Date registered: Dec 2006
Vehicle: R Class
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Dealer Makes Me Feel Guilty For Warranty Repair
Shortly after taking delivery of my new MB I noticed that the factory installed optional wood/leather steering wheel had scratches at the "10" and "2" positions on the rim. I am the only one who drives the vehicle and I wear a very simple/plain wedding band that could not have caused these scratches. In addition, I traded in a MB with the same optional wood/leather steering wheel that I drove for a few years without causing any steering wheel scratches. The dealer did finally agree to replace the wheel under warranty after I persisted. I dropped off and picked up the vehicle last week with the new steering wheel installed. Now, believe it or not I noticed (felt) another scratch in the wood portion of the wheel at the 3 O'clock position of the wheel. I didn't notice this immediately as I was focused on the area where the other scratches were. I brought the vehicle back in to the dealer and had the service manager examine the wheel. He agrees that the scratch appears to be "old" and has agreed to replace the wheel. However, he says that this will be the last time as Mercedes will not replace it again.
I should have inspected the replacement wheel very thoroughly and not just in the areas where I was most concerned. I will do so when the next wheel is installed. I still don't like the perception by the dealer that you are guilty until proven innocent but I guess that is life. I thought about trying to live with the problem, (after all I went from two scratches to only one) but is it wrong to expect a component as important tactilely as a steering wheel to be defect free? For those who remember what it was like when we were toddlers and lost a tooth, remember how impossible it was to keep our tongues from probing the missing tooth area? It was exactly the same problem with keeping my hands away from the scratched area of the steering wheel once it was discovered!
Bottom line, inspect your vehicle thoroughly when you pick it up after being serviced or repaired. And finally, pay extra close attention to Mercedes Steering wheels before taking delivery!