Please give a helpful ''Yes'' vote to other Mercedes buyers. Your vote will help yourself and others avoid getting ripped off.
"$100,000 Expert Challenge" to ANY automotive expert, any SAE certified mechanic, any automotive engineer, any Mercedes Benz engineer (Including "Dr. Z", president of Mercedes as seen on TV), any Mercedes Service Manager or Mercedes mechanic. If you can prove that anything I have stated here is completely untrue, I will gladly post your rebuttal, issue a complete apology to Mercedes Benz, and reward you with $100,000!
I simply invite anyone with any credentials, including Scientists, Engineers, Physicists, NASA engineers and 'geniuses-at-large'. Harvard, Stanford, and MIT professors, Cal Tech professors, automotive geniuses of any kind or education. Pick up a quick $100K on me!
Better yet, why not talk to ANY Mercedes owner. Ask them about their maintenence problems in person.
My 2003 Mercedes S430 was listed on Ebay. I bought it from the Mercedes dealer who listed it. After 4 MONTHS of constant electrical failures, and dangerous incidents like the one pictured below, I got rid of it ($14,000 loss). I want to let other Mercedes buyers know what has happened at Mercedes Benz over the past few years, and why DEFECTS are inherent in many late model Mercedes.
I've written several Benz guides, and you can take steps to avoid the problems thousands of unsuspecting Mercedes' owners have had.
The research I've done on Mercedes will open your eyes! I hope it will keep you from ending up with an expensive lemon, and a serious accident. I'm not alone with these problems, as you will find out in this article.
***Stopped dead at busy intersection in rush hour traffic***
This is a long document....I want to 'connect-the-dots' in this Mercedes maze...but first, I need to point out all the dots so you will see the 'big-picture'. If you are in the market for a late model Mercedes, 2000-2005, this will be time well spent.
I have rec'd dozens of emails from others. Here's one dated July 2, 2007 from an Ebay member:
"THANK GOD that I did A VMI REPORT on A 2001 MERCESDES S430 WITH 50K I was going to buy today. SHOWED car had been to dealer over 40 TIMES WITH ELECTRICAL ISSUES I was shocked. THANKS TO YOU I KNEW WHAT A VMI REPORT WAS AND HAD IT DONE."
Dated Feb 28, 2008....
I found your article very interesting. I bought a certified S 500 from a dealer in Boston. Within 4 months EVERY panel was rusted. I live in FLorida and have no winter salt here. Mercedes claimed no reponsiblity for it. My friend is the editior of automobile mag and I contacted him. Within minutes the wisked my car way to have the panels replaced and entirely repainted.The cost was $11k. Dash failure suspension failures electrical issues all a major dissappointment on an otherwise wonderful car. Thanks for your info.
I have provided a link HERE to the VMI report
For 4 months following purchase, I had ongoing electrical related problems with the above pictured Certified Pre-Owned 2003 Mercedes S-430 AND a 4 month owned 2002 CLK430 which I bought for my wife. I couldn't understand why they were in the shop so often. After substantial online research, I found out the answers.
If you must own a Benz, I would avoid ALL 2000 through 2005 models. But, don't take my word for it.....here's what Mercedes says about their cars: Mercedes states they "only have problems with cars that are already sold" prior to 2006.
Here's the 'big picture' of what's happened at Mercedes Benz these past 6 years.... as reported by Edmunds.com. Edmunds is one of the nation's top automotive industry experts.
"Mercedes Sends Quality 'Hit Squads' to Suppliers in Push to Eliminate Defects"
Date posted: 05-06-2005
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Mercedes-Benz announced it has been sending "hit squads" into suppliers worldwide, and is test-driving more cars as they leave the factory, in order to overcome quality problems that prompted a record recall of 1.3 million faulty vehicles last month.
Hans-Heinrich Weingarten, Mercedes' head of production, and Bill Taylor, president of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, said the carmaker had dropped a few suppliers and assigned its own engineers to many others.
The moves are part of a quality offensive designed to eliminate problems with Mercedes cars, which have cost the company $587 million in repairs. Mercedes claims cars now being produced are once more of high quality and problems are only with cars already sold.
Among other corrective measures, more cars are being test-driven as they come off the production line "so we get not only the static problems but also the dynamic problems," Weingarten said. He added that consolidation among parts suppliers has made it more difficult for Mercedes to monitor the supply chain.
While the company previously dealt with relatively small owner-run enterprises in Germany, it now buys entire systems and modules from much larger suppliers.
What this means to you: Mercedes is finally getting back to basics, BUT THE DAMAGE IS DONE. Restoring the reputation of the three-pointed star will be a long haul.
End of article.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
YOU can read the same report firsthand at Edmunds.com. Here is the URL....copy/paste into your browser, then carefully delete BOTH of the + marks. NOTE: this URL is Case Sensitive if you choose to type it yourself. +http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=105578+
Mercedes admits they have problem cars on the road...but my Mercedes dealer could do nothing to make ours safe to drive. Mercedes Corp. tells owners "when your local dealer cannot satisfy your concern, contact the MBUSA Headquarters"......so I contacted MB-USA, and they referred me back to the local dealer!
Twice I sent registered mail and twice they referred me back to the local dealer. MBUSA nor your local dealer want to be held accountable for their mistakes.
They admit the problem, but they will ignore your pleas to fix it...or they'll tell you they 'cannot duplicate' the problem.
I purchased a Certified Pre Owned Mercedes 2003 S430 from the local Mercedes Dealer. It had 2 years of Mfg. warranty plus one year of CPO warranty. In otherwords, all repairs and maintenance were FREE during this THREE year period. That sounded good to me.
While driving, the lights went out on the dashboard; the ABS system failed 4 times, the fuel gauge quit working, leaving me stranded without gas in rush hour traffic. The on board communications system between me and MB did not work! I couldn't call them for gas or a tow!
Do some research at Edmunds.com about late model pre-owned Mercedes. From Edmonds' home page, select FORUMS.......then type Mercedes in the search box.
I began to search the internet and discovered that I was not alone......hundreds, probably thousands of others are having similar and worse problems. Mercedes knows about it, but give excuses, NOT repairs.
The local Mercedes dealer said there was nothing they could do to repair the ABS system, because they couldn't 'duplicate the problem in the shop'. They refused to buy the car back. They actually told me to drive it over to their service department THE NEXT TIME THE ABS BRAKE FAILURE HAPPENED so they could witness it.
That's dangerous advice, and HERE'S WHY.....
The owners manual clearly states on page 291 that.... "when the yellow ABS indicator lamp comes on, the ABS has malfunctioned and switched off. The BAS and the ESP are also switched off (in conjunction). The automatic transmission can also malfunction." Have the system checked at an authorized Mercedes-Benz center as soon as possible. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS INCREASES THE RISK OF AN ACCIDENT. (An accident can lead to permanent disability or death) My words in italics.
So, I'm confused...is Mercedes ignorant, reckless, or just plain don't care about their customers?
Mercedes publicly states that it did NOT check the quality control of their vendors that it hired to produce the wiring/electrical systems! They have spent over $1.5 Billion repurchasing and attempting to repair these cars. But, they continue to sell them and Certify them even though Dealers & MBUSA are unable to fix them. And they only repurchase if you sue them in a state that has tough lemon laws, such as California. In most states, it's simply 'buyer beware' and you get no help from your Attorney General.
California has tough lemon laws, and many were re-purchased in CA. and being sold on Ebay and elsewhere. If the car you want to buy was ever registered in CA., demand a VMI or purchase at your own risk.
Another day with my newly Certified Starmark Mercedes S-430 on the tow truck.
Hey, I wish I was making this up, but it's all documented. Before buying, review the CARFAX. MORE IMPORTANT, REVIEW THE VMI (Vehicle Master Inquiry). I reviewed the CarFax before I bought, but not the VMI. I trusted MB which is a big mistake.
DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE BUYING!
********Check the VMI before you buy********
It tells you what the CarFax doesn't. It tells the car's maintenence history.
Insist on a VMI (Vehicle Master Inquiry) report from the seller or dealer. This will tell all the repairs made on the car. If you can't get the VMI.....don't get the car. And tell the dealership that's the reason you are not buying the car. Then, see what happens!
I have written a brief summary about how to get the VMI for the Mercedes you are interested in buying.
Click the link below.......
Here are a few of the VMI entries on the 2003 S430 PRIOR TO PURCHASE....If I had seen this VMI, I would not buy the car, because of the ELECTRICAL history.
- Automatic transmission electric cable failure
- Selector lever module electrical failure
- Control module replaced-traction control failure
- Air spring electrical failure
- Hydraulic pump (brake servo) failure
- Shift valve body failure
- ABS/BAS failure
It's important to remember that the electrical systems for both of these vehicles were manufactured by vendors which Mercedes hired. Mercedes states that they simply "did NOT check the quality of the components from these vendors before putting them on the road".
No matter which model car or SUV, if it's made between 2000 and 2005, look out, you may be heading for trouble and costly problems. Even though Mercedes admits the problems exist, they are often unwilling or unable to fix them....and you are stuck with a car which is worth thousands less...and the un-nerving feeling each time a warning indicator lights up!
We sold both cars at a loss of $23,000 after 4 months of ownership when the dealer was unable to permanently fix all the problems........ but we avoided any accidents, injuries, dismemberment or death.
It gets even worse: Mercedes has sold my dangerous S-430 to another unspecting soul....AGAIN!
And, even more bad news....
The CLK430 was also sold by another dealer to an unsuspecting customer in California, even though the dealer knew it had electrical problems!! This dealer 'pre-sold' it before he purchased it from me, so it was sold 'as is' with the defects.
I love the ride, feel and styling of Mercedes. But doing business with them and with their corporate headquarters in New Jersey has been the worst automobile ownership experience in my life. I suspect Mercedes has grown weary of dealing with this problem and are aggressively 'sticking-it-to' unsuspecting customers to get rid of these late model cars. Greed?
Mercedes is using their 100+ years of auto experience as a defense against their cars having these problems. Many would call that delusional, others would call it dis-honest. Mercedes will tell you the problems with your car don't exist.....over and over again. Do they actually expect their customers to believe that? Is hiding serious problems fraud?
Interested in a C class Mercedes? Copy/Past this url into your browser, then delete the + at the beginning and end......
Interested in a E class Mercedes? Copy/Past this url into your browser, then delete the + at the beginning and end......
Interested in a S class Mercedes? Copy/Past this url into your browser, then delete the + at the beginning and end......
Interested in a CLK class Mercedes? Copy/Past this url into your browser, then delete the + at the beginning and end......
Yes, I'm an auto enthusiast. I have built cars from the ground up. I have an engineering education. I have raced cars. I have been a mechanic. I've been an auto dealer. I know cars. In our 'fraternity' we all know about electrical problems in automobiles. They are nearly impossible to repair. You never know when the problem will happen. In fact, the wiring harness is attached to so many components, you never know what will go wrong next. But you DO KNOW something will go wrong.
If this report has been helpful to you, help others from getting ripped off, click the YES button.