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1985 300sd
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445 Posts
Very interesting, thanks for the article. I have been wondering the real reason why my beloved Mercedes marque now seems to have the reliability of a Nissan. They better get their act together soon.
 

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2005 E500
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10 Posts
Slide continues.......Consumer Reports just came out with their reliability rankings and Mercedes Benz came out just two places from the bottom, #34 out of 36 car brands.

I sure hope 2006 is a better year.
 

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2007 ML320 CDI - Silver/Ash
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355 Posts
I do not disagree that MB has had quality control issues over the past few years.
However, here is another perspective to consider:
First - MB is producing and selling more cars to more customers. Therefore, the incidences of people having problems has absolutely got to grow.
Additionally, people will tolerate less when purchasing a Benz. They cut our cars no slack in the quality control department. Do you think a customer purchasing a $14,000.00 Honda complains the same way a $50,000.00+ Benz customer would? My point on this one is that there is very little margin for error on MB's part for the cars they make.
Second - Our family has owned Benz's since 1982. We have all driven at one some point a launch year of almost every model. We had a very early production model of the M Class. Same for 2 generations of the E Class. Ditto for the S Class. And finally, most recently, my purchase of the 2005 SLK 350. Guess how many serious problems or major quality control issues we have experienced?
NONE. That's right - NONE.
We have had the usual little, minor things go wrong over the course of ownership. But nothing like some of the major things reported (locked out, unable to start, engine failures, etc.)
Again, not saying MB is perfect, but they are by far a Company who has stood by its products with relation to our 15 year+ experiences with them.
We would never own any other make of car and our loyalty is a result of Benz's treatment of us over the years along with the dealership's (Devon, PA) responsiveness to our needs too.
 

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2002 430clk;2005 Yamaha YZF R1;08 Range Rover Sport
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1,292 Posts
I am going to have to agree with the above statement. I am treated extremely well by my mercedes dealer. ...and its not a honda so I wont see 100,000 430clks dark blue on the street, it is very solid and well constructed, it is built to last, that what we pay for
 

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Me thinks you two have been drinking to much of the Mercedes coolaid. You may not see 100 thousand of your Mercedes model but who cares? Yours doesn't look to much different then theirs especially looking up at it as it's towed back to the dealer. Again. And you've also bought into the standard Mercedes sales hype. Well of course this happenned. You haven't kept up with the stringent Mercedes maintenance schedule. These are highly engineered performance luxury vehicles. This can be expected. OK, then why did my drivers and passenger door window fall into the door? Did I miss a scheduled maintenance? Is there a filter I didn't change? Is there some inane program feature I overlooked? What about the sunroofs that fail? The cracked dashes. How about the RUST? How would you explain that? Let's not get into the failures on their "no service required" transmissions. How about trim pieces falling off? What scheduled maintenance covers that? Any lack of maintenance explain the common failures of a/c components?

The fact is, imo, that one of the main reasons many purchase this brand is for the star on the hood. A little prestige. It says something about where you are now and maybe where you're going. Nothing wrong with that. Enjoy, you've earned it. Some have guilt feelings about it though. They need to let their friends know they bought it not to show off but to enjoy the safety, quality and performance engineered into every Mercedes. You just can't get that spirit from a Japanese marque. Really? I say if you bought an Acura, added some minor handling mods and debadged it, Mercedes could put it on their showroom floor and everyone who tried it would be hugely impressed with Mercedes new found quality control leadership. A new day at Mercedes. All you would need to do is plant the star on the hood and in their mind. After the test, they would be disappointed they fell for it. Of course, the car will go 250K miles with nothing but tire and oil changes but they'll never know. They'll plunk down their hard earned cash for a "real" Mercedes which further compounds Mercedes' ability to build and sell highly engineered rust buckets.

On the bright side, the engineers must have seen all this coming. They engineered the windows to automatically fall into the doors to keep their customers cool when the a/c fails. Remember coolaid drinkers to always look for the silver lining.[:D]
 

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I agree. It is bull that somebody had no problems at all with any cars they purchased in that timeframe. Complete bull.

Mercedes reached it's peak in the late '80's with quality, prestige, reliability with their cost plus profit initiative. Their cars were built relatively spartan, but made to last indefinitely. The numbers produced were lower and the cars remained much more exclusive back then, as well. Even higher expectations were placed on the three pointed star. After all, why did someone have to shell out what is equivalent to today's 110K dollars with no digital readouts, no mpg estimators, a single power mirror, and no cupholders?

The most reliable and beautifully finished cars in the entire world coupled with exclusive prestige, helped to keep resale values for the brand stratospherically high.
 

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I've got to agree here, 2 people above work for Mercedes or have been drinking too much Mercedes cool-aid. I live over here in Japan, believe me when I say Japanese do not like defects in anything not even a tiny scratch on the outside of the package. My family here owns 4 mercedes and I have one I just sold a CLK 320 loved it but.. let's don't get carried away with praise for Mercedes here. It was recalled for brakes once, the air conditioner needed the filters cleaned every single year or you just burn in the summer heat. My sister in laws E320 got recalled twice.
Now we have an old 300D here that runs forever, but the newer Mercedes including one SLK all had annoying troubles. We also have two Toyotas one with over 290,000 kilometers on it and no troubles, Mercedes will hopefully get their act together. One more, my best friend had a AMG CL, recalled twice for brakes, he sold it and bought a Porsche, they lost a customer who bought a new AMG every year, Mercedes better get their act together fast. All that being said I am looking hard at purchasing the new 2006 ML, maybe I'm crazy but I'll give them one more chance.
 

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A friend of mine told me some time ago that the reason for the decline in the quality of German cars was that the government heavily subsidised their motor industry. When the wall came down with the poverty of the East they could not afford to do so anymore. So they had to look at reducing costs to maintain profits. I am aware that Porsche went to Japan prior to the 993 being built to look at how and where savings could be achieved. I owned a Porsche garage for a while and the quality difference between the 964 (1989 to 1994) and the 993 (1995 to 1998) was very evident.
My first Merecedes was bought from a friend of a friend. It was a 300 TE 24 with 160,000 miles on the clock, white with blue cloth, no air con. I sold the car to a friend with over 300,000 miles on it and I used to tow quite a bit. The bodywork still looked like new as did the interior. She now lives in France with over 350,000 miles on the clock and the engine, gearbox etc has never been apart. Thats what sold me on Mercedes. I bought a brand new E300 diesel estate in 1998. Lovely car but I thought this will never live for that mileage. Within three months the power steering impeller broke up, the steering got heavy, fixed under warranty. However I was having problems with the self levelling rear suspension. I would be walking back to the car and the rear end would look lop sided and the ride quality had suffered.
I then discovered that the power steering and the self levelling suspension share the same fluid reservoir etc. So in effect the bits from the broken impeller would have found thier way into the self levelling suspension blocking the valves in the shock absorbers hence the problem. I requested that the main dealer flush the whole system out and renew the rear shockabsorbers under warranty which they refused. The best they could do would be to arrange for a quality service engineer from Mercedes to call me some time in the future to discuss the problem and arrange to inspect the car. Three months after I sold the car back to a Mercedes main dealer he wrang.
This is why I own a 1972 300 SEL 6.3, a 1988 560 SEC and a 1995 S Class. They were all properly screwed together back then.
 

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1990 300E, 2002 ML500
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1,379 Posts
Well I saw a JD Power side note, I've posted it before so you can search for it, for MY2005 and Mercedes was 4th or 5th from the top of initial quality. Currently own a 1990 300E and a 2002 ML500, while I definately love the 300E more the ML500 is not a bad vehicle at all. Before the ML500 was a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a transmission that fell out and the mechanic said it lasted better then most. As for people that get lemons, I do feel for you, it must suck. As for you people complaining about recalls I must ask what the fuck, personally I love recalls, shows that the company is doing something. I remember Mercedes recalled a power steering hose very soon after the MLs came out saying that it would fail after 20,000 miles, well Mercedes obviously cared enough to recall this before everyone found out, as where Jeep would send out recalls that were only required and didn't care about anything. When shopping for a new SUV we did look at Toyota, regardless of the fact that I hated the dealership, the Toyotas seems nice, but rather uninspired. The Highlander was a nice car, but seriously underpowered and the 4 Runner V8 was fairly nice, but had enough plastic in the interior to use two bottles of Amour All. Not to mention both had more cupholders then would ever be needed. Of all the Japanesse companies Nissan and Subaru are by far my favorites. We did test drive a Pathfinder, which had a very compotent and sporty V6 in it, I definately perferred it to the Toyotas, but all the cars were nice. Oh, almost forgot, the 4 Runners were as much as new ML500s. Mercedes needs improvement, and seems to be trying to do so, it is a long and hard process and will not happen immediately, but I'm not going to throw the towel in yet and I will never completely trust these rating systems because I looked at the ratings for the W124s and they were mediocre and average in most areas, including interior quality over 3-5 years and considering that the interior of the 300E looked better then the Jeeps did when we sold it and the Jeep got about the same rating I must wonder as to the validity to these things. To each their own, buy whatever feels best to you. Just remember that there is a reason people on here bitch about how the old days were the golden days, because Mercedes has heritage that Nissian, Toyota, Honda and Subaru will have to build those. I read an article in MPH magizine on a Subaru 2.5 Legacy GT wagon that they had for a year, when they got it the short throw shifter didn't work, dealer had to install a bolt, the flywheel on the engine soon broke, but they still loved the car, so obviously Japan doesn't have the bulletproof manufacturing, I wonder what would happen here if you guys had to get a new shifter and flywheel, because it seems to me that you bitch and gripe enough about recalls which can be done with more flexibilty then a fucked up flywheel.
 
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