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97 S320 01 V280
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here is the deal


We decided to have a vacation in Germany. After one night out in Frankfurt my wife and I felt hungry so we went to a McDo drive-in after leaving the drive-in trouble started. The water light went on and I still had to drive approximately 5 miles. Temperature seamed as usual, we pulled over and I had a quick look under the bonnet I opened the cooling system to check the water level, brown coffee bubbled out and it was dark already so there was not much I could do. I had a few bottles of drinking water with me; I purred about 2 litres in and carried on driving hoping that this is the end of the story but before arriving home the light went back on again. (Just great) Next morning I brought the car to the closest garage Dr. Vogler Mercedes-Benz Partner Händler Bad Homburg Bad Camberg Köngistein Usingen Friedberg Butzbach Bad Vilbel Rosbach Büdingen | Standorte | Usingen which was about 5 miles away.
I knew that there is no chance heating up the engine in such a short distance. Well after one day Mercedes called and told us we need a new cooling system at 400,- euro + VAT. To be honest I was kind of glad that it’s only the cooling system! But I should have kept my mouth shut as Mercedes called again but this time with really bad news that the head gasket has gone (2500,- euro) but this time they were not really SURE as it could also be the cylinder head (5000,- euro). As you can imagine it was a great feeling - not.
After a few hours that same day Mercedes called again and told us the head gasket is gone. Well as I had no choice and rather let Mercedes do the job because of warranty etc… but I’ll get back to that later. After 2 days of repairs I had a new cooling system, radiator, and a new head gasket and many things more you should see the invoice it looked like a Christmas wish list.
It was expensive holiday. We asked Mercedes if the car is fit to drive back to England and they assured us that everything is top, well for nearly 2400 euros it better be. I have noticed myself that they didn’t change any pipes so we questioned them about it but they assured us everything is fine as the engine and cooling system was cleaned twice.
Our suitcases were packed and we were ready to go. The journey was about 750 miles. The car seamed ok she was running just fine trough Germany, Belgium, France. I stopped regularly for petrol. After leaving the Euro Tunnel the car trouble didn’t cross my mind anymore apart from the money!! And after approximately 450 miles on M25 the same light went back on - water!!!! It was the same story again. The temperature still the same and it was getting dark so I had to pull over the hard shoulder. I tell you I was never so scared in my life as traffic was quite heavy. I discovered that my cooling system is producing coffee again (oil and water). As usual when you need help you won’t get any so we spent about an hour at the hard shoulder on the phone to the Car Insurance, Breakdown Cover, Status Check, Personal Injury Claim, Car Loan with no luck at all. I had no choice then taking the next junction which was Potters Bar and we found a Tesco petrol station with to very nice and helpful ladies in, so I spent truly another 2 hours on the phone to the RAC with no luck at all just some dodgy music and an announcement that they are currently very busy but finally after the 2 hours I got in touch with some one who took all details etc… but we had to wait for another 2 hours, till someone turned up in an orange van well he admired the car and I didn’t have one good thing to say about it at that moment but it is not her fault(W140). He diagnosed that the car is not road safe and ordered us a breakdown truck to get towed to the next Mercedes Garage.
We had to wait another 5 hours and then he finally took us to: Mercedes-Benz UK - Passenger Cars

It was 1 o’clock in the morning. They didn’t refer us to a hotel or anything not to forget the hours we had to wait. Well at Mercedes Edmonton there was a security guard and I asked him at what time the first people are coming in the morning. He told me at 7 o’clock (strange that is a bit early but fine by me). We had to spend the night in the car and couldn’t switch the engine on as we did not know if we could or should. It was just great and at the beginning of March not the best weather. We slept for a few hours at the Mercedes forecourt.
The staff arrived from about 8 o’clock every single one just walked past us not one person asked if we had a problem or offered any kind of service, I bet Lada would have made more effort…. anyway by the time I got to talk to someone it was already 9 o’clock. (The whole night nothing to eat and most importantly no toilet to go to etc….)
So I kept cool and I sad to a woman from the Service Team: ‘Good morning, I had a breakdown last night … this is where she interrupted me and said "Sorry for the breakdown there is a minimum waiting of 2 weeks". Great service by Mercedes Edmonton - 5 Stars. After they began to listen to our story that we just had the car fixed and the same problem accured again they advised us to book in the hotel across the road and wait for them to repair the car. I thought they were joking. Not even a courtesy car or anything was offered to bring us home.

After a while they advised us to bring the car to a different Mercedes dealer about 10 miles away from Mercedes Edmonton to Mercedes Stratford Mercedes-Benz UK apparently they could look at our car the next day.
Only problem was to get the car over there. So I had no other choice than to call RAC, but they only come to you once per breakdown and as it was the same problem they refused to recover us!! Thanks RAC. So Mercedes Edmonton organised a breakdown truck at our cost. We wasted another 3 hours waiting around at Mercedes Edmonton. While waiting, one of the staff came over to us and asked for a cigarette. I thought lighting is going to strike me.

Anyway after the Breakdown truck arrived and charged us £90 for hitting every pothole in London we finally arrived as mentioned at Mercedes Stratford. It seamed they have common sense. They made copies of the invoice from Germany, the Service Manager hired us a car and ensured us that we do not have to worry, that they will have a look at the car straight away the next day and give us a call as soon as. Had to make a deposit of £50 for the hired car in case I get a fine etc… and I asked clearly how much the hired car is and we have been told by the Service Manger of Mercedes Stratford and the hire company that Mercedes will take care of the charges of the hired car! So we though we keep the car until our car is repaired. Wrong. After 2 weeks when we were enquiring about who the hell is then paying for the hire car we have been told that our car is 97 that means 1 year too old for Mercedes to pay for the hired car!! What?!?!?

After arriving home we had a few hours of peace. The following day of course we didn’t hear from Mercedes Stratford. The day after I called, they took my number and told me that I will receive a call back but they forgot to tell me which day. Finally I received a call about 7 days later, that I would have to pay £700 for them to investigate the damage on my car!! Still not a joke (I didn’t agree), meanwhile I received a phone call from Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Rental Cars at Everyday Low Rates the hire company that if I do not pay the bill of one week that they will report the car as stolen and that Mercedes is not going to cover for the charges!!
So I lost another £500.
Mercedes Germany tried to play innocent and the nightmare is still not over. After calling in everyday and wasting my time with Germany and Stratford of over 4 weeks!! Finally it came up that apparently one of the pipes where damaged and should have been changed £185. And Mercedes is not going to cover this cost either because apparently and this came from nowhere: Mercedes Stratford made a story up that I did not have the budget to get the car completely fixed in Germany, how cheeky of them. It is not true and even if what makes the difference at a bill of nearly 2400 euro to pay another £185. We have been also asked if somebody has done some sort of job on that car between Germany and England. Apparently it looks like dodgy job. We said all jobs on that car have been done by Mercedes-Benz.


5 weeks later I finally was able to pick my car up!! 2 flight tickets to London over £100 again. When arriving at Mercedes Stratford I kept cool paid the bill under protest.
When we walked out to the car I saw something strange with my boot lid. As I got closer I noticed 2 big dents in the back and when I looked closer my door frames where like burned with some sort of chemical or something. Instead of apologizing to me they said you car already has a scratch and that the dent on my car is from the inside (yes right the inside!!!), as if I had to accept it.
After talking to the same Service Manager the same B….. As mentioned earlier came out and offered me £40 to compensate me (still not joking), which obviously was not accepted and we arranged that I will send him an estimate. After arriving home I went straight to my local Mercedes dealer for an estimate. The repair for my Car was estimated at over £1600. After I’ve sent him the estimate, he didn’t get back to me.
Trading Standards sent a letter and email to the Service Manager of Mercedes Stratford. The response of him was:
 

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97 S320 01 V280
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140 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
thank you for your correspondence in this matter.

Upon collection of the above vehicle,
I checked the vehicle to find numerous dents and scratches all of which were old and showing signs of light corrosion and ground-in dirt.
Mr me pointed to two of the damaged areas on the vehicle, one of which was on the boot lid at the top.
I proceeded to damage as we carried out repairs in this area at which point, (this disagreed with Mr me and told me that the damage they were querying was on the boot lid.)
I looked at the damage to the boot lid along with one of my Managers and advised Mr me that this damage could not have happened whilst at our workshop. The crease in the boot lid would have been impacted by a heavy object to the rear of the boot lid but there was no damage to he rear bumper panel which protruded out beyond that of the boot lid. There was also a dent from inside of the boot pushing outward on the boot lid.
All of our equipment is floor standing and if struck by a vehicle would have caused damage to the rear bumper panel before causing any damage to the boot lid section. I explained to Mr me that I would not accept any responsibility for this damage as I could not have been caused here whilst in our workshop.

I have already advised Mr me on this matter and I hope that this clarifies our position.

Yours sincerely

Simon C.

Now what have I done wrong to deserve to be treated like this, these liars are just scared of losing their bonus, I cannot believe that they are working in interest of Mercedes- Benz.

By all means Mercedes build great cars but be careful you don't want to make an experience like me. Be aware that they all will try to con you as soon as they can.


Thanks for reading.
 

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2008 E 320 Bluetec (ELEGANCE) 2005 CLK500 (avant-garde)
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DAMN! I've never been treated by Mercedes-Benz the way you were, but if I had there would be flames coming out of my ears! And they wonder why Lexus is doing so well????!!!!!!
 

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Wow! On the bright side you're getting up close to a full sized book or screenplay, could be either a comedy or a tragedy, wouldn't try to sell it as non-fiction though. I kept thinking 'glad I've got 119 motors'. 104 motors are great motors, if you don't count their serious problems.
 

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Sorry to hear about your situation, it probably would have worked out cheaper if you were to able to get the car shipped backed to london. I have always found Mercedes Dealers to be arrogant and really dont about care the customer. Since my cars are out of warranty i never take it back to them i usually take it too a Mercedes Specialist dealer who who know what he is doing and cares about the customer at the end of day because thats we keeps his business running.
 

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I'm so glad I live in New Zealand, every dealer I've ever delt with here has been so helpful and alot of the time given free advice even. Man thats a really really shitty deal you got delt by Mercedes there I think I would have been far less controled than you were had this been my car.
 

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Outstanding Contributor W221 Moderator
2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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What an awful experience! I certainly hope none of the MB folks involved come home to find their wives in bed with a Lexus Sales guy. That would be awful for them, no?

I hope you are able to get some satisfaction somehow. What does having to traverse the multiple countries do to the complexity of this issue?
 

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i don't know how things work over there but here in the states you could've easily sue'd and have everything payed for top to bottom. We took my mothers new 99 S500 to get an autostart put in. After 2 days they give us a call to pick up the car and letting us know they can't do the job. We arrive and check out the car and the whole dash is damaged beyond belief. Looked like someone tried to take out the dash to reach the ignition with a crowbar.

The asshole tried to tell me and my dad that they couldn't have done it and someone may have broken into the vehicle at night. Of course someone broke into the car played with the dash, damaged it and left, that makes sense :/...

(Btw this damage was on both sides...obviously these people had no idea what they were doing)

Needless to say opened up a case, took them to court. The assholes never showed, we won automatically MB dealership fixed up the damage and the bill was sent to the dumbass's who think they're smarter than people far more successful than them.

Anyway that minor yet idiotic damage cost them well over 1k.
 

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1996 S600 (Sebastian), 1999 SLK230 Kompressor (Tie Fighter)
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unbelievable story! i just can't imagine putting up with all of the rudeness and accusations and then expecting to pay the bill on top of it all. i agree that either a good lawyer or a couple of guys named vinny and knuckles might visit a few blokes who did the nasty shit on the car. yikes, what a friggin' nightmare.

my Sebastian is presently in my indie's shop, i made sure he understood how particular i am about the car and that i want it handled like it was his own...he always reassures me that it will be in good hands and that he'll keep it in the shop overnight each night. still...makes me nervous leaving my baby with strangers.....sigh.
 

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aristotled said:
unbelievable story! i just can't imagine putting up with all of the rudeness and accusations and then expecting to pay the bill on top of it all. i agree that either a good lawyer or a couple of guys named vinny and knuckles might visit a few blokes who did the nasty shit on the car. yikes, what a friggin' nightmare.

my Sebastian is presently in my indie's shop, i made sure he understood how particular i am about the car and that i want it handled like it was his own...he always reassures me that it will be in good hands and that he'll keep it in the shop overnight each night. still...makes me nervous leaving my baby with strangers.....sigh.
Yea as soon as you find a good indie look after him, mine keeps my car under cover in a big workshop when it's in there. It's the little things that make the difference liek the matting over the car when their working on the engine bay and the covers they put on the seats you'd be suprised how many places don't bother.
 

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That is so typical of the "pompass german engineering is best" assholes....benzkid and others would defend this sort of treatment and service as a write of passage...BS...This is a great car...But I will crawl through glass before I buy another one of these overpriced pieces of ........My g'damn windows still do not work after replacing a second N57 module(the diagnosed problem)...please! '55 Caddie's windows still work........Oh...that's right this is the all mighty 140....If the diehards, at no cost "sheep" ,would join those of us that still have reasonable respect for this car, DB may start to listen.....

The "authorized dealer response" is symptommatic of the larger issue of a total disregard for the poor souls that continue to buy this iron flotsum...With the problems these cars ave, you would think the dealers would have figured out how to fix them.....Another joke!!!!!!....And thus, here we are venting on reliable Japanese hardware about superior German engineering....Huh?.......go figure.....
My mint '95 S500 is staying here, but at least I could get a kiss ever so once in a while before I get ...ed......
 

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umm...scotta...i'm sure most people here arent die hard do w/e it costs people since millionares usually don't hang around in forums discussing how to fix things themselves. But there are very good mechanics who do very good work, what was discussed was the others who are incompetent and cause damage that by any standards is not acceptable and in many cases charge nearly as much as the good mechanic.

So i don't think that "car damaging" service is any kind of right of passage to prove MB W-140's are a great car. People even with the cheapest toyota compain about shady mechanic and the problems they cause.

With that in mind though to agree with you i will say to anyone who owned or owns one of these it is difficult to not admit they are very unique cars of their time. Granted as one of a kind as they are, it is an old car and most people obviously wouldn't pass up a free new fuel efficient luxury sedan. Just appreciate the cars for what it is with all the flaws and just enjoy the ride. There is no such thing as eternally superior, always something newer and better out there.
 

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Outstanding Contributor W221 Moderator
2010 E350 P1/P2, 2008 S550 Designo, 2002 ML320
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The POS Honda Odyssey I had, which ate its transmission with 16k miles on the ticker is what pisses me off. I enjoy my 140 and 163 and also, the 129 I had before it, and the 124 before that, the 126 before that, the 124 before that, 126 before that, the two 123s and my first, a 1971 114.

My next door neighbor just got his 1995 LS400 back from the Sexless dealer yesterday. It needed a new A/C compressor and the upper/lower radiator hoses. $2,832.00.

What is sad is the total lack of respect autoblue was shown at factory authorized dealers. They should be servicing stable-cleaning implements.
 

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It really is "how we are treated" when problems arise. I wish the Germans would pay back the Japanese and copy what they do best...Customer care and service. The Lexus model is a study in business schools on how a function unrelated to the car plays such a large role in the success of the the brand. The 140 should have been "shaken" out years ago, and repairs for so many of these items should be quick and reasonable in cost. The argument that these are old cars holds little water with me. Mercedes has pounded into the auto buying public the quality and longevity of their products since the begining. I would venture to bet that if Mercedes had a refurbishment/service program for these still advanced automobiles, it would be a resounding success. As good as these cars can be I would buy a 140 for $30k or so if it had warranty and sercvice programs to back it. It would bring back the lore of the expected longevity and attention you would expect. After all adjusting for inflation my '95 S500 would cost close to $200k today! If that were the case, how many of us would expect to be on computers trying to figure out how to fix them 10-12 years from now.
 

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W639 Vito 110 CDI; Ponton 220S; VW Phaeton V10 tdi; 1995 S500 ex diplomatic car (gone)
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First, with recovery use GreenFlag / National Breakdown or some such. They get there within 1 hour. You then get a questionnaire. The companies are VERY keen to help and keep the business. They do not have their own fleet of trucks, but franchise out the business..

AA and RAC always try to get their own trucks out first (after a man in a van has come and told you that you need a truck!), as they are already paid for. To get a franchisee out cost them a fortune; so you wait and wait. Even as a single lady you wait...

Second, to get a response from a big company, go onto Companies House web site and for £1 you get a list of all the board of directors and their home addresses.

Now comes the essential bit.

Issue a County Court Summons against them all at their home addresses (NOT WORK!!!) and make it a joint summons with the company too. Normally at least 1 PA will 'phone you. Be very polite' but do not budge. It will get sorted if you can defend your position. When they ring you back they will be much more amenable to your point of view if they know you mean it. Imagine that you are Mrs Executive in six figure income commmuter land and a Summons lands on your door mat? Mr Executive will get a castration without a local anaesthetic if it does not get sorted. After all, think of the neighbours!!

Visa and British Gas will attest to this! Also I have a friend who reclaimed £6000 from a London dealer for wasted time when the new S Class he picked up from Stuttgart was screwed up by a London dealer. Stuttgart 'phoned the dealer who sent a cheque out the same day! He also successfully rejected the car. To rub salt into the wound, once the cheque had cleared he then ordered another S Class wih an extra £6000 of kit! Strangely, this car deal went fine?

Third. Walk around the car before you leave it and have the dealer note any damage. Anything more MUST be their fault. Get any agreement in writing and any assurances too.

My wife's Volvo dealer has assured us that if I change the brake pads for non genuine, it will not affect the warranty. I will when they write it down!

So sorry to hear of your troubles. I have found these things out the hard way.

"To trip over a log and learn from it is experience. To see somebody else do so and then for you to step over it is wisdom"
 

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floridabenzboi said:
Get a Lexus and be treated better at the dealer than any MB dealership. Sad that this has happened to MB and the just do not care at all.
I don't know about this. My "other" car is LS430 and Lexus doesn't really do any better than Mercedes!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Cheers guys for your response! You all hit the nail exactly...

Re: MaximRick: I'm sorry to hear that you had to waste your time too! I have attached some pictures for you.

Re: Gartracescort: I do have statements of RAC and one other contractor of Mercedes Stratford that the car had no damage at all (exterior). The Service Manager already made me an offer, which was really ridiculous (£40). I had my car keyed last year and I did not fix it yet as I'm scared that it could happen again. It could have been a lousy sad guy just walking pass and having pleasure in doing this or jealous neighbour who would be still a sad guy and .. and ...
Anyway I did hold my hand up that it was scratch before and was absolutely honest.

Dlafever made it clear that it could have been any car really.

To put the icing on the cake I have found a member who had problems with the same garages as I had. Apart from the German one but they will get their Beef.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/v-class/1312818-2000-v280.html











 

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2008 E 320 Bluetec (ELEGANCE) 2005 CLK500 (avant-garde)
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These cars may be complicated and all but we are talking about a Mercedes-Benz DEALER! If it's too complicated for them to fix they need to lose their dealership! I can handle it costing more, but if you go to a dealership it should be fixed right and you should be treated like a King or Queen because everything that they do is pure profit. MB sees none of it!

I remember a friend of my Dad's describing buying his first Rolls-Royce. The first thing the dealer did was offer a glass of champagne and some canape's ( it was the 1960's). The car was delivered to his house and the dealer called once a month for the 1st year to find out if the car was satisfactory!

Mercedes-Benz could take a lesson from the old days of Rolls-Royce!
 
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