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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-25-2007, 12:15 PM
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Thats true but its a one time use. You get it when ordering the EIS and after you install the EIS you use the green key to program it to the car then return the green key back to parts kinda like a core charge. It is special order but so is the EIS vin specific.
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-25-2007, 01:34 PM
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Mike, I wouldn’t be going back and forth with these guys as to what’s “possibly” covered. I‘d look at the policy. If it appeared to me that I was covered, I’d hire an attorney - and based on yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article, it should be easy to find one – and cheap. I’d have the attorney look at the policy. If he said I was covered, I have him send a demand letter. If they (the extended warrantee company) planned on doing anything other than paying for ALL COVERED CHARGES, I’d let a Judge decide why I shouldn’t have what I paid for.

You paid for a policy. I’m pretty sure your policy doesn’t say a darned thing about green keys, signal acquisition modules, or drive authorization systems. It talks about subsystems, and exclusions. The subsystem is either excluded, or it’s not. If covered, then it’s not your problem. The dealer can ask for ten million dollars and it’s still not your problem. The Judge will decide who (the dealer or the huckster warrantee company) goes home unhappy. Yes, I’d name the dealer in the suit as well.

Why the dealer? Should it have taken 5 hours to find the problem? Have they seen this type of thing before? If so, was the tech with the most experience in this area called in to look at the problem? If he was, at what point was he called in (and was that point considered to be timely)? If the tech with the most experience in this area wasn’t called in, why is the client (you) being asked to pay for another tech's "on the job learning experience"?

You mentioned wanting to speak to the tech. I’m not sure what you would have said that would have increased the level of promptitude, but did you communicate whatever you would have said to the service writer? Did he forward that information to the tech? Be careful here, if you asked him to do something he wouldn’t have ordinarily done, and it turns out that was a waste of time, his time may equal your money. Of course, if you mentioned the failing part, and the service writer DIDN'T communicate that to the tech, why should you incur diagnostic fees when you identified the problem?

A good barrister can cut through a LOT of baloney.

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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-25-2007, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of good points, Marcus.

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Mike, I wouldn’t be going back and forth with these guys as to what’s “possibly” covered. I‘d look at the policy. If it appeared to me that I was covered, I’d hire an attorney - and based on yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article, it should be easy to find one – and cheap. I’d have the attorney look at the policy. If he said I was covered, I have him send a demand letter. If they (the extended warrantee company) planned on doing anything other than paying for ALL COVERED CHARGES, I’d let a Judge decide why I shouldn’t have what I paid for.
The policy covers "reasonable diagnostic charges, as determined by the Administrator [warranty company]" They say that a reasonable diagnostic charge for diagnosing a failed EIS is 1 hour according to the national labor guide. I have asked the dealer to explain that they were not diagnosing a failed EIS, they were diagnosing an unknown electrical draw that could have come from many different parts of the car and thus took longer to diagnose. It was determined to be the EIS only after the 5 hrs diagnostic time.

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You paid for a policy. I’m pretty sure your policy doesn’t say a darned thing about green keys, signal acquisition modules, or drive authorization systems. It talks about subsystems, and exclusions. The subsystem is either excluded, or it’s not. If covered, then it’s not your problem. The dealer can ask for ten million dollars and it’s still not your problem. The Judge will decide who (the dealer or the huckster warrantee company) goes home unhappy. Yes, I’d name the dealer in the suit as well.
The problem is that the contract only covers replacement of parts. The warrantee company is arguing that the green key is not a part, its software. (That is, it is not a part of the car that failed, its just something needed to reprogram the car.) I can see their point but am having the dealer try to argue it anyway since it is an actual physical object.

Not sure why I would try to sue the dealer. They have not done anything wrong (not that I have any evidence of anyway.)

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Why the dealer? Should it have taken 5 hours to find the problem? Have they seen this type of thing before? If so, was the tech with the most experience in this area called in to look at the problem? If he was, at what point was he called in (and was that point considered to be timely)? If the tech with the most experience in this area wasn’t called in, why is the client (you) being asked to pay for another tech's "on the job learning experience"?
It's a fairly obscure problem, and yes a more senior tech was called in fairly early in the process. I have no way to judge whether 5 hrs is reasonable or not. The service advisor claimed he had seen a similar problem take over 20 hrs to figure out.

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You mentioned wanting to speak to the tech. I’m not sure what you would have said that would have increased the level of promptitude, but did you communicate whatever you would have said to the service writer? Did he forward that information to the tech? Be careful here, if you asked him to do something he wouldn’t have ordinarily done, and it turns out that was a waste of time, his time may equal your money. Of course, if you mentioned the failing part, and the service writer DIDN'T communicate that to the tech, why should you incur diagnostic fees when you identified the problem?
No, I don't think communication issues were a problem here. I gave the service advisor all of the information I had, double-checked how he wrote it up, and am satisfied that the techs got all of the relevant information. Remember, I had no idea what part was responsible for the failure.
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-25-2007, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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I am not sure about your dealer but the green key is used to program the EIS and then returned to parts so you should not be charged for it.
I just asked about this and they said that the green key has to be custom-made for my car only and is thrown away afterwards (ie cannot be reused).

They also explained more about the diagnostic time, much of which was due to having to take apart a lot of the interior of the car to get at the various modules to test them.
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-25-2007, 03:59 PM
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The reason everyone gets sued is because if the warrantee company shows up in court and attempts to place the blame on a party that was unnamed in the suit, and the Judge agrees with what they say (and why wouldn't he, the dealer isn't there to defend themselves?), you will loose that case and be told to go after the dealer. In the second suit, the dealer will show up in court and prove everything they did was reasonable. Right about then it dawns on the plaintiff that they’ve been screwed out of legal fees for two court cases as well as the repair bill. Any attorney you retain will sue both parties.

Unless there is verbiage in the contract that states you "must" go to arbitration, "reasonable diagnostic charges" are the type of the thing the Judge would sort out. Even if the contract states you must go to arbitration, that’s better than the warrantee company deciding. The warrantee company is not a neutral party. Being partisan, they are biased. From a nonpartisan perspective, if the fees are reasonable, the warrantee company should pay them. If the fees are unreasonable the dealer cannot charge them. Either way you're covered. From the warrantee company's partisan perspective, their leanings are toward whatever costs them the least amount of money.
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-25-2007, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, I see what you mean about the suit. Now I understand why people often sue seemingly absurd parties.

To reiterate from above: The policy covers "reasonable diagnostic charges, as determined by the Administrator [warranty company]" So they are seemingly within their rights to use whatever method they want to determine what is "reasonable." They say they are using the national labor guide, although OTOH my SA at the dealer says there is no national labor guide for diagnostic work, just standard jobs such as replacing the EIS.
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 09-27-2007, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Got the car back today. $1700, of which the warranty only covers 700. I am still going to try to get them to pay for more diagnostic time but regardless of the outcome this car's days are numbered. Any opinions on the 90s E-class wagons (300E)? My SA claims they are pretty bulletproof and some came with 4matic.

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Thats true but its a one time use. You get it when ordering the EIS and after you install the EIS you use the green key to program it to the car then return the green key back to parts kinda like a core charge. It is special order but so is the EIS vin specific.
You were right; no charge for the green key. My advisor just found this out today.
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-02-2007, 01:03 PM
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wow, you paid way too much. I am having the same problem that you had, the car didn't recognize the key when the car was cold. I called a mercedes/bmw shop and they said that the green key is $200 and the eis is about $400 and 2 hours of labor. They said it will be about $850 out the door.
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-02-2007, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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How did your mechanic know right away that it was the EIS and not something else? On my car, all they could tell initially was that there was an electrical draw coming from somewhere. It took 7.1 hrs at $124/hr to diagnose the problem and figure out it was the EIS. That's most of the reason why mine cost so much more.
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-05-2007, 01:07 AM
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They said that it is a common problem on mercedes. They said that they have done it before many times.
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