantonio[not where i live] it had been selected for starmarking but had yet to have been starmark examined.

several weeks later when i flew into sa so as to pick up the car, i found that the rear view mirror was floppy, would not hold its position. dealer had my money, it was 3pm on a friday, dealer said get it repaired and we shall reimburse you.

i assumed 35-100 adjustment. perhaps the sales personnel did as well.

much to my surprise, when i stopped into houston benz store, i learned that no adjustment was possible - the mirror would have to be replaced[approx $1000].

now the sa dealer pretended that they didn't know me.

coincidentally, i discovered that my mirror had a homelink system that did not support rolling codes. since i was anticipating a mirror replacement, i went to the local benz store to ask them if the pre-rolling code mirror could be replaced with its rolling code supersession. they didn't know but said that they would check with mbusa. for over 2 months, i have been stopping in every week for an answer - still no answer. no phone calls of mine returned by dealer service personnel.

and i knew this dealer from its origins. in fact, when bill pennel opened intercontinental motors, i was one of this first customers. and his people worked on my cars for 20 years. but then i discovered the conscientious independent garage. bye bye intercontinental motors.

sometime in the midst of all this, i received a letter from a mr paul juron, the director of the mbusa customer assistance center. it was a form letter with a form. but it said that if there were any special issues that required their prompt attention, to telephone or email. and i did that an sent a crr letter to mr juron.

no response.

no one would tell me if the mirror was entitled to a warrantee replacement.

to this day, no one has answered that question. however, today i did receive a free mirror from m-b sa. but only because they want to sell m-b parts to my independent garageman and he held their feet to the fire[i.e., you owe my client a mirror. furnish it and i shall continue to buy parts from you].

but other questions go unanswered from mbusa and their dealers concerning warranty questions[they go unanswered on this forum as well]. for instance, after i arrived home after picking up this car, none of the seatbacks would fold forward.

then the next day they would. then the passenger seat would and the driver's wouldn't. then vice versa. today, neither will fold forward.

is that a warranted repair? i cannot get an answer from m-b sa. nor from m-b nor th houston. nor mbusa cac. does that give me a warm and fuzzy feeling? no, it does not.

if m-b is not going to tell me if they are going to honor a warranty in advance of performing the work, then why would i drive 40 miles to have the work performed which may end up at my expense? aren't i better off to just write off the benz warranty and have the problem solved by a real pro? my independent garageman.

i would love to hear your answer. i think you know what mine is. m-b has become a rip-off operation. my mechanic is better and more honest than any of theirs.
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Old 07-27-2003, 11:59 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cleveland-Akron Ohio
Posts: 150
I have a '98 E320 and 2001 SLK320. Both have been very good cars with few problems. The SLK's has never had a problem, although it has less than 7K miles.

However, I would not buy another Mercedes given the decreasing quality of these cars. When I look at the '03 E320, I see little styling distinction from other new MB models as well as other manufacturers. The interior looks and feels cheap. MBs are no longer are a good value. I would be upset if I were a new S class owner and people would mistake my car for an E Class. And the same for E Class owners vs. C Class owners. Again, little styling distinction. BMW may be way out there in styling lately, but at least their models have a distict personality.

However, a friend of mine is taking delivery of his '03 E320 this week. This is his second E320. He knows that quality has been going downhill, but doesn't care. He still wants the prestigous name, and if there are problems, the dealer will fix it under warranty. He replaces his cars every 3-4 years.

I can only keep my fingers crossed that my MBs continue to offer good service to me.

1998 E320
2001 SLK320
2000 Lexus RX300
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Old 07-27-2003, 12:20 PM
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I have a '91 300E that is about as close to new condition as possible. I've just returned from a 4K trip driving long grades in 100+ heat. The car never missed a beat and used just slightly more than a quart of Mobil 1 15W-50 on the trip. I wish the car had more torque, a better HVAC system and different styling forward of the A Pillar. Other than that, I wished it handled like the last BMW 3-Series I owned.

I"ve been looking for a new car for months and simply cannot find anything that is significantly better than the 300E, not to mention that would justify spending 10's of thousands of dollars for.

The only car that really excites me is the BMW 5 Series but after doing some serious investigating, I've concluded that BMW's are no more reliable now than they were when I owned them in the past.

The LS-430 can be had for about the cost of a new E320 but they are too darned big and unexciting.

Mercedes quality may have fallen off but so have Lexus and other makes. I may simply keep on driving the 300E and pick up something like a RAV-4 as a daily driver.
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