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Old 07-10-2003, 10:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC area
Posts: 24
It may save you big money....

A couple of days ago the NY Times (July 9,03) had a long and detailed report describing the experiences by several k's vehicle owners after three years of vehicle ownership. The article should be of significant interest to those considering the purchase of a new or a 'recent' used MB; the owners' experiences are disheartening.

But much worse, I think, is the attitude of the new company managers. The idea that poor quality is acceptable within MB's new concept of ''holistic experience" (or whatever nebulous definition this woman is trying to convey) is simply offensive when so much money and grief are at stake.

We all know that quality has direct repercussions on 'frequency of repair'.

I have a 300E with over 240K and soon I will have to consider getting a new used car and I assume that, like many people, part of choosing will consist of avoiding some models.

I do not mean to post a sermon; I simply believe that we should share this info in order to save our friends here money and pain.

This is part of the article in question, which was quite prominent in the Business Section.

"At Mercedes-Benz, the report said, the most troublesome vehicles were the M-Class sport utility and the E-Class, one of its highest-volume sedans, which starts just under $50,000 and can cost considerably more.

The E-Class showed the highest rate of deterioration over three years among all vehicles, with 215 percent more problems after three years than owners reported after three months. The most common reported problems were excessive brake dust, which can be a result of worn brake pads; malfunctioning side windows; and uneven tire wear.

Donna Boland, a spokeswoman for Mercedes, dismissed the comparison to Chrysler's performance. "If we're coming in below industry average, we're troubled," she said. "But this is one measurement, and our feeling is that quality is a more holistic thing that takes into account how owners feel at the end of the ownership experience. Do they stay with the brand or walk away?"

She said that Mercedes had one of the highest customer loyalty rates in the industry and added that many of the problem areas identified by owners had been fixed in later models."

Juan [who would like to own another MB, but without the holistic experience]
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Old 07-11-2003, 12:23 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Both BMW and Daimler are in for a very rude shock if they don't upgrade the quality of the parts used and downgrade the unnecessary complexity of their "expensive" cars. They both are running on past reputation for performance and reliability, and neither make adequate automobiles any more.

BMW 740 series cars eat money like nothing you've seen before (new parts sometimes arrive broken just like the one being replaced!) and cost the earth -- just watch the owner of one a couple years old trying to lock the doors with the key (since they won't pay $1500 to replace the servo for the keyless entry), and what do yo do when the door closer motor quits and and you can no longer close the door (another grand). Or you can't use the windows or sunroof because the "convinenice relay" box blew (again) for $2500.

The W140s are well known for blown ignition boxes ($4000), blown injection boxes ($4000) and blow climate controls ($2000), usually two or three time by the end of the lease or warrenty.

Not good.

Doors sound like a Neon, build quality is trash, and I've heard the MLs are built on the American operating plan -- if most the the parts are still on it when it gets to the dealer, it's the customer's problem. Quality control consists of getting the vehicles out the door fast, nothing else.

Sooner or later the people who buy these new won't pay for a car, at that price, that they cannot give away after three years! At that point, MB will either wake up or go out of the automobile business.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 07-11-2003, 01:04 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 12
refreshing honesty

Just a few days ago you crucified an individual for saying basically the same thing. It is about time someone said "the emperor has no clothes"
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Old 07-11-2003, 01:36 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,011
I recall reading in the last few days that Mercedes did very poorly in a recent JD Power survey - about 25th if I recall correctly. As far as I'm concerned, if you can't buy a new Merc with MB Tex you should shop other brands.

Maybe this should increase the value of our vintage models. Wishful thinking is suspect.

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Old 07-11-2003, 07:22 AM
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Old 07-11-2003, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,101
Good restraint on your part Larry.
'85 300SD (formerly california emissions)
'02 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
'04 VW Passat W8 (6spd manual) SOLD!!
'68/'69 Empi Imp body on '65 Beetle pan
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:05 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Don't forget the failures possible in surveys -- it is quite possible that brake pad replacements are causing the low rating, as most Japanese cars don't need them for 60,000 miles or more (a friend of mine got 120,000 miles on the original pads in his Toyota Avalon -- they actually outlasted the car since he got broadsided in it, drunk driver ran a red light. He does drive like an old man, since he is one, but still.....), while a Benz may need them at 20,000 mile intervals in heavy city driving. Dust on the wheels will cause all sorts of racket from the gated community crowd, since anything less that showroom new look makes them feel cheapened, sorta like they actually WORK for a living or something. American cars don't make much brake dust, and the fancy wheel covers hide what the do no "complaint".

Hummer H2s are getting enourmouns numbers of complaints, so they would rate very, very low -- and guess what they all are -- bad milage! Now who would be surprised that a 6000 lb 9ft wide knobbly tired square lump would't get better milage than the 6/8 mpg on the window sticker? But its still a "quality" complaint.

German cars require much more regular maintenance than a Japanese car that usually only requires oil changes and tires, everything else lasts 100,000 miles these days. MB's will require more regular maintenance, at more expense, but then you still have a better car at 200.000, at which point many of the Japanese cars have fallen apart. Age counts more than milage, unless abused, I think, as the 1990 Nissan I'm stuck with at work runs fine at 232,000 miles, but the suspenstion is gone -- shocks bad, bushings bad, etc. May be a real expensive fix at this point, while a Benz isn't too bad.

That said, the news from MB dealer serivce centers in big cities is that the newer ones are MUCH less reliable, and prone to very expensive failures. BMW and Audi ditto, it's mostly the electronic controls.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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