Date registered: Aug 2011
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How common are failed transmissions on Mercedes?
I have a 1999 E430 that I bought brand new and have followed the maintenance programs and recommendations for the entire time I have owned the car. I have to check my records, but I believe I just had the B Service performed on the car in the past couple of months. I have a little over 140,000 miles on the car, and it has generally been in excellent driving condition.
Two days ago, while stopped at a light, in 97 degrees outside temperature, when I tried to accelerate, there was a sharp thud like I had hit something, the car jumped a couple of times, and then it no longer appeared that I could accelerate. I had the car towed to a dealership, they did their tests, and they said I not only need to replace the transmission, the torque converter, and the control module ($6800), but that I had about $5000 more work that also urgently needed to be done. They said that the probable cause was that there was an oil leak that leaked oil into the control module area - they also noted that there were metal shavings in the pan.
I called my regular service center (not a dealer) to get their input, they said they thought they could bring my car back to life for what I would think would be a more reasonable price, so I had the car towed to be examined there again.
My primary question is: is it a known problem that despite following all recommended servicing for my car, the transmission can have a catastrophic failure? I find it hard to believe that a company like Mercedes would say that that is normal wear and tear.
Thanks in advance for your input.