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Old 02-23-2006, 05:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit

As far as I know the Mercedes 1998-1999 ML320 are the only on car on market with a 8 key limit.
Keys die without any reason and this design is a defect that MB fixed in 2000.
Probably my AAM is defective and keys were replaced in warranty period. MB insists on most costly fix of replacing everything ($3600.00) and no one else has codes and data to do work.
MB issued a service advisory in 2000 and had a repair kit to fix problem but its no longer available and won't work if all 8 keys used.
Just received a email from a owner who's car died while driving on cruise control at highway speed!
Towed to dealer who replaced the key! Towing and key cost over $500.00.
How many time and thousands of dollars in towing and keys charges have owners had to pay for a bad and defective design.

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Old 02-23-2006, 05:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit

here is another example
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Old 02-23-2006, 05:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit

Here is another example on another web site:

Failure #3: 106,000 miles—ignition key failures.
This is the straw that broke my camel’s back! Midnight arrival into the Houston, Texas airport and my “trusty� ML 320 would crank, start, and immediately shut down. I repeated this many times to no avail. The wrecker delivered the SUV and me to Mercedes dealer Star Motors at 3:00 AM on a hot, sweaty, night after mosquitoes had chewed on me for 2.5 hours while I waited outside for a wrecker. The diagnosis: a failed ignition key. Wait, it gets better! The reserve key would also not work (although it was functional just one week earlier!). So $500 later I get a new key, and $100 later I make a second trip for a second key as only one key was ordered to validate the problem. I commented that this must be a rare occurrence. I learned from my service representative this was more common than you’d expect and I should be happy with my combined mechanical-electronic key because the newer light-sourced electronic key failure occurs at a higher rate! I believe this failure had a common failure mode resulting in poor design of the antitheft system that disallowed me to even limp home at reduced speed (thieves want a fast get away, not a limp away, and Mercedes did not plan for an allowable alternative). Failure #3 of a German designed and German manufactured key system is now clear evidence of significant reliability problems with the ML 320!

Now you know why I’m angry!! The odds for having two mechanical keys with electronic anti-theft capability fail on the same day is very rare—unless the real cause for failure is a common cause. Of course Mercedes distributor Star Motors defense is always it’s someone else’s responsible for the problem just like the left rear seat rattle that I’ve been complaining about on almost every visit is now told to me “It is the result of bad tires�---yeah like I’ve had bad tires for 106,000 miles and my new top of the line Goodyear tires with 12,000 miles which are balanced and rotated every 6,000 miles are the source of the rattle!

I sent a draft copy (in PDF format) of this Problem Of The Month to Mercedes executives with some responsibility for reliability on October 5, 2004:
“I plan to post the attached draft PDF file to my list of Problems Of The Month by no later than the end of October 2004. The title of the article will be: "Fabled Mercedes Reliability? Or Is Mercedes Reliability Just a Fable?".



If you have rebuttal comments and wish your comments to be posted, I will post your response. However, if you do not want comments published, I will respect your wishes.�

http://www.barringer1.com/jul04prb.htm
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit

Quote:
parkrog - 2/23/2006 7:17 PM

As far as I know the Mercedes 1998-1999 ML320 are the only on car on market with a 8 key limit.
That is not correct. All W163’s have an 8-key limit. In fact, any MBZ that uses the switch-blade key has an 8-key limit. This would include pretty much all the early to mid 1990’s models as well as the R170 SLK, and the R129 SL. The only MBZ models that use the DAS system that have a greater limit are the ones suing the infrared SmartKey. They have a 24-key limit.

Quote:
Keys die without any reason and this design is a defect that MB fixed in 2000.
First of all, keys don’t die “without any reason�. There will be “some� reason, either a defect in the key itself or a defect in the vehicle’s system that reads and rewrites the key’s data. Secondly, this was not fixed in 2000. There were no changes to the system itself other than to make the DAS module separate from the AAM so that if it failed or if the user lost all keys, DAS could be replaced independently of the AAM thus saving some costs. This did not solve any problems that could occur to make a key fail.

Quote:
Probably my AAM is defective and keys were replaced in warranty period. MB insists on most costly fix of replacing everything ($3600.00) and no one else has codes and data to do work.
Somewhere in the world, there is someone with the knowledge and equipment to fix your AAM and keys so they will work again. The problem is that getting to that person and equipment is likely more expensive than paying the dealer $3600 to do the repair.

Quote:
MB issued a service advisory in 2000 and had a repair kit to fix problem but its no longer available and won't work if all 8 keys used.
Actually, there were two TSB’s addressing DAS problems. On had to do with a faulty immobilizer circuit in the ECM, and that really has nothing to do you’re your problem. The other called for replacing the AAM and all keys, just like you are having done.

Quote:
Just received a email from a owner who's car died while driving on cruise control at highway speed!
Towed to dealer who replaced the key! Towing and key cost over $500.00.
How many time and thousands of dollars in towing and keys charges have owners had to pay for a bad and defective design.
This would appear to have been the immobilizer problem and not a DAS or key failure. I’m not sure why they would replace the key, but maybe it’s just a precaution?

Anyhow, I do support your complaints, but you need to make sure you are complaining with correct information so people will believe you.
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Old 02-24-2006, 09:15 AM   #15 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit

Thanks for the clarifation.
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Old 02-24-2006, 08:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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don't understand you

Are you trying to look out for the MB owner community or are you trying to save yourself the $3,600 that your dealer has quoted you for a repair?

Out of the million or so cars sold with this type of smart key, what do you really believe is the percentage that have had this problem?

If you really just want to save some money with the repair, why don't you try:

A) Be calm, reasonable with your dealer / service advisor and with a nice bottle of wine ask if they will apply for a good-will repair on your behalf.

B) If you've already burned your bridge with your dealer with threats and lawsuits and what not, then buy the necessary parts from on-line at a discount and then have an independent shop install it. You may save some bucks.

As Rudeney pointed out, you also lack enough information and accuracy on the problem statement and the proposed resolution - it's hard to make progress on a cause with that....

I sympathize with your situation. I've been watching this thread for a while and your other thread and there just aren't enough people "biting" on this one. I would really try one or both options above.

Good luck and hope you're able to get going again...
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Old 02-24-2006, 10:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit


Appended at the bottom of this post is someone's legal definition of when a vehicle is considered a lemon.

If somebody has to go and replace 6 to 8 keys for the same problem (they just stop working and the car is unusable), then the vehicle seems to fall in the lemon category, in my opinion, since the repeated problem causes the keys to stop working continuously and your car becomes undrivable and unusable. Unless the owner is totally negligent with the keys, but people seems to be having this problem very often in MB vehicles specially.

Even more if the problem can be easily used by crooked dealers to extort large amounts of money from unaware owners by selling 2nd hand vehicles with one key left and the new owners were not warned about the imminent problem and eventual expenses in advance. If the MB dealer deceptively sold a vehicle with an imminent known cronic problem/issue that does not meet MB advertized sell quality standards (MB dealers always advertized they sell vehicles in good standards and that should have fixed any cronic problems) and only one key left is not what you will expect from a expensive dealer who brags about their service/vehicle quality.

There should be a legal research/investigation on why the other vehicle keys were ordered (because of well known problems? because the dealer ordered keys, kept them, and only gave the last one to the dealer? They should research and talk with the former owners to see if they really ordered keys and how many.. How many of these problems does MB dealers routinely get..? (Just with this database repair information which should be in MB's US repair database a frequency pattern can be determined and get to the bottom of the problem and maybe compare it with a Lexus/Toyota/Nissan/etc statistics..) Multiple people don't commonly go through 8 keys in 1 to 3 years unless there are design/quality problems with the components.

That is way off average statistics and shows some kind of problem.. Unluckily many ML persons who experienced these kind of problems and sold their ML's or MB vehicles are not any more in ML forums or accessible, since they may have changed to other brands and just want to forget their fiasco.

AC




What is a "LEMON?"

Over the weeks I was without a vehicle, I read a lot about legal descriptions of so-called "lemons" and I must say, it is amazing, how much you can find on the internet. There are lawyers specialized in settling claims, and a lot of them are not holding back with their experiences.

DEFINITION:

Depending in which state or province you live, you can call your car a lemon, once it was in the shop between 3 and 4 times for the same problem.

Beside this, "the greater the number and the greater the length the car was out of service, the more substantial the defect."


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Old 02-25-2006, 11:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit

I have been very nice to dealer and not threaten or harrassed them. They have learned alot about the ML problem with me. But they look at it as MB problem. My car has been there for 8 weeks, still waiting for one part to do repair. Parts are only available from dealer and only dealer can make repair becouse MB secretive about codes and keys.
Service manager has cooperated but regional service manager declined to talk to me.( has made his determination)
MBUSA emailed and called but same result regional service manager won't talk to me.
MBUSA knows exactly how many keys out on every car and how many 8 key problems, they just won't talk
about it. Federal trade commission will find out if and when a formal complaint is filed. They will determine if recall is in order or some other solution?
If FTC won't act them only recourse is individual or class action law suit. This is not fun but all owners will benefit. Already have harmonic balancer recall and class action about oil consumption.
Seems there is a long long long list of growing problems recorded on this vehicle!
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Old 02-25-2006, 01:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit

Quote:
parkrog - 2/25/2006 2:42 PM

I have been very nice to dealer and not threaten or harrassed them. They have learned alot about the ML problem with me. But they look at it as MB problem. My car has been there for 8 weeks, still waiting for one part to do repair. Parts are only available from dealer and only dealer can make repair becouse MB secretive about codes and keys.
Service manager has cooperated but regional service manager declined to talk to me.( has made his determination)
MBUSA emailed and called but same result regional service manager won't talk to me.
MBUSA knows exactly how many keys out on every car and how many 8 key problems, they just won't talk
about it. Federal trade commission will find out if and when a formal complaint is filed. They will determine if recall is in order or some other solution?
If FTC won't act them only recourse is individual or class action law suit. This is not fun but all owners will benefit. Already have harmonic balancer recall and class action about oil consumption.
Seems there is a long long long list of growing problems recorded on this vehicle!
I think your efforts to rally some sort of 'revolution' on this problem through this forum will be difficult at best.

I hope you get your vehicle repaired and hope you have the funds to keep it in running order.

Good luck to you.

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Old 02-25-2006, 05:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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RE: Key failure - class action lawsuit

Quote:
cmitchprint - 2/18/2006 8:24 PM

Multiple key failure IS a problem and has been outlined by many members on this forum. I, personally, have had no problems but that doesn't mean many have. What I don't like is the fact there can only be 8 keys . . . period! That, in itself, is a piss poor way to design a car.
I beg to disagree. 8 keys should be more than plenty for any car. The root of the problem is elsewhere. Keys should not have such a short life. The poor design is not in the number of keys, but in the AAM or whatever system that's killing the keys.
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