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2003 MB SLK 320
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Discussion Starter #1
I know that MB is having some financial problems as they are losing money like they were the US goverment and I know some models like the ML line have lots of problems as I hear about that from the oweres all the time but is MB quality so bad that FORD and PONTIAC has become the standard that MB can meet???

here is the link...

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2026&ncid=2026&e=6&u=/latimests/20050305/ts_latimes/subaruattopinqualitysurvey

Remeber this is a servey by the owners so I am wondering if I am going to have lots of problems with my SLK.....


Elias

PS autoweek has some thoughts on MB problems as well...
http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=101910
 

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Despite my previous ownership of top-rated makes like Honda and Toyota, I did not hesititate to buy a Benz. And I don't regret it.
 

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SLK 230 yellow
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Could it be that they are lumping Daimler-Chrysler with Mercedes? Sounds like...
As far as Consumer Reports goes they are not credible.Only good for washers, toasters and the like. [:)]
 

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C230K Sport Sedan
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If they lumped Chrysler and MB in the same catagory then that can only help MB bring their reliability up. What happened is the Japs were consistantly the most reliable brands, the U.S. car manufacturers stepped up to the plate and I believe the U.S. cars are now on par with the Japs in reliability. The europeans have basically sat in the sidelines and watched. In the JD Powers long term dependability, it's rare for a European brand to make the top 10 and I think only one U.S. brand, Jeep was ranked worse than Mercedes. I've had 5 MBs and all except my 2004 have been horrible in the reliability department but I love them just the same. One thing with MBs is they hold up over time, something that can't be said for the Jap cars. So while the MB maybe way less reliable in the first year or two, it's more reliable than a Jap car in the following years.
 

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SLK32
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I picked the SLK becaue at the time it was rated the best reliability of Mercedes...

It was rated at average (the highest of any Mercedes model) at that time in 2002. Any car that I buy have to have at least an average rating from consumers and others that rate cars. I figued that if it was the best of their line that I was fairly safe. So far (knock on wood) it has been fine. I have a 2003 SLK32.


Dave S.
 

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SLK in brilli silver
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854 Posts
I have to agree with Buell to some degree in not doing anything about improving reliability issues in their auto's. Look at the slk for example, the brake light out problem was never addressed even though clearly it was a known factory defect. Same for the interior peeling console.
As far as the bashing of consumer reports several times lately in this board people need to realize that what they are reporting here is not their opinions of the cars, they are reporting actual customers info. If you want a professional review of the car sure you go to other sources like car and diver, etc etc, which also said this car is one of the worst roadsters ever produced.
I’m not going to go into a long mb bashing thing, thats not my intention here. I enjoy the car, BUT I also won't give a fake pretense to the serious issues that face mb or sweep them under the rug.
I think their business practices are finally catching up to them and their name no longer offers protection as something elitist or special when they have produce nothing but medicotry at best.
I will be the first to admit before buying my slk I didn't do a pile of research, I assumed that being a mb product with its supposed name it would be well built and reliable. I have found out to the contrary, and its good they didn't find me to query my views on mb for a survey. Have I had more problems than most on this board, yes for sure. But an interesting thing if u have some time is lookup other forums for different car makers. You will see that the mb ones have twice as many posts regarding the cars breaking down/troubles/failures, etc... I can't help but wonder if this isn’t a major contributing factor in their waning sales. Young professionals like myself get a mb, after a duration realize its not what it nameplate claims and move on to something better. Its unfortunate because I think cars like the slk are very sexy to look at and blast to drive, but a car thats always putting in the back of your mind will it get me there tarnishes that fun a touch. Just my 2 cents worth [8D]
 

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BenzWorld R170 SLK Host
2002 SLK32 AMG
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As always, take everthing with a grain of salt...

In case you're unaware of previous surveys, one of the biggest "problems" with Mercedes vehicles is accumulation of brake dust. I'm not saying Mercedes quality isn't far below where it should be, but it could be things aren't as bleak as they seem.

My experience has been mixed. Within the first 12K miles, both of my SLKs had trips to the dealer about twice a year. Mostly minor stuff except for the accelerator in the 32. No real excuse for any of it, though.

My wife's '04 E320 has almost 14K on it and has been 100% flawless. It's only been to the dealer once for the recall to update the brake software.
 

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2001 SLK 230
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There are some problems with various models of Mercedes; it looks like most agree on this point. What it takes to rise in the customer standings (or what I think it takes) is to play the Lexus and Infiniti game, which is everytime a car comes in with a major failure, especially mechanical, they seal the hood and send it off to their US evaluation headquarters. Meanwhile, they give the customer a new loaner for as long as it takes to resolve the problem. Supposedly, this is all it takes for your average person to remember their experience with this brand of car as having no problems: not significantly inconvenienced and not out any money.
I heard this story from a Mercedes mechanic who referred to some late 90s model of Lexus that had some incredibly high failure rate of camshaft bearings...like over 30% failure. Supposedly, the whole deal was covered up this way. So, there's an opinion, for what it is worth.
 

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In case you're unaware of previous surveys, one of the biggest "problems" with Mercedes vehicles is accumulation of brake dust.
I actually read somewhere that German laws require Mercedes to put high percentage of graphite in their pads - and as result you get more dust.
 

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SLK32, ML430
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TXmudman - 3/7/2005 9:41 AM

I heard this story from a Mercedes mechanic who referred to some late 90s model of Lexus that had some incredibly high failure rate of camshaft bearings...like over 30% failure. Supposedly, the whole deal was covered up this way. So, there's an opinion, for what it is worth.
Toyota and others are often no more forthcoming in addressing identified defects than MB. Several model years of Toyota/Lexus V6's had sludging problems with thier oil. Early versions of the 350Z & G35's have a front brake issue. I think the biggest difference is that the Japenese once they accept their is a problem work to address it.
 

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2000 SLK 230 LE
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The results make sence to me. I've owned a Toyota, Honda, Ford and two Mercedes vehicles. My observations based on my vehicles and the vehicles of my friends and family break down like this.

Japanese

+ Very Reliable
+ Median Cost
- Average Style
- Marginal Safety

European (German)

+ Nice Styling
+ Good Safety
- Low Reliability
- High Cost

American

+ Low Cost
- Low Reliability
- Average to No Style
- Poor Safety

Knowing this I figured I'd buy German cars for their safety and style and be sure I have the extended warrenty for the reliability issues. I end up taking extra trips to the dealership but it's worth it in my opinion.
 

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I agree [8D]

cmorosco - 3/7/2005 9:36 PM

The results make sence to me. I buy German cars for their safety and style and be sure I have the extended warrenty for the reliability issues. I end up taking extra trips to the dealership but it's worth it in my opinion.
 

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'96 S420
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I agree that Mercedes has it's share of problems, even if they are sometimes minimal. As a previous Lexus owner, I see lots of room for improvement. It wasn't but a few months after I bought my SLK that the right tail light assy had to be replaced because it was melting the socket. I would be upset if I didn't have the warranty to cover this. It wasn't long after that that the left side had the same problem. We've had a few problems with our S420 as well. Basically, if you buy a used Mercedes, you better get the warranty or have deep pockets.
For what these cars cost there should be a lot less problems.
I know Lexus vehicles don't have a lot of personality and have very little difference in styling from Toyotas, but they are top quality.
 

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SLK
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I have a lexus, 4 mercs and a Porsche 911.

I think that the lexus build quality is exceptional and equally as good as a benz when brand new, doesnt come close to the porsche. However you notice after a few years that the mercedes develops no rattles, squeaks etc wherever the Japanese models do suffer more from wear and tear. I dont think that Mercedes Benz is anything except a fantastic product and it will outlast most makes out there.

Sight exception is that my ML is not nearly as good as the E class or SLK (R170) and SLK (R171) that I have. It is still great, but not flawless - but hey we all know that!
 
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