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2000 S430
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I LITERALY GOT SCREWED BY THE DEALERSHIP. ON FEB 13 THERE WAS ALOT OF RAIN IN NEW ENGLAND THAT CAUSED ALOT OF PUDDLES MY CAR DIES WHILE GOING THRU A PUDDLE. I HAD MERCEDES BENZ COME TOW THE CAR AWAY. I ASKED THEM TO DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM DIDNT TELL THEM TO REPAIR THE PROBLEM JUST DIAGNOSE. THEY CALL ME THE NEXT DAY AND TOLD ME THE CAR IS READY TO GO PICK IT UP. THE PROBLEM WAS THE ALTERNATOR HAD DIED THEY WERE CHARGING ME A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT. I NEVER WANTED THE CAR REPAIRED THERE I JUST WANTED TO KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS AND AN ALTERNATOR IS A SIMPLE FIX THAT I COULD HAVE DONE MYSELF. I HAD A TALK WITH THE SERVICE MANAGER AND THEY HAD TO TAKE THE NEW ALTERNATOR OUT AND REPLACE MINE BACK AT NO CHARGE CAUSE I NEVER AUTHORIZED THE REPAIR. I FIXED THE ALTERNATOR WITH MY BUDDY AND THE NEXT DAY OTHER PROBLEMS AROUSE ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS SO I HAD THE CAR TOWED TO ANOTHER MERCEDES DEALERSHIP. THEY DIAGNOSED THE CAR AND SAID THERE WAS ALOT OF ELECTRICAL DAMAGE ABOUT 10,000 DOLLARS WORTH. I THEN PUT A CLAIM IN WITH MY INSURANCE COMPANY SINCE I HAVE FULL COVERAGE. THE INSURANCE COMPANY DID AN INVESTIGATION AND FOUND OUT THAT ACID WAS POURED ON THE ELECTRICAL COMPONETS. TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT THE ONLY THING THAT WAS WRONG WITH THE CAR WAS THE ALTERNATOR THE TECH GOT UPSET FOR BEING WRITTEN UP BY HIS SUPERVISOR AND POURED ACID ON THE ELECTRICAL COMPONETS. NOW NOT ONLY IS MY CAR RUINED THE INSURANCE WONT PAY TO REPAIR IT AND I MIGHT BE LOOKING AT LEGAL PROBLEMS BECAUSE THEY THINK I POURED THE ACID AND TRIED TO COMMIT INSURANCE FRAUD. I NEED ADVISE WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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11,183 Posts
1) See a lawyer. Don't delay.

2) Document what has happened to the fullest extent you can, and if your lawyer agrees, bring a civil claim against the first dealer. You might also consider a criminal complaint against the dealer, especially the tech. Again, your lawyer can advise.

Documentation should include any service documents you signed or that were provided from either dealer or from your buddy. Try to get the insurance company investigative report; it may show what kind of acid, provide information on how long it would take to show effects, and so forth (you'll need that to answer why you were able to drive to your buddy's shop in the first place, but then couldn't drive out). Get your service history from MB; it may show that serious electrical system problems of the nature you are having were not pre-existing. Any authorized dealer should be able to pull that up for you.

3) The issue of insurance fraud raises a question of why you would damage a car worth around $20K to get $10K, especially if you still owe money on it. Of course your buddy could have done it - but the question of motivation would likely exclude him (and the second dealer). As you pointed out, revenge by the first dealer would provide a motive; you would have to prove, of course, that the damage was done by acid or another caustic substance; show that the substance wasn't in the water (absence of damage to other wet components would show that).

4) See a lawyer. Yes, again. It is important. I have tried to point you to some of the factual concerns that would arise in the situation you present, but you need to see a lawyer to see how they would play out with the statutes in your state - from the standpoint of an insurance fraud case against you, or a civil suit or criminal complaint against the first dealer. And be sure you tell the lawyer about any dirty laundry related to this - as a hypothetical, if you were sleeping with your buddy's girlfriend, it would put a very different light on the entire matter. He needs to know, long before filing suit.
 

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2000 S430
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
THANKS FOR THE ADVISE SKYLAW IM IN THE PROCESS OF FINDING A LAWYER. I DIDNT DRIVE THE CAR OUT OF THE DEALERSHIP WHAT HAPPENED WAS WHEN THE CAR DIED IN THE PUDDLE I CALLED MB TO TOW IT AWAY THE CAR WASNT OPERABLE. THEN MB REPLACED THE ALTERNATOR AND SAID THE CAR WAS WORKING FINE NO PROBLEMS I HAVE THE DOCUMENTED PAPPER WORK. THEN I HAD THEM TAKE THE ALTERNATOR OUT AND HAD THE CAR TOWED TO MY BUDDYS GARAGE HE REPLACED THE ALTERNATOR AND THATS WHEN ALL OF THE FAULT CODES STARTED HAD THE CAR TOWED FROM THERE TO ANOTHER MB DEALERSHIP. THE INSURANCE COMPANY SAID I CAN WITHDRAW THE CLAIM TO PREVENT CRIMINAL PROBLEMS I AM DOING THIS TODAY. BUT I AM STILL A LIL WORRIED. I FEEL LIKE GOING DOWN TO THE DEALERSHIP AND KICKING SOME ASS BUT THATS ONLY GONNA LAND ME IN JAIL. ITS GONNA BE HARD TO PROVE THEY DID IT.
 

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99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
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4,583 Posts
THERE IS NO NEED TO YELL

TURN CAPS LOCK OFF!!!!
 

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2000 S500
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29 Posts
And im the crazy one!!!!!

Friends and family think im the crazy one by taking pics and video taping my car B4 I drop it off at the stealership............:D
 

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My Benz: 04 S430
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This story is weird...

Is there any reason for a Benz shop to have acid laying around for shop use? NO...
Hmm how would a tech get acid strong enough to do this tyoe of damage and no one know about it?..
OSHA rules require Shops to keep all hazardous chemicals in a specially marked securable location .. but battery acid these days is hardly found in shops since most batteries are M/F.
So back to my question. Who has acid that potent laying around and for what?

YOur post was very vague, didn't make any sense at all, and frankly I don't get the you got screwed by your dealer part. seems like they got screwed on labor twice. Doing the job without permission was hardly worth that risk. Any shop knows that.

In every state it is illegal for certified Repair shops to do what you described. I'm shocked to hear a MB dealer did this. Which dealership was it?

As far as the ins. goes, there is not fraud unless a claim has been PAID. Then investigated. Otherwise it would have just been an unauthorized claim. and they would have told you NO. Am I the only one who caught that?

The real question here is Did you drive your car in to a river? because we see rain all of the time and nobody has this kind of trouble as a result.

Why didn't you just have the car towed to your buddy in the first place? You must have known there was something wrong right? Why did he try to fix it first?

This post s full of holes.. What was the point pf posting it?
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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My04230K,

Logical questions, which is of course why the documentation is important.

A location that has hazardous chemicals in a "securable" location still doesn't mean the disgruntled employee who twice had to do labor he wasn't paid for couldn't get at it. I seriously doubt that the dealership encouraged sabotage, if it indeed occurred there. But disgruntled employees have often embarrassed their employers. Agency law could hold the dealership responsible, depending on specific facts.

The initial service order, which I stressed as important, would show whether the shop was authorized to make repairs, or only diagnose problems; and the ones I have seen in a number of locations allow the owner to specify a dollar amount over which repairs will not be made without further authorization. That document is particularly important. If the shop performed the repair as kaydiesl said, without authorization, it would be relevant to his case, even if not dispositive (and, it would also show what the shop did and document the condition of the car after the repair). If the damage to wiring and electrical problems was present before the car entered the shop, it should have shown up despite the alternator having been replaced.

If in fact the work order authorized diagnosis and repair, then the matter is quite different right from the outset, except that the matter of damage must be resolved; where & when it occurred is critical as to who (if anyone) pays for repairs, and whether anyone involved may bear criminal liability.

Lastly, the insurance company could bring a case for attempted fraud if its investigation showed that - even if it had not yet paid. The denial of a claim could be made for a variety of reasons - principally, a claim for matters not covered. Alternatively, it could pay, then bring the fraud charge. What they do is up to them. We should not forget that many insurance companies initially reject any claim that seems out of the ordinary or routine, at the outset. Yet, such claims may be legitimate, and after appeal, must be paid. I just went through that with my own Homeowner's policy last September - they denied a claim until I pointed out that 1) state law required a rider for the type of claim I filed, and 2) my policy had such a rider (the first examiner had consulted a policy written for many other states where the rider wasn't required). Once we got past that hurdle and the matter was put to a senior claims examiner, it was paid.

And of course, an unanswered question is, how deep was the "puddle" that caused the alternator failure. That may go to issues of extent of damage, or whether the "puddle" may have had hazardous chemicals that caused the damage (e.g., there was a flood, not just a puddle) - something I raised - which could have bearing on whether a criminal act was committed by anyone, and also the extent of the damage caused by any such act.

The advice still stands. Kaydiesl needs to see a lawyer, who will know what questions to ask, what proofs are required, and be able to advise him on a proper course of action. There are many gaps to be filled in, and possible contradictions that need reconciliation. But that's part of what we get paid for, as you know!!
 

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99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
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Reading it again.... it sounds to me like someone (who is an idiot) used their S430 as a boat and drove though high water. The water fried the electronics and corroded them after it stalled out the car (there isn't a snorkel on these!!!). Then the mastermind made up this wonderful story about how someone "POURED ACID" all over their car and ruined their electronics. It's quite the story. I do have to hand it to you on that one.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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11,183 Posts
Mr.x

Yup. That is one of a number of possibilities - which is one of the reasons he needs to consult a lawyer, and why the report of the insurance company investigation I mentioned is important.

But again, it is just one of the possibilities.
 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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52,804 Posts
WOW, this makes interesting reading especially if you like fiction. Just look at a few important points here.

1. The alternator is approx half way up the engine OK.

2. The W220 has good splash guards and therefore the water did not enter from beneath the car so it must of come through the grille/radiator and to pass the radiator and its tiny fins means a lot of water.

3. We get a lot of floods here in southern China and each time we get two to three Benz with major electical problems.

4. The last one was only last week and we had to re-build the engine and change two signal aquasitionon modules (SAMSs) anyway I kept the car for three days and drove it several times each day and on the fouth day we had to change the engine and transmission computers. The Alternator is the first thing to pack up, but on Mercedes its not the only thing to go as it takes time for the other parts to feel the effect of the water.

5. The insurance company said it was caused by acid, what acid rain? In modern workshops there is no use for acid anymore. We did use sulphuric acid diluted with distilled water, but that when out with the ark.

6. He still has not told us how much water he drove through.

7. Is his buddy an MB Tech?

I dont want to call him a liar but I have serious doubts about the acid bit.
 

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Skylaw,

I can appreciate your observations form a legal standpoint..And of course as usual they
carry a lot of weight and are therefore well received.
Even as you are giving this situation the benefit of the doubt.

But to me, this is just another "attention starved" individual who is trying to find support for a dilemma that he has clearly gotten himself into from A-Z and the overall story is just an insult to normal intellect.

At every stage of this drama you have to ask your self.. "who would do this?"

I like good reading, and can be very attentive to a person problem. But I have also been around enough crackheads to know script for an Oscar winning performance when I see it.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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And My04230k, you may be exactly right. I am certain any good attorney will demand the documents to back up the story (if they do) - and if they don't, then to advise the man what to do. It could very well come down to "put up or shut up." More nicely spoken, but spoken nonetheless.

I have told clients that I could argue their case, but based on their own story, I would be much more confident arguing the other side's facts (that's a HUGE warning). I have advised potential clients to find another attorney (because their case stunk, even if I did not put it in those terms) - and occasionally, I advised them to find an attorney who practiced criminal defense.

On the other hand, I would never give such an assessment until I saw the evidence (or the lack thereof).
 

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heh, the plot thickens, we need to call the famous 3.
1. Hercule Poirot
2. Dick Tracy
3. Sherlock Homes
Maybe the woman from "Murder she wrote" too?

Dont drive $100k cars in the water. It's usually not a good idea.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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Indeed, the thick plottens. There's some of the dirty laundry I mentioned. Answers a few other questions, too.

Nice catch, McBear.

He still needs to see a lawyer.
 

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1989 190e 2.6 1993 500sel (sold) 1995 S500 coupe (sold) 1994 S500 blk/blk
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If an investigation ever happens in this case, a psychological and work history profile of the technician who allegedly contaminated the electronics and wiring of the vehicle in question
would certainly be crucial to the complainant's case; however, so too would a psychological profile of the complainant be brought in by the defense.

As all of you on this thread have noted: how do we know it was acid, what kind of acid was it, how much acid was used, where did the acid come from. how was the acid applied?

Judging by his use of CAPITAL LETTERS and poor writing skills in stating his case, I think the only acid used was LSD by the complainant.

But anything that can happen does happen--somewhere.
 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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High current shorts can produce acid like burns in wiring and PCBs
You would make a good tech:thumbsup: you are absolutley correct. Fact is, though, we have no pics of the said damage so we cannot tell;)
 

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Outstanding Contributor - Always Remembered, RIP
Zotye Auto 1.5T T600 2016
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Indeed, the thick plottens. There's some of the dirty laundry I mentioned. Answers a few other questions, too.

Nice catch, McBear.

He still needs to see a lawyer.
Yup, he should see a lawyer but not because of some ficticious acid. He said he has comprehensive insurance and therefore should be entitled to claim for all the repairs under flood damage.

The major stumbling block is that he openly admitted to driving it through the water and not accidentally. He should therefore change his story and stop blaming the dealer. Go after the insurance company and get a dealer on his side by giving a full assessment of the damage. The dealer should also state that this damage is attributed to the flood.

I firmly believe a good lawyer would get him out of this mess, as long as he changes his thinking and gives the lawyer all the TRUE facts:thumbsup:
 
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