Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

How bad is Mercedes reliability, really?

5338 Views 66 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  ccmbduong
I've heard so many horror stories about Mercedes reliability, and CR has of course not been kind.

But how large is the difference between Mercedes and competing vehicles, really?

I suspect that the difference, on average, is less than many people think. There's not much distance between CR's dots--about 0.03 problems per car for a 2006 model--and forums like this one make problems seem much more common than they actually are.

In late 2005 I started conducting my own reliability research. I'm reporting absolute stats like "times in the shop" that will make the differences between cars much clearer. Relative ratings obscure too much--how large is the difference between "better than average" and "worse than average"? I’ll also be updating results four times a year, so there will be information on new models sooner.

I'd like to provide this information on Mercedes models, but so far too few owners have signed up. I have far more owners for competing makes.

To encourage participation, panel members will receive full access to the results free of charge.

Details: Vehicle reliability research

Comments, questions, and suggestions welcome.
61 - 67 of 67 Posts
I'm not saying others don't do the same thing, only that I don't currently count these as regular recalls.

At issue as far as my research is concerned is why the repair occurred. If the repair occurred because the owner received a recall notice, I don't currently count it in the analysis. If the customer noticed a problem and took it in to be fixed, I count it in the analysis even if there is a recall out for the problem.

I count TSBs because they're generally only performed if there's an existing problem, while recalls are often performed to avoid potential problems. Though, as you say, there are multiple levels.

I did recently decide not to count reflashes (one possible outcome on the survey) because they're getting very common, they require very little time, and I don't want to discourage manufacturers from providing regular software updates.

It is impossible to get perfect information. As stated earlier, I'm working to provide the best possible information. I regularly tweak the process based on what I learn. If there's a better way to handle recalls and TSBs, not theoretically but in the context of the information owners are willing and able to provide, I'll do it. Until then, my current method remains the best I'm aware of.
See less See more
I think some are being very unfair. What you are doing is a very valuable addition to the evidence on reliability. All strength to yourr elbow. Do you want any UK volunteers?
Thanks, I appreciate the support. Anyone is welcome to sign up, no matter where they live. I don't have many UK members so far, just a few dozen, but there will be far more in the future.

On the others, I'm critical by nature myself, so I know where they're coming from. Their criticism does keep me on my toes, and had helped me think of ways to improve the research.
mkaresh -

"On the others, I'm critical by nature myself, so I know where they're coming from. Their criticism does keep me on my toes, and had helped me think of ways to improve the research."

That is a very refreshing attitude to take on these posts. I have enjoyed your responses to the armchair suveyors. I too find the reliability data that is available to be less than helpful. I appreciate your efforts to improve the knowledge base for the rest of us.
Those are reviews. I'm one of two people in charge of autos at one of those listed, Epinions.

What I'm going at TrueDelta is different, survey-based research. A review section is coming, but it'll be different than anything else out there.
Just my personal opinion.... MB cars require more maintenance than that of Japaneses, I know, I have '96 E320, 87' Toyota Camry , '97 Maxima, '07 RAV4. Don't get me wrong, mechanically MB cars are good, but electrical things are years behind Japanese cars and state-of-the art cars now have too many electrical components to control the mechanical parts, that's why MB and European cars are not as reliable as Japanese cars. I will not buy another MB cars until I see evidence that MB asks for help to improve its "electrical" technology... Go to Best buys or Circuit City, do you see any TV or stereo systems from Europe? That tells us everything, right? Nevertheless, I enjoy driving my MB and I plan to keep it to at least 250K miles, it has only 80K miles now... I can't afford to trade it in for a Lexus 460, I would if I could
61 - 67 of 67 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.