'99 E300 - front axle spindle broken?

Howdy!
I have a '99 E300 TD (132K km). I was driving the other day and I heard a loud "clunk", followed by a grinding sound from the front passenger-
side wheel. My brakes were gone!
I took it to the MB garage and they told me my front axle spindle was sheared!? A new one had to be ordered from Germany!? Ouch!! $$$$
My questions is this: am I simply unlucky, or is this a common breakdown?
Cheers! and Happy New Year to all!
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Almost never happen like 99.99% of the time.
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