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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening guys,

Long story short, I bought a used 2001 C240 (back in 2007); shortly after purchasing it I noticed RUST on the bottom of the doors and corners of the front/quarter panels. I've looked online, (here, and other MB dedicated forums) and know this is a long known issue with the w203. (they only started galvanizing panels from 2003 on).
I live in Canada, and realize the environment I live in is not ideal for cars; that being said I did expect more "quality" from Mercedes Benz.
I've since contacted my local dealership and they sent me to the (one and only) authorized Mercedes Benz shops in town for an estimate (obtained July 08) of the repair costs.
Estimate came in to $12.000 (they want to replace all 4 doors, front and rear quarter panels, and repaint the respective parts).
As you can probably imagine, I was not too excited about these news. I asked that the shop got in touch with the MB Regional Manager to inquire that the work be covered under warranty. A few months later and quite the patience test on my side, I finally got a response; they're willing to do 50/50 on that $12.000. I politely declined, stating that the poor quality of materials/poor engineering was designed and applied 100% by Mercedes Benz, not a split share between owners and themselves.
That being said, I've written a letter, that I intend to send to MB Head Office Canada. (linked below)
I've contacted Customer Support just now and they told me to just send the letter to them (General CS), she would not give me any specific names..
Does anyone know the name that I need to address this to, or should I just follow her instructions and send it out to CS and hope for the best?
Anyways, sorry for the long read, if anyone has similar experiences, or advice for my situation please drop a line.

Link to letter (.doc document, ~3.5mb includes letter and pictures)

Thanks,

Alex
 

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S500 2000 and E320 2001 Avantgarde
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Hey i have read the letter. Sounds good, but i still think you are a bit more polite than you should be with these guys.
I can't remember the e-mail address correctly but it would be good if you can also contact the customer services in Germany i.e. their HO. It may help put a little extra pressure on your dealer. As i said earlier, push it as hard as you can. Chase them every 2 days. I did nt go through all this hassle as when i wrote to their HO in Germany, they simply asked me to take my car to the local dealer. The dealer entertained my claim with a contribution of 20% of the overall cost. Total cost was around £6k - around $10k. I paid nearly £1200 for all work carried out by them.

Best of luck and do keep us posted.
 

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2005 C230K Sport Coupe 6-speed! And now a 2011 GLK 350 4Matic in Palladium Silver!
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The only problem I can see about the letter is the water-based paint argument. Water-based paint only makes their equipment easier to clean and more environmentally safe because they do not need to use harsh chemicals. Once the paint cures, water has no effect. It will not penetrate or dissolve the paint. The only reason you may get rust spots where it kinda doesn't make sense would be pin holes caused by stones and other debris.
 

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S500 2000 and E320 2001 Avantgarde
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Water based solvent paint without properly galvanising the body is no good. So in my opinion the argument is still valid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
MB Response

Here's the update on what's going on.

Initial letter
http://s266050036.onlinehome.us/letter.doc (~3.6mb w/pictures)

Their response to my letter


My response to their letter


Their final response



They say they offered to cover the initial half, initially under "MB goodwill"... interesting; I always thought of it as them accepting blame for the situation.
Not exactly what I was hoping for, but what can you do. Do you guys think I may have another chance if I email head office MB in Germany, or should I just give up? :surrender:

Thanks!
 

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S500 2000 and E320 2001 Avantgarde
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Can you still get 50% of the cost from them?
 

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Then contact MB HO and say this is unfair and you will write a complaint to consumer protection dept (what ever the equivalent is called in Canada). If that does nt materialise, then it is not the end of the world! You can get a cheap workshop and get the car painted at probably half the cost you would incur if you had taken the 50% option from MB. Best of luck.
 

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2002 C240, 2007 ML 350
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UPDATE*
- I took my car to the MB authorized body shop and they took pictures and sent their quote to MB Canada.
- After 2 weeks, I received a phone call from MB stating that they will cover all the repairs for my vehicle!

They are going to replace fender, bumper, doors, and basically sandblast, paint etc where ever there is rust.

*Result : I am one happy customer, and im bringin my 2006 ML350 to get the small amount rust from my trunk repaired!

EDIT: The quote was for replacing both fenders, trunk lid, all four doors, refinish door jambs, refinish quarter panels, refinish entire car
$ 8, 000 CDN.

**** Bad part is that one of my vehicles will be in the shop for 30 days! And no free rental vehicle!******* At least it the work is being all paid for though.
 

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I went the same route and was offered 75% goodwill of a $4K repair bill. They sandblasted, treated, and repainted 4 fenders, 2 doors, door sills, and the hatch. I was fine with paying $1K for basically repainting 1/2 the car, yet I will mention the repair bill is a little high, my independent body shop will repair some rust (cut out and weld) and repaint the entire car for $4K.

While my car was there, there were 2 early-2000 S-classes getting rust repaired. They were stripped down to the body work, doors/fenders/windows/interior removed. I guess when you own a $100K+ car they really honour the rust warranty, not just the crappy blast/treat/repaint they did on my car.

The dealership body shop manager gave me the advice "sell the car now or drive it into the ground cause the rust will come back". Sadly, the rust is already back in all 4 fenders, albeit very minimal on the inside edges. The doors, door sills, and hatch still look good.

Unless panels are cutout or replaced, they will rust again even when sand-blasted and treated. Its cause the rust is on the inside of the panel and only the outside is sandblasted, treated and painted. The rust will creep around the edges like it is inside my fenders. This is why doors must be replaced, they are rusted inside and the rust will only creep back out through the seams.

A 2001 C240 is worth ~$10K in Canada. I'd take the hit and sell it for $6-8K and move onto a new vehicle. Its not worth paying $4K to treat rust and repaint only for it to come back.
 

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Then contact MB HO and say this is unfair and you will write a complaint to consumer protection dept (what ever the equivalent is called in Canada). If that does nt materialise, then it is not the end of the world! You can get a cheap workshop and get the car painted at probably half the cost you would incur if you had taken the 50% option from MB. Best of luck.
Yes, yet he wouldn't be getting new fenders and new doors at an independent.
I would've taken the 50% offer if I was keeping the car a long time, otherwise I'd be selling it as is.
 

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A 2001 C240 is worth ~$10K in Canada. I'd take the hit and sell it for $6-8K and move onto a new vehicle. Its not worth paying $4K to treat rust and repaint only for it to come back.
I am definitely keeping this car after this work is being done. I mean MB Canada is already paying 8k to get rid of the rusting. I am the only owner of this car and its been running fine. Even if i sell it for 10k,... what can I buy? I do not plan on spending a lot to trade it in for a new C class as I have a fairly new 06 ML350. It has 130k on it and I'm probably going to drive it for ~5 years. :rolleyes:

Note: MB is paying 100% for the bill
 

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wow

06 ML350. It has 130k on it and I'm probably going to drive it for ~5 years.



Your 06 has 130k miles on it?!
 

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Oh ok lol I was wondering where you drive so often with the thing. :thumbsup:
 

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Hi Palmiros For your information i also have a 2001 C240 with same rust problems at same locations and i bought the car from a mercedes dealer i did the same complaints with out any response from the canadian head office and the mississauga dealership and no feedback from Germany since i send them the pictures in 2008 QUALITY MEANS NOTHING TO THEM, I FEEL VERY SORRY FOR MYSELF FOR SPENDING $34,500 PLUS ANOTHER $7,200 FOR REPAIRS in the past 3,5 years for a piece of GARBAGE GOOD LUCK PALMIROS.
 

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If you have the car re-painted, make sure the rusty areas are covered with POR-15. This holds true even if there is perforation. Knock out the rusted area and coat what's left with POR-15 before any body fiiller or primer goes on. This product sets up much like a hard epoxy, can be painted on and is activated by moisture in the air. If you completely cover the rusted areas with POR-15, the rust will never come back. It is paintable. I've used it and it works - just don't get it on your skin because it will not come off. The car (a BMW 633) was driven in Detroit so salt had played h_ll with the seam where the front fenders mate to the engine compartment. I cleaned the area thoroughly, knocked the loose rust off and coated the remaining bare metal. Then filled the perfs with filler and painted. The rust never returned. Search for POR-15 on the web. I bought a can and punched a small hole in the bottom which allowed me to pour out the volume I needed into a cup for use. The hole was then plugged with a small screw to be removed for later use. I also poked a small hole in the lid to act as a vent, which was also plugged with a small screw when done. Once the lid is taken off and POR-15 makes it into the gap, the lid is impossible to remove so this is a good way to preserve any leftover material for future use.
 
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