2001 S430 Rust - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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2001 S430 Rust

I have a 2001 S430 that is rusting all over the body, beginning with a bubbling and then unsightly rust spots all over the car. Having spoken to MB dealers they are telling me that it will cost approx $8-10,000 to address and then may re-appear in 6-12 in areas that are untreated. Has anyone heard of this probelm before and does anyone have any ideas as to how to approach MB with this problem? Further, can anyone suggest where I could go to get additional information on the pervasiveness of this problem? I don't think that I am alone on this.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 12:22 PM
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you sure your car wan't repainted after accident ?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Carfax said no. I have been told by both a dealer and a well regarded collision repair firm locally that the problem is due to when the paint was applied in the factory to the metal body. The corrision is on every panel.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 01:09 PM
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While it might be a bit late for a 2001 model, I would talk to a couple of independent repair appraisers and have them assess the cause of the rust AND the cost to repair. Depending on their analysis and advice you might have recourse.

There are ways to determine if a car has had damage repair and a respray by looking at the paint and the body panels.

Now you didn't fill out your profile so we don't know where you are. You might be in a high acid rain area or near a chemical plant or park your car right next to a major highway and just not wash/wax it enough to protect it from the elements but those factors will go toward a determination.

Since you have already talked to the dealer, leave them out of the next level of investigation. They will not necessarily be helpful in making a determination as to why paint failed, as an example. It would cause them problems.

And don't take the word of CarFax, it is not really worth much as dealers know how to hide expensive damage that never sees any CarFax report.

Good luck.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 11:52 AM
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I have the same problem on my E320, and I saw another E320 that was rusting at the seams in the dealer's lot.

My Mercedes dealer admitted to me that this was a factory problem and offered $3,000 toward fixing it. The body shop told me the same thing yours did -- that the rust is coming from the inside due to lack of proper preparation of the body; that the problem would cost up to twice that to fix and could very well return on any parts not replaced.

I think we should sue Mercedes. Did you know that Toyota trucks from the 1990's have a similar problem and Toyota is paying $10,000 apiece to buy them back?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jdnh View Post
My Mercedes dealer admitted to me that this was a factory problem and offered $3,000 toward fixing it.
Your dealer's statement more likely reflected their opinion than MBUSA admission of a "factory problem" and unless the $3K was going to come from MBUSA, rather than the dealership, then it was just "customer relations" by the dealership to make the offer.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 02:07 PM
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Rust on 98-2004 MBs has been a huge issue in the UK (and, I think, Germany)
Anyway MB have to some extent caved in in the UK and are offering repairs on cars up to 7 years old. (For some benighted reason MB dropped galvanising for those years).

Try leaning on MBUSA and search the web for other owners in a similar position.
Bigger groups have more clout.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 05:12 PM
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It's very common in the North. When I used to work at the dealer, I saw lots of early W210's and early W220's come in with serious rust issues. If you are thinking of putting 6-10k into the car then you are crazy. If your dealer won't stand behind the shotty product then get rid of it. The cheap Chrysler build quality shows loud and clear on those cars. They cut corners everywhere, including rust prevention.
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