1998 ML320 issues MB keeping quiet?

1) after 3 months of waiting I finally got the replacement Catalytic converter. But only after discussions with MB abou the time lag. Seems they pushed by request to the front of the queue!!!!! (dealer charges
$1,500.00 to put in ONE new unit and each SUV has two.
There is a huge demand to CATS in part since there is also a 1999-2001 RECALL re bad build. But there is NO recall as yet on 1998 CATS. So 1998 owners must foot the BIll. Mine went 5K miles after warranty finished at 80K miles (or eight years..I wqas under 8 years)
2) I had the harmoinic stabilzer replaced under a MB RECALL 3 months ago. But the car is now in a private shop and they note that the belt tensioner is worn and rattling and was about to go with possible catastrophic results. They (shop) told me the dealer MUST have ben able to see this part was failing. I didn't hear any noise, because of the noise from the CAT failing. Yikes this could have been very expensive thanks MB dealer!!!!!
3) As a part of the major serice being dne right now my shop also upgraded "fuel lines" apparently there has been a dealer advisory to fix/change these but my dealer never bothered!!!!!!!!!
4) ABS/ETS light came on this week. I need a new "ABS Control Unit" where this a Toyota or a GM car it would cost $350-400 at most. MB charge $1,250.00 and they are in very very short supply. Seems there is heavy demand for them. ANother MB unadvised issue?
5) I felt the SUV become "bouncy" at the rear so asked for new shocks. ANother shock! Guess what? SHocks for a Jan 1999 ML320 and onwards would cost say $100.00. But for a 1998 they are NOT available at ANY PRICE. Not from Bilstein or other major shock suppliers. Nope you need to buy a whole new rear Sprin/shock and all the ancilliary attachments. These cost up to $500 EACH side. I need two plus labor.
Question: Has MB been keeping quiet re the problems on 1998 ML320s as they now need so may new parts and theya re in short short supply and expensive stuff with few if any alternatives?
So at 87K Miles my service is likely to be at, or perhaps even above $5K.
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If anyone knows a source for an ABS Control unit please feel free to suggest it. Thanks
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In typed:

Where is this documented? Certainly not here for example http://www.internetautoguide.com/auto-recalls/67-int/2000/mercedes-benz/m-class/ml320/index.html
DanlK, FYI Services Collectibles www.FYIS.org
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Hey I am trying to help help for "me"!
It's as follows:
Camapign No. 2005060014 September 2005
To: All M-B Centers
Subject: Model 163, Model years 1999-2001 Inspect Catalyst Welds and replace catalytic converter if necessary ...........................
Approximately 79,119 vehicles are affected
Modesl Chassis end number 163.154 A036519 - A26045 163.172 A057639 - A260575
And/or google it: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=mercedes+campaign+2005060014&btnG=Google+Search
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Wow big silence. SO it seems that everyone else is happy with their 1998 ML320s? Judging from the scarcity and long wait for parts and the double who rear end suspension units I am ordering there are many others in trouble as well.
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In typed:

IMO never buy a car in the year it is introduced. Even my 2000 (bought 10/1999) had a number of issues that needed to be corrected under warranty.
DanlK, FYI Services Collectibles www.FYIS.org
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It actually seems that the ML is one of the worst cars in the MB line-up and has lambasted in the past by posters to this news group. It has been consistently voted one of the worst 10 cars in the UK (according to a BBC survey). For a humorous (or perhaps frightening) look at the ML320, in particular a 1998 like yours, take a peek at http://www.nagele.co.uk/ml320 /.
Josh

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I don't want to be accused of piling on, but have a look at:
http://www.troublebenz.com/index.htm
A long sad tale.
John M. Happy with my '94 E320
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In Josh typed:

I think my 2000 ML320 made in Alabama USA is great, now that all the new car bugs and problems have been repaired under warranty.
DanlK, FYI Services Collectibles www.FYIS.org
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