Date registered: Nov 2006
Vehicle: 2003 S55, 2004 SL55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Gabe: In defense of the person with the 9 year old rust problem, 9 years would have been a good life expectency for a 1960-1970 vehicle before they started getting serious about corrosion prevention. But a 10 year old vehicle should not be rusted to the point of failure. 20 years, maybe. 10 years, no. There still seems to be a perception with American car buyers that a vehicle is worn out at 100k miles, when most vehicles will easily go 200k. The days of engine rebuiding are gone - now the engine outlasts the chassis. There was a time that wrecking yards kept their engines sorted on racks for resale. Now they are left in the car.
The electricals are the current demon and it takes courage and faith to own an electrically complicated vehicle beyond 12 year or so. But all that aside, I own my 7th Benz and I will buy #8. But that does not mean I am happy with the decline in quality. The words "airmatic", "insturment panel", and "harmonic balancer" are still not happy words. I once owned a 15 year old 450SLC. Now I realize that the 87 500SEL was that last car I kept 3 years beyond the warranty. I just bought a used S55 and the first thing I did was add an extended warranty. If reliability were truly in the owners hands, vacuum assist closers and window motors would never fail if you always closed the door gently. Unfortunately, the items that are hurting MB's quality the most are not the engines and transmissions where lack of oil changes does play a part. It is the failure of the items installed as convenience features. How did I abuse my 2000 S500 to make the dash fail at 52,000 miles (2000 out of warranty) and wind up with a repair bil of $1900.00 on a $30,000.00 car. That's over 6% of the value of the car to fix something that has finally been acknowledged as being a problem. How did I cause the airmatic fittings to crack? And should I lose sleep wondering how I caused the balancer to fail?
I'm sorry, but while I still drive a Benz, I am disappointed in the decline in quality and resulting drop in resale values. I'm a used car buyer, so it is much less brutal for me. I don't mind paying less significantly less that half (53k against 119K) for a 3 year old 35,000 mile vehicle. I only hope that in 3 years, I can get more than half of my cost back. I just hope Mercedes has figured out that "quality is king" in the market place. If GM had built decent cars, Toyota would still be fighting for market share. But when I look at the new S-class vehicles in the showroom and see that Mercedes just could not resist trying to copy both BMW's I-Drive and Chris Bangle's styling, I really wonder if anyone is paying attention. If I wanted a bustle on my trunk, I'd own a 1980 Cadillac Seville.