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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Million dollar mile

Car dealer sues Mercedes as $1.7 million CLK-GTR wont travel 10 blocks - Casanova Cars
LA based car dealer Mark Johnston bought the car of his dreams a Mercedes AMG CLK-GTR Limited Edition Roadster for $ 1.7 million. Only 5 of these speed machines were made and this baby had entered the Guiness book of records as the most expensive production car. Mr Johnston was the proud owner of the only CLK-GTR in North America. The silver AMG Roadster is a product of DaimlerChrysler’s long collaboration with H.W.A. and Mercedes-AMG, two German manufacturers of racing and high-end performance vehicles. But the car proved to be an expensive peice of scrap metal as after crusing in it for the first time after covering 10 city blocks the oil light came up which has not been fixed yet. After this the roadster’s transmission failed to shift properly. Additionally, the hydraulic jack system failed and the windows became unglued, Mercedes sent and engineer from Germany who dismantled the car and took with him a number of parts to Germany to never install them again.

When Los Angeles car dealer Mark Johnston forked over $1.7 million to buy one of only five special Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR roadsters produced in the world, he could not have predicted the long struggle he was about to face. Johnston claims he and his brother couldn’t get it to travel more than ten blocks. Accordingly, he has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking a full refund from the manufacturer and its affiliates. The defendants named in the suit are DaimlerChrysler and its Mercedes-Benz subsidiary.

Mr. Johnston’s suit, brought by law firm Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., accuses the defendants of breaching their contractual and warranty obligations to provide a defect-free car, in this case a Mercedes AMG CLK-GTR Limited Edition Roadster, which Mr. Johnston intended to sell through his dealership. The complaint also alleges negligent misrepresentation and breach of the implied warranty of good faith and fair dealing. Mr. Johnston seeks full reimbursement of the vehicle’s purchase price, along with the other costs incurred as a result of attempts to repair it.

The silver AMG Roadster is a product of DaimlerChrysler’s long collaboration with H.W.A. and Mercedes-AMG, two German manufacturers of racing and high-end performance vehicles. Only five of the AMG roadsters were reportedly made; Mr. Johnston owns the only one in North America. The AMG CLK-GTR is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive production car ever made. The two-door sports car is made of carbon fiber monocoque with an integrated steel roll cage and front energy absorbing crash box. The 6.9-liter engine has a 12-cylinder, 60 degree V-motor, enabling the car to go from zero to 124 mph in 9.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 198.4 mph.

Mr. Johnston and his brother Ernest own Grand Prix Motors, a car dealership in the Mar Vista section of Los Angeles. The two former auto mechanics have extensive experience working on Ferraris and other top performing vehicles and are very knowledgeable about collectible cars. Grand Prix contracted to purchase the Mercedes AMG in 2002 for the hefty price tag of $1.7 million. Their intention was to sell the vehicle through their dealership, as they had done with other rare and vintage automobiles.

“The car was absolutely gorgeous and we were excited about offering what we thought was a true gem to our customer base,” Mark Johnston explained. “Unfortunately, the car turned out to be ‘exotic’ in the worst possible way. When we took it off the lot in 2004 for its first customer test drive, Ernie drove the car all of ten blocks with a prospective buyer when the oil light came on. We’ve been trying to get it fixed ever since, but the Mercedes folks have refused to stand behind the car as promised in our contract.”

According to the complaint, the roadster’s transmission failed to shift properly. Additionally, the hydraulic jack system failed and the windows became unglued. In 2005, the defendants dispatched a technician from Germany to examine the car in 2005; after dismantling it, the mechanic returned to Germany with a number of parts that were never reinstalled. Mr. Johnston asserts that the defendants later instructed Grand Prix to transport the non-working car to a Mercedes facility in Lake Park, Florida, which Grand Prix did at an additional cost of $10,000.

Although the Mercedes technicians determined that the car suffered an oil-pressure related engine failure and needed a new engine, the defendants were unwilling to make any repairs. The complaint asserts that the defendants were aware that several of the other Mercedes AMG roadsters in circulation had oil pressure-related problems.

“Mr. Johnston has exhausted himself trying to get Mercedes and the other defendants to recognize their warranty obligations,” said John O’Malley, the Fulbright & Jaworski partner in Los Angeles who is representing Grand Prix Motors. “You’d think you’d be able to drive a $1.7 million car more than 10 blocks.”

“We continue to be dumbfounded by the unwillingness DaimlerChrysler, Mercedes and the other defendants have shown in owning up to the problems of their vehicle — the other manufacturers we deal with would never operate this way,” explained Mr. Johnston. “It’s unfortunate the defendants have forced us to bring a lawsuit in order to have our contract honored. We obviously cannot sell the car in its current condition, which right now represents nearly $2 million of scrap metal.”
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 07:00 PM
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That fine Chrysler build quality is really starting to show.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 08:22 PM
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Cars do break down, especially in prototype stage.
Customer service ignoring customers will not last long.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 08:33 PM
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Well, AMG has had a history of Oil problems with their cars. The recent being excessive Consumption with the 6.3's (they're actually 6.2L but don't tell them that!) There's an AMG exclusive dealer in Florida that, well, elusively sells AMG's and nothing more. Rumor has it they've been pulling and dropping in new motors from AMG left and right due to this consumption issue.

As for MB not following up, engineers never returning with parts they took, etc. This all sounds almost too shady to be true! This is not the MB we all know and trust....is it??? Sure hope not
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2008, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.xpowerseller View Post
That fine Chrysler build quality is really starting to show.
yep. i owned a chrysler car for 20 minutes...until it blew up. went to a ford and had 100K miles driven in 2.5 years on it very trouble free other than an oil pan gasket leak, a rack and pinion (that was damaged in the cars near totalling accident), and a water pump that started to leak at 110K miles. which i must say for a POS brand of car (ford taurus) it lasted well considering it was abused as much as a NYC cop car was!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 12:16 AM
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=( Now thats a really sad story...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 02:25 PM
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Talking

Shoulda' got the coupe.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 03:46 PM
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I'm not blaming Chrysler for this pos Mercedes. But I do see why Mercedes continues to increase its use of robots for production.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 09:56 AM
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This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Most cars at this level are problematic at best. Crap I remember the old joke that with every Lambo you get a complimentary flat bed (countach days)!!! Even the Mclaren F1 comes with it's own tools and must be serviced every (I am not 100% sure about thE milage) 5,000 miles which costs close to 10,000. Now the engine blowing, Well that sounds a little suspect (more like driver error) but we will never really know what went on!!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 10:01 AM
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Mercedes and Jag should also offer free flatbed towing. The last C240 and X-type that I leased spent time on flatbeds courtesy of AAA.

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