Any European lawyers out there?

Hello,
I'd be interested for advice on whether or not I should sue MB for the pathetic state of my car, and for their refusal to acknowledge European
consumer protection laws.
I am English, was living and working in Germany in 2001 when I ordered a new C-Class Sportcoup from a MB handler in Konstanz in Feb 2001. Shortly after paying my deposit, my employer relocated me to France. I went to the dealer in Konstanz to explain that I would like to cancel my order as I was being forced to change country. he told me I would lose my deposit if I did, but reassured me that my car would be under guarantee throughout Europe. I quite specifically asked him what would happen if there were a lot of problems with the car, as I would not easily be able to bring it back to the the dealer of purchase. He reassured me that there were "never any quality problems with MB cars". Well I feel a total dickhead admitting this with hindight, but I actually believed a salesman!!!
My car was ready in Aug 2001, by which time I was relocated to France. I travelled back to Germany to pick up the car and "imported" it to France, meaning I had to pay a whole load of extra taxes and registration fees.
Since then, my car has been a total disaster and nightmare. I have lost count of how many times it has been back to the local French dealer for repairs - but it is well over twenty times and it has been off the road for about 12 weeks in total. It is still a totally crap car, with very loud bodywork creaking noises in corners and on bumps, and endless electronic problems.
If I had still been living in Germany, my car would have been classed as a "lemon" long ago, and MB would have given me a new one in exchange. MB Deutschland even originally admitted this! But because I "exported" my car, neither MB Germany nor MB France will exchange the car. Both country dealerships blame each other. My relationship has now totally deteriorated with both MB France customer services and Herr Stavenow of the DC factory in Boblingen that they both become fairly aggressive to me when I ring them up to discuss the problem. The local dealers originally admitted that my car creaked very badly, but after lots of unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem, now totally refuse to test my car, presumably in collusion with customer services and with Stavenow.
I have gone through several phases of either resolving to fight this problem with a lawyer (which will be hugely expensive) or just saying sod it, selling the car, and buying something else. Whichever course I take, I will be massively out of pocket, as the local MB dealers all know the car and knock around 10% off the book value as they know it is such a shit car.
Any advice?
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Hi Ric,
What exactly is wrong with the car now? Where are the "creaking" noises coming from? Have they fixed all the electrical problems?
Jeremy
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The electrical problems have now been fixed - they have changed over the past two years the GPS, the Bose, the garage-door-opener thingy (twice), the electric-door mirrors, the open-boot warning trigger and the window updown motor.
The bodywork problems have never been properly resolved. It took eight visits and endless complaining before they fixed the wobbly drivers seat. At first they denied that it was a problem, claiming that "Mercedes were not sports cars like BMWs", then admitting it wobbled but claimed that it was "my fault, because MBs are only designed for average sized people of 1.8m, and not tall people like me (I am only 1.95m which is admittedly quite tall in south of France but is positively average in Holland or Germany)". They then claimned there was no point in mending it because it under guarantee because "it would soon break again". I had to ring the factory in Germany before MB France agreed to replace the seat - it is perfect now but took huge effort to get them to fix it.
The bodywork noises are by far the most irritating and MBs attitude has now become positively rude and aggressive when I complain. The noises emanate from the dashboard and windscreen. There is a loud creaking whenever the car corners or goes over a bump. Both MB Germany and MB France initially tried to fix the problem, but after two years and some twenty odd attempts, they have not succeeded and now simply insist that the problem does not exist. I think they have decided just to fuck me off, knowing that it would cost me a fortune to find and hire a bilingual French/German lawyer who could simultaneoulsy take legal action in two countries, which is what it would require.
As a word of warning to anybody thinking of buying an MB abroad - just don't do it. I quite genuinely was forced to "export" my car from Germany to France and have suffered badly as a result. MB's internal European organisation is simply not set up to cater for clients who swtich country for professional reasons.
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Ric wrote:

1.95 meters is 6 feet 4 inches. That is fairly tall for the USA too. Are the girls lengthy as well in Germany and Holland?
Good luck with your suit. I hope you get compensated.
.
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Yes, average height for girls in Holland is only a cm or so less than men. It is very striking how many tall girls there are in Holland especially. Overall, average heights in Europe overtook USA a few years ago, due to better nutrition and healthcare here.
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Maybe so, but you don't have a good solution for dealing with vehicle manufacturers.
Here's what we have in Canada:
www.camvap.ca
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I'd agree with you there. The problem is only acute if you change country within EU, as each country has separate consumer protection laws. If you move - you are totally stuffed on just about everything here - pension, social security, mortgages, cars the whole lot.
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Hm, hadn't thought of it that way, makes sense.
THE ABOVE OPINIONS ARE MINE, AND MINE ALONE. THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS INCLUDING MY EMPLOYER(S)
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HAH! This salesman needs to run for political office, he'll easily be able to convince you Euros that Socialism is good for you!!!
BTW, I thought only Americans wanted to sue Car companies? Hmmm, must be a export!

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you will find the solution to your problems at www.bmw.com

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service was far better than MB. I remember once being in France with my German-plated BMW, and needing some work doing on the brakes. I went to a French dealer and got them repaired. Two weeks later, I was in Italy and the problem re-occured. I went into an Italian dealer and showed them the bill from the French dealer. Without hesitation, they redid all the work for free. Now if that had been MB, I would still be getting passed around from MB Germany, to MB France and to MB Italy, with none of them taking responsibility. MB really sucks if you move country in Europe.
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MB Service sucks in North America as well. 'Tis a shame, but our once proud three-pointed star just isn't what it used to be. 'Ol Jerkin Shrimp has seen to it that the volumes are up, the quality down and the attitude, well.... BMW has done marvelous things here in the States over the past decade, however I'm not sure their service is any better, since many of the same dealers have both franchises.
As an industry veteran, there's only one thing that fixes this kind of deep-seated corporate arrogance: lost sales! Buy a Lexus!

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In UK if there is a fault with a car you have to reject it outright immediately. Otherwise comeback is against the repair. As you've had car 2-3 years you are at mercy of the warranty. Have you tried complaining to the EU commission or your local Member of Euro Parl ?

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Do you know how to complain to EU commission? I think this may be the best route. MB openly admit - they even give me it in writing - that the reason they will not envisage changing my car is that I "exported" it when I moved country. This would appear to be in contravention of EU law on guarantees.
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