Cheap Plastics In Newer Mercedes - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Cheap Plastics In Newer Mercedes

For 10 years I've owned Mercedes. I started with an 80 300TD, then to 91SD, 91SDL and now a nice 95 E350 Convertible. I spend quite a bit of time either doing repairs myself or having repairs done at a shop here (not dealer) who is fairly reasonable. I see many of the V12's in his shop which are "frequent flyers". Seems they are constantly in need of expensive repairs.

Since I have an interest in MB cars, I've noticed that on the newer ones the plastic seems to be really short-lived. The headlight lenses seem to cloud up within 4 years of new. I think this is a very big blemish on the MB name. If they had any pride, they would offer to change them all with new ones at no charge to the current owner whether they are the ones who purchased them new or not. Other plastic parts are just as bad becoming brittle and cracking after just a few years. I know that on my convertible the ASR had to be replaced because they tried an "environmentally friendly" plastic insulation that resulted in the insulation completely deteriorating after 14 years. I have the old one here and have cut it open. It's amazing that a company with a reputation to uphold would make such absolute CRAP. They should admit their mistakes and replace all such parts without cost to the vehicle owners as a "recall" for poor material performance. I've noticed a trend with the newer cars I see where plastic trim pieces broken or missing.

MB, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED of how you've let the quality fade...
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 01:55 PM
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It seems like the late 80's were really the last of the bullet proof Mercedes. They let the quality slip with 90's/ early 2000's models, but are begining to get better now.

Let's hope that they bring the reputation back up to the old bullet proof luxury cars that they once were.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 02:11 PM
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it is horrible all over. A lot of the "new" genuine parts are now made in crap countries and are of crap quality. Half the time they dont even fit.

If you have spare $ and come across good stuff made in germany, don't think but pick it up. Because when you need to replace it, the new one will likely be made in pakistan and not fit.

Pretty much makes me want to buy a toyota. They aren't precise enough to worry about such issues

Concidentally i see a lot of indies avoid working on cars later than the 80s. I am beginning to understand why. The parts are crap, the newer you go..

vw phaeton. when vw copies mercedes, but forces you to service it next to golfs and jettas
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by 1984babybenz View Post
It seems like the late 80's were really the last of the bullet proof Mercedes. They let the quality slip with 90's/ early 2000's models, but are begining to get better now.

Let's hope that they bring the reputation back up to the old bullet proof luxury cars that they once were.
Have you seen headlight doors (plastic part) on those MB from 1980's?
Sure the older car had more metal parts and metal will outlast the plastic time-wise, but consider that in 1980 a Mercedes cost almost the same what California median house. Now, even the real estate took nose-dive the median house in CA is about $200,000.
Than making curved headlights with glass is almost impossible. Use of plastic allows the shapes unthinkable in the past.
Than if somebody is complaining that 12 years old car is having aging issues, I always take it with a grain of salt.

Last edited by Kajtek1; 03-16-2011 at 02:46 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 04:48 PM
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Plastic parts on my 2001 SL600 started breaking 3 or 4 years ago. Top pull down handle, sunvisor base plates & trunk fuse box cover. I have had the headlights buffed out twice 2010 & 2007. Crazy on a $132,000 car. It still drives great!

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 10:07 PM
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OH, well, I am on 3rd keypad on my laptop and couple of the keys are not working again. Not to mention the touch pad is wear out to the degree, that shows different color plastic under the top layer. 7 motherboards were replaced under the warranty.
Where do I complain? It is Dell....only 1/2 the age of our family Mercedes.

Last edited by Kajtek1; 03-16-2011 at 10:09 PM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 10:47 PM
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nowhere. it's a dell.

vw phaeton. when vw copies mercedes, but forces you to service it next to golfs and jettas
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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Well I expect better from a company whose reputation is one of quality. My 95 Cabriolet is one of the last hand-built cars and even it had some serious plastic issues. I'm not sure that MB can recover since they no longer manufacture all their parts. Once you let your parts out to cheap sources, it's hard to bring them back home without a substantial increase in cost. In this current market, any increase in price will kill your sales...
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 08:24 AM
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No matter what car you drive, if you park it in the shade, or use sun shade, the car's plastic will last longer.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:14 AM
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Ditto to mbvis. I use a windshield sun shade and also have the powered rear window one. Plus at home it is under the carport. Sun exposure also damages the rubber seals and the black "anodized" trim pieces. Eventually it will fade the paint too.

Mercedes Benz - Das beste oder nichts!
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