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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there,

I recently purchased a 2009 CLK350 in May and had an issue with the COMMAND Unit and was constantly hearing from those around me how they thought the AC, when on max, sounded like a jet engine instead of a car.

Feeling confident with my CPO warranty (and - like an idiot - without doing a simple search of these forums), I took it into Smythe Euro in San Jose and was told it could be several different things, such as a problem with the main fan, low freon or a combination of the two.

I went out of town, and another person kindly picked up the car for me. When it came back, it came with no front license plate (?!?! - but I digress) and a $140 bill for labor, which I wasn't there to ask questions about.

Now, I may just be a law student and not an actual attorney but the MBZ website clearly states:

" Will I be asked to pay any sort of deductible?

Absolutely not. Unlike many other pre-owned warranty programs, the Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned Extended Limited Warranty contract will never ask you to pay any additional fees for warranty-covered service, parts, or labor."

My feeling is that I asked to have the air conditioning checked out under the warranty. How could I, being a lawyer-to-be and not a mechanic, take advantage of the warranty without having a qualified MBZ technician look at it?

Furthermore, the knowledgeable (allegedly) service person advanced several dire sounding theories about what could be wrong with it. What warranty-holding customer WOULDN'T have had it checked out???

I wish I had just done the research and seen this was a common problem. Obviously, $140 is not a big deal in the scheme of things - but I wanted to know if you guys have had to pay for "labor" when all they did was look and find out nothing was wrong. If that's how it works, then that's how it works - but I know several of the threads talking about this AC problem detailed visits to the dealership where that particular dealership said nothing was wrong, and a bill wasn't mentioned (although I know that doesn't necessarily mean it didn't exist).

Penny for your thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just pay the bill. $140 is very reasonable for a shop to inspect your Mercedes.
The issue isn't whether the amount billed is "reasonable;" the issue is whether it should have been covered by the warranty I already paid extra for when I bought the car. I understand what you're saying, but the issues are separate.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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The loud noise that sounds like a jet engine or a civil defense siren is the engine cooling fan and it does kick into high gear on a hot day with the A/C running. It may be undesirable, but it is normal. And if you took the car in with that complaint and nothing was wrong, then the dealer doesn't get to charge this against CPO (this would be covered under the basic 4yr/50k warranty, though). A really good dealer would have had a service advisor who knew of the fan noise and would have not even sent it into the shop. He would have explained it to you and maybe even shown you how brand new cars on the lot do this. A good dealer would have had an SA that wasn't that well informed, but would have waived the diagnostic fee as a courtesy. It sounds like your dealer is just typical poor service, which is not just an MBZ problem, it's industry wide. My advice is to call and ask for the service manage and discuss the missing tag and the charges and see what they do.
 

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BenzWorld Elitist
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You don't get charged under warranty when something or nothing is wrong.

If the CPO is pretending to be an extension of the factory warranty (and it is),
then there should be no charge imho.

Of course, crappy dealerships are everywhere.
 

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In an '09, aren't you still under the full factory warranty? The CPO may not have even strarted yet.
 

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In an '09, aren't you still under the full factory warranty? The CPO may not have even strarted yet.
Hmm, good point. Unless it's over 50K miles, or it was an early MY2009 (delivered in 2008), it should still be under factory warranty and MBZ will pay labor to address customer complaints. Under CPO, they won't pay labor unless it is to repair a covered part. Unfortunately, this is a change from the old Starmark program where almost everything was covered. Regardless, this is a crappy dealer!!!
 

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Hmm, good point. Unless it's over 50K miles, or it was an early MY2009 (delivered in 2008), it should still be under factory warranty and MBZ will pay labor to address customer complaints. Under CPO, they won't pay labor unless it is to repair a covered part. Unfortunately, this is a change from the old Starmark program where almost everything was covered. Regardless, this is a crappy dealer!!!
I'm a tech at a dealer now and even under factory warranty(4year/50k miles) MB for instance will not pay for AC freon recharging for diagnosis purposes only. To get paid you must replace a part that is proven defective. Trust me its aggravating!

In the case of CPO, like previously said if the vehicle is looked at and can not be justifiably diagnosed as having a faulty component then CPO will not pay. If a part is deemed defective then it is checked for coverage through the MB warranty coverage server in Netstar(which is updated and changed often). If covered then replacement is approved. If there is a discretion than a MB dealer rep can be contacted and be asked to make a decision on behalf of MB.

Proper procedure from a dealer would be to of course verify the complaint on the service drive and address if possible. If not then the car is written up. At the time of write up the client should be made aware that they need to approve checkout time. This checkout time is to cover the dealers time spent on the car(technician diagnosis). And that also if the problem is found and the faulty part is covered then the client is not required to pay the checkout time as the CPO warranty will now cover it. If the problem cannot be found but time and materials were spent on the car then the client will be required to pay for the checkout time signed for.

I think in your case of the AC issue when they said maybe it was low freon level, they may have done an AC performance test(evacuate and recharge system, inject UV dye, UV leak test, and SDS short test) those things alone eat up the checkout time fast. If a leak cannot be found and a component cannot be deemed defective than there are no parts to run through the coverage system and CPO will not pay.

Believe me its aggravating working at a MB dealer and clients bring in their cars and expect them to be fixed because they have a factory extended warranty and a tech can't deem a part faulty and it creates an issue with the client when they are asked to pay. It happens quite often when a problem isn't present at the time of service but the problem occurs off the lot when the client has possession of the car.

Also if a tech is to replace a part that "might" be defective that's another issue. ALL warranty parts(factory and CPO) are required to be turned in and sent to MB for inspection. If MB determines the part is not defective then it is sent back to the dealership along with the bill for the dealer to pay. You could imagine that creates an issue with techs and management.

There are many kinks that need to be worked out in the warranty systems for both the customer and the technicians trying to make happy customers and fixed cars.

Hope some of this info helped. I can promise your not the only one wondering why they have to pay when they have a warranty. Id do the same.


Sid
Master Certified Mercedes-Benz Technician
Gas/Diesel/Hybrid Certified
AMG Performance Specialist
AIRCON Certified

1994 E320 Sedan
1990 300CE-Rebuilding
WTB-1972 280SE 4.5
 

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Sid, I worked at a dealership, too. As un-customer-friendly as our service department was, they would never, ever charge a customer for checking out a problem that could not be duplicated when the vehicle was under the base warranty. If they had to add freon, then that mean there was a leak. They would "find a way" to find the leak. I don't mean to suggest that they would "fudge" on RTV parts, but the mechanics knew the typical leak pints, and they would replace those parts and the ones RTV'ed would certainly have the leak.

I think one of the main problems with dealership service centers are the SA's. There are some good ones, but there are some really bad ones. In this case, the SA should have been able to listen to the problem (loud engine cooling fan) and know immediately that it's normal behavior and not even bother a mechanic. All too often, the SA position is staffed by guys who couldn't cut it in vehicle sales and wanted weekends off. It's unfortunate that they can't get mechanically inclined people to be SA's. Maybe even former mechanics who are unable to climb around under cars and use their hands (like me, as I get older!).
 
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