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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Hello all, I am a new member of the forum and have owned or leased between 15-20 mercedes in the last 25 years. I currently lease a 2011 E350, the lease expires next month. My other mercedes is a 2013 SL 550.
I had a relatively minor accident in the 550 a month ago. The driver of the other car was over 90 years old and was unharmed, it was a MINOR accident. Due to the frame being aluminum even a minor accident like the one I had caused almost 30k in damage. My insurance agent has been very quick to approve all needed parts, do estimates etc etc, the auto body shop seemingly has done all they can, even though they originally estimated the repair would take 28-30 days and that estimate will now be WAY OFF. My complaint surprisingly is only with mercedes corporate. My insurance agent was at the body shop the day after the car arrived. The car was actually lost by mercedes for three days, but thats another story. The estimate was written and approved immediately, that was three weeks ago and mercedes has not only been unable to get the parts to southern california, they also tell me they need a certain device they call a "jig" to repair the vehicle. Not only is there no jig in the USA they are telling me they have a jig being produced in france right now to repair my vehicle!! I asked them how they have NO parts or tools in the USA to repair a luxury car they are selling in the USA and they have no answer for me. Mercedes reps call me seemingly on a daily basis and never have any progress to report. They just call to stall or placate me.
I believe mercedes is the best car on the market. I have owned virtually every type of vehicle in my life. However this experience has so soured me I think I will be taking a break from mercedes for a while. I have already decided not to replace my E350 with a mercedes and will now have to look at other companies to find my new sedan. I had a minor accident in 2007 with my sl 500 and things went smoothly with repairs and service. I am shocked I am getting such a run around this time.
Mercedes corporate and the body shop are both telling me the reason there is such a delay is this is a new body style and the parts and equipment are not available yet. When my insurance guy went to do the estimate some of the parts that need replacing were not even in the system yet so they had no price points to replace them. I find all these issues ridiculous. This car has been on the market since july and if I was aware that a minor accident would cause me to lose the vehicle for 2-3 months I would have leased a different car. I am paying over $1800 a month for a car that the manufacturer has no parts to repair.
Has anyone on the forum had similar issues when repairing a new body style mercedes? This is so frustrating because I love mercedes, as I am sure most on this forum do. I just am so frustrated with this process I felt I should warn other mercedes owners, and potential mercedes owners of the pitfalls to buying a new body mercedes here in the USA.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 05:39 PM
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I suspect the "jig" you are referencing is needed to align the chassis properly. They are large and complex and are used during manufacturing, and it's rare that they are in every locale in the world. One of the first NSXs that was purchased in the US was crashed a few months later, and Acura had to do the exact same thing, make a jig for it and fly it and an engineering team to do the repair on the vehicle. I think that one was four or five months in the shop.

While I sympathize, realize that you bought a brand-new model vehicle and had an accident shortly thereafter. With any new model it takes a while for parts inventory to come up (after all, most of the parts are being used to assemble the things). Jigs are not something that is commonplace, so that's a different kind of delay. It's also possible they didn't know they were going to need the jig when they did the original workup/estimate. None of this is restricted to MB, you'd run into the same issue with other makes.

If you want to avoid this in the future, buy a several-years-old popular model. A 2002 W210, hey you can find parts and repair facilities for it everywhere. However, no jig will be needed, because if you do that much damage, it's totaled.

Overall, I think the biggest mistake was the dealer telling you a month for the repair. That built and supported an unrealistic expectation on your part and it in turn has left you with a sour taste in your mouth. But that's more the fault of the dealer than the manufacturer.

Good luck with it all.

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 #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 02:19 AM
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Sadly this sort of thing happens will all models and makes, I have an BMW X5 sitting in the workshop waiting for a complete wiring harness, been waiting 3 months now. And this is not a new car, 2 years old with a minor accident but a lot of wiring damage.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 03:11 AM
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I used to own a 2005 Pontiac GTO. It was imported and rebadged from another GM company in Australia called Holden. It was and is a popular car in that country. Before Pontiac was closed, I hit a deer in 2007. It took 6 months to get factory parts for the car because it was USA branded. The parts cost 3x as much as the Australian equivalent. Your story is not uncommon. I loved the car and dealt with the delay. Then every day I drove it, I appreciated it more.

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