Date registered: Dec 2008
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Frustrated and Disappointed....
My wife and I purchased our first (and probably last) 2000 Mercedes Benz, S430 in December of 1999. We loved the change they made to the body for that model year, and purchased it fully loaded. For someone who usually purchased lower cost USA made cars, this was a big deal for us. The car was for my wife and she was so excited to finally own what we thought was the best car made in the world. Well, I've been reading horror stories from a lot of other MB owners, and it appears we've joined the club of "Disappointed MB Owners", who have problems with RUST. It started over 5 years ago, and when we brought it to our dealers attention, they said they couldn't do anything about it. This rust problem has been eating at me all this time. In our case, the rust is around the bottom of the doors, and around the fender wells. It's all rust coming from the inside out too, which would indicate that MB did not properly treat the metal they used to build this car.
I've just now learned that Toyota had a similar problem with vehicles they made between 1995 and 2000 (if I recall). However, they've decided to honor all rust complaints by either fixing the problem or buying the vehicles back from their customers. But with the MB Organization, they just say, "Sorry, it's not our problem, but maybe we can make you a deal on a new MB instead." How stupid do I look? Why would I buy another car from a manufacturer that won't stand behind the one I already purchased?
If MB wants to stay in business, they should do what Toyota is doing. Fix, replace, or buy back any vehicle with rust (but at the value the car would be worth if it didn't have the rust). Clearly, MB did not use galvanized steel (which was the problem Toyota said they had with some of their vehicles).
My wife and I have moved from IL to CO now, and we're trying to work with another Dealer out here who is trying to work with us to get the MB Factory Rep. to see and understand that this shouldn't be our problem. They're going to do their best to get them to fix the problem (although I'm not very optimistic that it can be fixed). I think it's like cancer. You might fix what's visual today, but it's just going to keep coming back.
Another thing that's really sad is that the car is only worth $7,400 today as a trade in...... Maybe!
I also read today that in England, MB has a 30 year Rust Warranty. Why there and not here in the USA? I dealt with one dealer who said the MB rust warranty was for 4 years. Then another dealer told us that MB has an 8 year, or 80K mile warranty. Then later came back and said, well, they really don't have a rust warranty! Can that be?
We now have 130K miles on our car. It's not the miles that put rust on the car, nor is it the years. It's the bad metal that was used to make the car in the first place.
All MB owners need to band together to convince the MB Management Team that they need to do what Toyota has done. Back up their product. They need to acknowledge they had a problem and make it right. Or, forget about selling to repeat customers. Most of my friends who owned a Mercedes Benz have now gone to Lexus in order to buy a well made Luxury Car.
It's bad enough that my wife keeps paying over $2500 every time she takes this car in for service. I wouldn't mind it as much if she wasn't just putting money into a dead horse. (If the body wasn't rusting, I'd continue to maintain our S430 with a smile on my face).
Does anyone else out there have the same feelings as I do?