Another pleasant warranty experience

My C230K Sport Coupe just passed 30,000 miles and needed its second "A" maintenance (according to the FSS). I called the dealer and was able to
get an appointment without difficulty.
On Monday, I dropped the car at the dealer and mentioned that the driver's seat belt latch occasionally took some convincing to lock, and that the problem was very intermittent and that I could always eventually get the belt to latch. I then got a ride to work and at the end of the day, a ride back to pick up the car. It had rained all weekend (and on Monday morning on my way into the dealership) and so the car was filthy. They'd washed and dried the car and replaced the balky seatbelt latch.
This is now the third time I've taken the car in for scheduled maintenance and had a warranty item fixed without hassle. On my first visit, the cupholder was difficult to fold back into the console, due to a loose hinge on a part. It was replaced and has given me no trouble since. I was also receiving intermittent warnings about BAS and ESP being disabled. The dealer replaced a faulty sensor transmission wire and that problem hasn't reappeared.
On my second visit, for the "B" maintenance, I mentioned that I'd recently begun to see an occasional warning that my cooling system cap was loose (which it wasn't). That was fixed without question and hasn't recurred since.
I'm dreading what it'll cost to fix these kinds of problems in the future once the car is out of warranty, but the "stealership" has been extremely easy to deal with and has fixed every minor issue without question or delay.
I feel extremely lucky to be dealing with such a competent, pleasant service department, especially when I read the horror stories in this NG.
--Paul ** Note "removemunged" in email address and remove to reply. **
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Very refreshing to hear a dealer service good news story. Probably would not hurt to mention this Dealer's service department by name. Pete

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's Phoenix Motor Company in Phoenix, AZ.
--Paul ** Note "removemunged" in email address and remove to reply. **
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2004-12-08 10:29:31 -0800, Paul Wylie

Just wait till your car is out of warranty and then the My Hyde character will appear...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It would be interesting to read about this same experience had it happened after the warranty had expired.
In the old days, when MB wasn't selling the volume it needed to be viable for the long term, the money went into the design and build of the cars before the cars went into service. Like so many other modern consumables, it appears to be more cost-effective (for the companies) to do damage control after delivery than it is to proactively, preemptively forestall those problems on the factory and design floors.
Of course, in the old days, when MB wasn't selling the volume it needed to be viable for the long term, I wouldn't today have had the number of MBs in my driveway, either.
The fact that they're scary to own without a comprehensive warranty in place, combined with overpriced, overrated dealer service departments who are more likely to do $1500 electronic component swaps than genuinely dig into a problem, further aggravates things when the ownership turns into out-of-pocket maintenance.
I grew up with MBs, from a 1958 300SL my dad suddenly found himself with when a friend was unable to repay a loan, to a 1959 190D that ran for three decades without anything but very basic driveway maintenance, to college in a 20-year-old sedan, to an adult with pretty much anything I wanted. In the old days, when they needed repairs, they needed those repairs only half as often, but usually with more expensive repair charges. So in the end, they were durable, well-built, and ran longer, but on average were less expensive to own in the long run, thanks to durability and slower long-term depreciation.
That's no longer true. I begin to hyperventilate when my new MBs reach end-of-warranty life. I no longer have the confidence that a dealer repair shop will treat my money with any kind of respect. In many cases, I've been the one to tell the service department about a TSB on an issue that they didn't know about, and there is no situation in the world where I would not lose patience with something that wasn't fixed correctly the first time, whether covered under warranty or not. There have been times when I've returned a car or truck to the dealer four different times to get one single thing repaired; the warranty doesn't cover my time from work, my waning trust in a brand I used to love, or my peace of mind in wanting to keep the car for as long I would hope to.
It's all different now. But for me, it's not how good it used to be, it's more that there's nothing else to choose from, even with things different. An MB, even today, is still a combination of qualities that can't be touched by any other company.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
With all due respect , those seem like very minor problems that the service department repaired. After you spend 30K + on a car I don't think the dealership deserves a pat on the back for fixing a few warranty issues. Back in the early 80's when I bought my first MB ( 1982 240D ) Mercedes service was top notch , during the late 90's it went way downhill.and with it ,went the entire MB ownership experience (IMHO) -Dana

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I must say i was happy in PA when my 82 240D batt went dead.
was at a motel anyway so i was OK till the next day.
called the 800 in the glove box & they came over 60 miles to jump start it. went to the that dealer. needed an ALT and they did not have one. they found me a room at a good hotel <my nickel>took me there & picked me up. they had one before 10 AM the next day and was on the road by 11 AM.
cost jump start NC ALT 350.00 installed !
no bitching here!
i now forget the dealers name <suncoast?> but i did write MB a letter patting them on the back.
there response we want you for life.
interesting
this was 5 years ago
the case, minus a few cans!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I wasn't offering a pat on the back. I simply pointed out that contrary to many people's experiences as posted in this NG, the dealer where I bought my car gave me no grief. FSS appointments are always scheduled within a day or two (not the weeks described by some posters), and if I don't get an appointment for the next day when I call the dealer, it's usually because I'm not able to get into the dealer the next day, or I called at 5:00 pm and all the slots for the next day are already full.
I've heard repeated horror stories by people who had problems with their cars that never seemed to be completely fixed, or the dealer ended up telling the owner, "Sorry, but that's the way this model works" or something similar. I'm not saying that a balky seatbelt latch or a broken cupholder is on par with a loose seat or annoying rattles. I am saying that a problem with BAS and ESP was traced quickly and fixed permanently and that a problem with the car reporting low coolant levels was traced to a faulty filler cap and solved.
IOW, YMMV, but my problems have been fixed quickly and without repeat visits. Not all stealership service departments are completely incompetent or corrupt. Some can fix the small things without trying to rip you off. That's hardly a ringing endorsement of MB service. It's simply pointing out that not all dealers are as crooked or incompetent as the stories often posted here might lead one to believe.
Regardless, it's clear that the sheer number of horror stories told here paints a bleak picture for MB, whether in the US or elsewhere. If your customers have to go out of their way to find a dealer that's simply competent, you've got a problem, especially in the luxury market.
--Paul ** Note "removemunged" in email address and remove to reply. **
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
AAAHHH how we get spoiled.....I remember the days when I bought my last New GM and Chrysler cars. The last GM car went back to the dealer within several days for issues that should have been fixed before the car was even delivered. It took 3 trips back to the dealer to get a faulty ignition switch replaced among other things that were screwed up because of lousy workmanship.. My last Dodge van had a transmission problem where it would not upshift into high untill thoroughly warmed up. Local Dodge dealer in La Mesa Ca. kept telling me that they checked it out and it was OK. I kept taking it back and got the same answers. Once the miles were over the Warranty limit they told me I needed a Trans rebuild for $1200. I wound up giving the car to my father who took it back to Seattle, where he took it to a reputable transmission shop. It turned out o be a minor repair to the valve body...$125.00. Subsequent to this I received an Owner's satisfaction survey from Chrysler. I filled it out and sent it back.....Guess what... I never got a response. Our last Ford experience with an 2002 Explorer was not a happy one either. After about 10,000 miles the right rear brake disk and all pads had to be replaced. The Thermostat and oil pressure sender failed. Aftere this we started getting the dreaded check engine light. All the dealer ever did was turn the light off after billing for some repair which was not the root problem since the light promptly came back on after a few weeks. I even bought a scanner trying to get to the bottom of this. Never did... we traded it for a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. Now at 29,000 miles..with no issues whatever. My 4 WD Nissan Pathfinder has 84,000 on it now and only needed and Oxygen sensor replacement in its lifetime.. Even the headlights were aligned correctly when I got the car. My Corvette and MB experiences have also been more fortunate and enjoyable than Standard Detroit Iron..
Peter
"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.