NEED ADVICE ON HOW TO PROCEED - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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NEED ADVICE ON HOW TO PROCEED

Hi all,
I am posting here because I need advice on how to proceed and I am very upset. A week ago, I went to go to work and the key on my 2000 e320 wagon would not budge. I have never had any issues with this car. I called my indie mechanic (who only works on MB) and had it flatbeded to him. He called me and said he thinks it is the EIS and that he has to tow it to the dealership bc he's not allowed to work on this part. (He later told me I will owe him $70 for the tow) That was mon. evening. My guy told me that he has a relationship with the MB service and I would probably be saved several hundred dollars, lower parts/hourly--I just have to pay the bill when I pick up my car and tip the service manager. By wednesday, my car wasn't finished and I was upset. I have 3 kids and a job and need a car. I called my mechanic and freaked out a little at one of his guys, I threatened to send a flatbed over there to get my damn car. My guy called me back yelling at me that he is trying to save me some money and that he's at the mercy of MB. I calmed down, and apologized and so did he. On friday, I still have no car and find out that the new EIS didn't work and now they think it's the steering lock. OK. I rented a car so I could work. My guy told me NOT to go down there but today, I pulled up to see if my car was in the bays, I saw the MB service mgr and told him I'm the wagon owner and he said, basically, that it wasn't the EIS and that the part isn't returnable. I asked how much that part was he said 650 and and additional 300 for the key. I said, why would I be expected to pay for that--my guy told me you were going to diagnose the problem. He got huffy, basically saying that my guy has "pulled this shit on him once before" and that he has my guy on recording. Anyway, I never signed anything with my guy or MB, don't feel like I should pay for an EIS if that isn't the problem. I also have an uneasy feeling about the service manager--he started saying my car has "a lot of electrical problems" --which it NEVER has. Anyway, I'm a woman and I'm very technical and not stupid but I feel like this is getting out of control. I want my car back, for starters--I certainly don't want my guy to be stuck with a 1K part, but I'm not paying for it either. I don't know what to do at this point. My guy will be pissed if he knows I talked to the service manager, and the SM doesn't seem to like my guy right now. Anyway, I'm thinking of contacting someone high up at MB corporate if I have to, I need my car and I feel like I'm about to be screwed. PS-I never signed any estimate and I specifically asked my guy prior to anything "what if it isn't the EIS?" he said "they will diagnose whatever the problem is"
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 11:58 AM
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The solution would be simpler if it wasn't for the secretive nature of it. I wonder what sh*t your guy has pulled on the SM once before? And I find the dealer's misdiagnosis appalling. And you certainly should NOT have to pay for a part that wasn't needed.

First of all, don't worry about your guy getting pissed that you spoke to the SM. What's done is done and MB still has your car correct? Now you are dealing with MB on this. MB has zone managers that you can get involved but it will be easier and quicker if the dealer requests help from him or her. So you need to keep the dealer on your side, if at all possible.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 01:15 PM
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The problem could be fixed as simply as with a new battery or it can get very complicated up to the steering lock mechanism to the EIS.
Electrical part is not returnable.
No written contract, no liability. You don't have to pay for anything if they misdiagnose but no contract works the other way, too. They can sabotage your car and they're not liable for any damage.
Right now, is the relationship between you and the "my guy" worth $500 or $1000?
How much is the "my guy"'s relationship with the service manager worth?
No one knows.
All that aside. Stay calm, take things as they come. I think you should just let the "my guy" deal with the service manager about the EIS/key. Wait to see what they'll say. At best, the service manager/dealer can re-box the EIS, keep it to use on their next "victim". About the $300 key, you and the "my guy" may have to split the cost.
Worst case: After your small claim court's victory, the "my guy" will become your "my enemy". You'll never take your car to that dealer for anything. benzworld is where you'll hang out.
Lesson to all MB owners: If the car that you bought came with only one key, please buy a second key ASAP; it's only $275 but can save big headache in the future.

Last edited by mbvis; 05-01-2012 at 01:20 PM.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by milesaway View Post
Hi all,
I am posting here because I need advice on how to proceed and I am very upset. A week ago, I went to go to work and the key on my 2000 e320 wagon would not budge. "
If your key will not turn, it means that the Drive Authorization System is not happy. It could be the IR transponder in the key, it could be the transponder coil in the ignition switch (L11), it could be the IR DAS control module (N54/1).

Did you try your spare key?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 05:20 PM
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Good point keyhole, that would be the most logical first step.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 05:53 PM
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Well, let's see.

We have no idea where you are, since you neither put that in your profile nor in your thread.

And I realize you're upset, but if you REALLY want people to read what you write, give them a little incentive and hit that "enter" key on your keyboard and break things up into legible paragraphs. That helps A LOT. Reading 600 words all crammed into one paragraph is an arduous task --and one that shouldn't be necessary, either.

If you're in the US and in a jurisdiction that has adopted the UCC, the dealer has what is known as a mechanic's lien. Which means he does not have to release the car -- to anyone -- unless he has been paid what he says is due. Whether that money comes from you, "your guy" or some random joe walking down the street is irrelevant. The bottom line is that if that whatever number the dealer says, it has to be paid before he is required to relinquish the car. And no, so long as he was acting in good faith (and you won't be able to prove otherwise, since you didn't even talk with the dealer until well into this nightmare) it doesn't matter if you signed something or not.

If you feel you've been screwed by one or more of these people, your remedy -- after you get your car back -- is to sue them, together, assuming you live someplace that the population is allowed to do so. Whether you can use a small claims court also depends on where you live.

That aside, your first priority should be getting the car fixed. In your shoes I would call "your guy" and tell him you don't care what he does, but since he gave the dealer the business, he needs to do everything in his power to see that your car is fixed. PERIOD. If he balks at that, then he's already told you what kind of businessman he is, so that relationship is (or should be) finished.

At that point you are left negotiating with the dealer, and you're not in a position of power here. First, as noted, you came late to this party and apparently you've never given them any business before, so they aren't too worried about reputation or good will with you (that's just reality, I'm not trying to be difficult). Be open and frank, ask to speak with the service manager. Let him/her know that you've been shafted by your guy and left out to twist in the wind, share that you understand they are caught in the middle, too, but really, at this point you just want your car to work. Basically implore them to finish the diagnosis and repair so you can get your car back.

And while you have gotten some good and potentially useful technical information in this thread, unless you're going to go get your car and start working on it yourself, it's all kind of ho-hum. The dealer has (or should have) the ability to test and diagnose the issues until the problem is solved. And you can call MB corporate if you like, but you're talking about a 12+ YO car that is at an independent dealer; be prepared to get pretty much nothing.

All of that said, it doesn't take an awful lot to wreak electrical havoc with these cars. A shorted battery or alternator (or failed ground strap) might trigger a cascade of issues, and merely jump starting it (or jumping another car) incorrectly can cost you an arm and a leg. Diagnosing such issues can also be painful, particularly if there is any information you might have withheld.

In any event, again, the key (no pun intended) is to get your car fixed. Once you get your car back in working condition, then you can worry about unraveling the rest of the mess.

Good luck.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyhole View Post
If your key will not turn, it means that the Drive Authorization System is not happy. It could be the IR transponder in the key, it could be the transponder coil in the ignition switch (L11), it could be the IR DAS control module (N54/1).

Did you try your spare key?
No, my daughter dropped it in a sewer, I wish I had it! I still don't have my car back (9 days) and I'm trying to be patient. I called my indie guy and he didn't get back to me.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 07:58 AM
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Excellent response Check Codes!

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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for check codes--so MB has had my car for 9 days. Sent there by an indie who told me he suspects it's the EIS and he can't order that part/fix that. He specifically told me that MB would be diagnosing this and deciding if that is indeed the problem.

My question to you is, how long can they keep my car? I never got an estimate from anyone--I mean, I'm wondering if I should just ask for my car back and send it to someone else.

I'm in NY btw, and no, aside from some bad pixels on the dash, I haven't had issues with the car.

My indie guy didn't return my call yesterday.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 09:35 AM
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I realize that you may have a job to look after.... but why not get a cab and go straight around to MB and have a face to face discussion about your situation, keeping in mind all the good advice from Check Codes above.

He seems to deliberately hiding, or playing for time. Take a friend/witness with you. It must be a nightmare scenario, and I feel your pain.....

Last edited by keyhole; 05-02-2012 at 10:06 AM. Reason: changed Inde to MB - forgot where the car is now
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