Sorry to hear the diagnosis. I would take it to a different dealer/stealer. Alternatively, you could write a letter to MBUSA to complain. I don't see what kind of "bad fuel" can cause the fuel system to become corroded and rusted at 29k miles. There is a water separater in the fuel filter that removes trace amounts of moisture from the diesel. Do they have any pics or documentation to show this supposed corrosion?
Got my call from the dealer. Diagnosis is bad fuel which caused rust and corrosion of the fuel system. They need to replace the fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel pumps, rails, etc... the entire fuel system. The supposedly spoke with Mercedes of America about it and they're not covering it under the warranty with 29k on the car. They want $12k to fix it.
Wow, I thought I left VW because of BS like this.
Did you have the fuel filter replaced @ 20K miles?, if you did use this against MBUSA and get them involved that you followed all required procedures so it must be warranty, don't give up.
However if you did not replace the fuel filter as required every 20K miles on a Diesel, you might have the reason there as the filter is removing the moisture from the Diesel (Diesel and water does not mix), but it still does not explaining the tank is damaged by moisture.
I call BS on the fuel tank bit, as it is plastic and can't corrode. Cleaning it out would be cheaper than replacement. Sounds like they don't know what the problem is and want to take a shotgun approach at your expense. If they removed the low pressure lift pump, they will be able to visually see what has gotten into the fuel. I still want to know how they came up with the corroded fuel system diagnosis...
Insurance says they will cover the damage under comprehensive. Parts have been ordered.
The insurance agent whom I spoke with gave me some interesting information. They saw the rusted car parts and took some fuel samples to test. They found no water in the fuel but did find lots of rust and metal particles. The dealer showed them a TSB that listed the parts required to be replaced related to fuel system problems.
My insurance also told me that they had a pickup truck make a similar claim a few weeks ago. I wonder if they filled up at the same place.
For this very reason ALWAYS ALWAYS keep fuel records and try to fuel at the same place each and everytime. Gas stations are liable for their product. If you cannot prove where you filled up you have no recourse, if you have your bills and stick with one station you can stick it to the station and not your own insurance.
The dealer is taking the lazy way around, nobody need to replace fuel tanks, lines, hoses- a couple hours of cleaning, back cleaning, etc is going to make the system fine. I have had to clean up many diesels fuel of gas, only a couple hours of work if you know what to do (drain tank or pump it dry with low pressure pump, remove sending unit and drain/clean tank, replace fuel filter and blow lines clear etc being aware of check valves. It really is simple stuff. All the vehicles survived despite almost 100% gas mix and driving down the road until stalled/unable to keep running (JGC crd twice, 06 tdi jetta, 01 tdi jetta, old mercedes diesels). Dealers are really not very observant about fixing cars, just replacing parts.
Took about a week to fix the car. The bill came in $1k below what they estimated. Got the car back with less than 1/4 of a tank of fuel. Drove to my regular fuel station and filled up. Car seemed to be running well but it smelled of fuel. I assumed I had spilled some on my hands. Got home and had my wife take a sniff, it definitely stunk.
Had Mercedes come get it and it was returned the next day with shampooed carpets. Now sitting here with my kid in the car, windows open... dull headache from the smell
Dealer returned the car today after special "de-ionization treatment", to remove the odors. Car now smells like a cheap hotel room or a strip joint, not sure which is more appropriate. And the Check engine light went on during my commute home.
P.S. reading through some of the older posts, I missed some questions. No, Bio-diesel was never used. The car was always serviced at the dealer when indicated and with dealers recommended maintenance.
Sadly, I stopped keeping track of my fuel purchases in July because the car kept averaging 23 mpg and that wasn't changing. Plus it was frustrating to no end when the trip odometer for the tank read 26 mpg and hand calcs said 23 mpg. Oddly, my 2006 E class under-estimates by a little and the loaners that I have been driving are dead on for the trip computer versus hand calculations.
So here's the result, we sold our R-class back to the Dealer and they are working with us to get a new GL450. Its a reasonable deal. Still requires us to throw in some money but that's understandable since the GL is 1.5 years newer and brand new. So our order is in, the car probably won't be in till March, but the dealer has given us use of one of their loaners.
I'm sad to lose the R-class but hope the new GL isn't too bad. From the test drive it seems they made it a little lower and more R-class like. The ride is much smoother than last generation GL.
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