Inferior Mercedes "German Engineering" - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Inferior Mercedes "German Engineering"

I just had to bring this up in a die hard mercedes forum. I have been a long time car enthusiast and a student of engineering (with a w126 in the family, a nice car). What I don't understand is the constant reference to superior german engineering, especially in regards to mercedes. From all the sources I can find, Mercedes reliability and quality has been terrible across the model range and amongst the worst in the world. This is in stark contrast to japanese auto companies such as toyota/lexus and honda/acura. Isn't it logical to conclude that Mercedes designs inferior cars in terms of engineering quality and performance and that Toyota/Lexus does a much better job at it? The way I see it, if you produce a machine that constantly fails or breaks down then its design is poor and flawed and I believe this is the case with the majority of Mercedes products.
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post #2 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 05:19 PM
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I don't know what you are stirring for but yes there is a significant argument for what you are saying. It depends what you call inferior. Mercedes are made of much better materials but what is the point if the car spends more time in the workshop rather than on the road. However the mercedes quality is supposed to be comming back. Lets hope so.
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post #3 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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What do you mean "much better materials" ? Are you referring to the body structure, or the interior or what? Obviously these "better materials" are failing at a high rate. If you are referring to the interior I think Lexus has interiors that are atleast as good as MB. By inferior engineering I mean hardware/software/mechanical designs that are flawed because they are prone to failure.
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post #4 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by amit1
What do you mean "much better materials" ? Are you referring to the body structure, or the interior or what? Obviously these "better materials" are failing at a high rate. If you are referring to the interior I think Lexus has interiors that are atleast as good as MB. By inferior engineering I mean hardware/software/mechanical designs that are flawed because they are prone to failure.
Things like the leather and the interior fit and finish have in my opinion always been better in cars like Mercedes, BMW and Jag etc. Some cars seem to be overly problamatic. However that being said MB is always pushing ahead and to assume that they would get every innovation right 100% of the time is a bit too much to ask. To be honest though we know a few people that have W220 and another person who owns a W140 and they have had no problems with those cars other than general wear and tear. I don't really think it is amatter of design flaw but of qualitity control more and more lemons seem to have been getting through the system in the last few years.
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post #5 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 05:56 PM
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true mercedes lovers have faith in mercedes past and future designs and engineering, mercedes has made durable and luxury cars in the past, their reliabilty may have slipped a bit but i trust theyll regain their footing, so amit you can go back to your honda owners forum if you hate mercedes so much, id hate to see what Dr.Z would do to you if he read your above quote
post #6 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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I am trying to base my opinion on facts, not emotional out bursts. I think it is a fact that toyota/honda have better engineered designs than mercedes. The proof is in the owner satisfaction and overall superb reliability of these cars (especially lexus) when compared to mercedes/bmw/vw. Also if you go to http://www.mercedes-benz-usa.com you can see many complaints on the high failure rates I'm talking about compounded by poor customer service. Also according to several quality surveys, mercedes is ranked amongst the worst in reliability. Yes I do believe that older mercedes designs were good such as the w126 which I drive on occasion but currently the situation has become bad.

Once again, the basic question is what seperates the Lexus LS430 from the Mercedes S430? Its the huge gap in reliabilty between the two vehicles that I'm talking about. And this applies to all the German manufacturers, MB,BMW,and VW. "German Engineering" is suffering it seems and I wonder why.
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post #7 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by amit1
I am trying to base my opinion on facts, not emotional out bursts. I think it is a fact that toyota/honda have better engineered designs than mercedes. The proof is in the owner satisfaction and overall superb reliability of these cars (especially lexus) when compared to mercedes/bmw/vw. Also if you go to http://www.mercedes-benz-usa.com you can see many complaints on the high failure rates I'm talking about compounded by poor customer service. Also according to several quality surveys, mercedes is ranked amongst the worst in reliability. Yes I do believe that older mercedes designs were good such as the w126 which I drive on occasion but currently the situation has become bad.

Once again, the basic question is what seperates the Lexus LS430 from the Mercedes S430? Its the huge gap in reliabilty between the two vehicles that I'm talking about. And this applies to all the German manufacturers, MB,BMW,and VW. "German Engineering" is suffering it seems and I wonder why.
All I'm gonna say is that it's very easy to build a reliable and cheap car when you can just pull apart the cars of another producer, then copy and simplify the internal workings rather than design from sctrach new innovative automotive technology.
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post #8 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by amit1
I just had to bring this up in a die hard mercedes forum. I have been a long time car enthusiast and a student of engineering (with a w126 in the family, a nice car). What I don't understand is the constant reference to superior german engineering, especially in regards to mercedes. From all the sources I can find, Mercedes reliability and quality has been terrible across the model range and amongst the worst in the world. This is in stark contrast to japanese auto companies such as toyota/lexus and honda/acura. Isn't it logical to conclude that Mercedes designs inferior cars in terms of engineering quality and performance and that Toyota/Lexus does a much better job at it? The way I see it, if you produce a machine that constantly fails or breaks down then its design is poor and flawed and I believe this is the case with the majority of Mercedes products.
No. You are wrong. Reliability is complex. In Germany they record all breakdowns and cars that need roadside assistance. Mercedes came out best of all makes i.e. has the least breakdowns. I've had 11 Mercs over 20 years or more. Never broken down. But I have had niggles that mean visiting a dealer.

In the UK, What Car magazine collected data from the biggest fleet operator with over 30,000 vehicles. The least breakdowns was the C class mercedes.

Nearly every major European Car magazine rated the S class the 'Best Saloon Car in the World'. Go to the Autocar website and read the review on the 220 series S320cdi for a flavour.

The E class has been shown to be the safest car on the roads in America. The average car has NINE times as many deaths per million miles as the E class. Guess what was the safest large luxury class car. Yes, the Mercedes S class.

NCAP rates cars in Europe for safety. Safest small family car: Mercedes A class. Which Magazine in UK rates the safest family sized car: the Mercedes B class.

The leather on the steering wheel on my car is hand stitched and on all Mercedes. The walnut is carefully selected Californian walnut for the beautiful grain. But not just beauty: it goes through numerous processes to make sure it won't splinter in a crash.

Just go drive an S class and tell me if there is any other saloon car in the world that comes even close.
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post #9 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 06:33 PM
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Mercedes engineering is wayyyy superior to that of Toyota and Lexus. Most of the breakdowns you refer to are mainly electrical. As hawk20 said, Mercedes makes arguably THE SAFEST vehicles on the road.

Go close the doors on an S-Class and on an LS, and tell us which one you think is better?

And I like what NZ benz said. Mercedes invented the gasoline automobile. Mercedes has a long history of automobile making and engineering. Mercedes-Benz has over 100 years compared to Toyota's 10 years. Have you seen the long list of innovations that Mercedes has compared to the list of innovations that Toyota/Lexus has? I'd rather be in the original, than a cheap knockoff.

You also have to remember that Mercedes doesn't make the parts that fail. Blame the parts manufactuers, not Mercedes.

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Last edited by asianml; 08-01-2006 at 06:38 PM.
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post #10 of 93 (permalink) Old 08-01-2006, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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asianml, what are you basing your statement on when you say mercedes has "wayyyyy" superior engineering? How can this be true when toyota/lexus cars are much more reliable mechancially and electronically than their merdeces counterparts. I don't think there is any way you can back this statement up. On the safety note I do agree that mercedes makes a vehicle that can do well in accidents, but so do several other manufacturers.

NZ Benz, what you said about other companies copying and improving on mercedes derived technology is interesting. I suppose this could explain it but can you point to something specifically that was copied by japanese auto makers from mercedes (other than safety related tech like airbags etc.)? What I doubt in your argument is the extent of copying. I seriously doubt that if you took apart an LS and an S-class that you would find copies of driveline components for example.
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