CL500 update

Just a follow-up on our leaking '00 CL500 and our dealer's inability to find the problem in spite of the fact they replaced almost everything that could possibly leak under the original factory warranty without
changing the leak whatsoever. Over the following few months the original warranty expired and the Starmark coverage began. The car still had the same leak. The dealer's next guess was that it "must be" the high pressure hydraulic hose. But he refused to replace the hose even though our Starmark Extended Warranty listed the "high pressure hydraulic hose" as a covered part. He said Mercedes had told him the hose was not covered and there was nothing he could do. After I reminded him that the car still had the same leak we had originally brought it in for he said they would do the repair for 25% off as a "good faith gesture". I contacted Mr. Frank Parente at MB Customer Service and explained the situation to him. Mr. Parente contacted the dealer and within three days I was told the repair was indeed covered by Starmark and repairs would be scheduled immediately (the dealer called my wife and told her that "he had taken care of everything"). I have an appointment this coming Thursday to replace the high pressure hose. We'll see if they finally fix the leak after nine months. I have to say that without the help of Mr. Parente and Mercedes Customer Service I would just be out of luck because my dealer simply was not interested in helping. But he did say he had "several beautiful new models on the floor" if I wanted to trade in our CL. So hats off to MB Customer Service and especially Mr. Frank Parente! Thank you Frank!!!
Dale (not Camille) '88 560SL '00 CL500
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Two months ago I purchased a 2001 E320 wagon from a dealer which prides itself on outstanding customer service. It was still under original factory warranty, and had an additional Starmark warranty. When I drove off the lot to home (about 60 miles) I noted a persistent "clunking" in the rear suspension. Several days later I took the car to my local MB dealer 5 miles from my house. They diagnosed a bad hydropneumatic suspension which required $1600 in parts and 6 hours labor to fix. I wrote a personal letter to the General Manager of the dealer which sold me the car, advising him of the problem and my concern at having been sold a "Starmark inspected" car which was defective from the moment I drove it. I never received a reply from the GM. He gave it to his junior sales rep who left a message on my answering machine which said essentially ".....gee, sorry about that".
So much for "outstanding customer service"........

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Call up MBUSA right away.
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Two weeks ago I received a survey from MBUSA regarding my satisfaction with the transaction. It's sent to all buyers of MB cars from dealerships.
I detailed my problems as outlined in my previous message. I subsequently received a phone call from a representative asking about my problems. It sounded like a "boiler room" operation, with lots of other conversations in the background. I got the sense it was a formality to assuage my negative feelings, rather than a true quest for information to solve a problem within their organization.

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Call up a lawyer and state agency about lemon law.
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Better still, before you pay a lawyer, register formal complaints with the better business bureau of the town of the dealer as well as with the town where MBUSA is located. Then call them up and tell them. I think that will get noticed. Make sure you clearly state to the BBBs when the dealer and MBUSA responded to your written complaints and why the responses were inadequate.
I also called federal agencies that deal with consumer fraud and they were happy to have me register my complaint. All I did was mention that I had spoken to the Feds.
It worked for me.
Michael
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Took the CL500 to the dealer (140 miles from home) on Thursday, June 24th. They were going to start the 14-hour ABC High Pressure Hose replacement job at 11:00 AM. They provided a Ford Escape as a loaner. On Friday (the 25th) I called in the late afternoon to see how they were doing and the service manager said it was "just a horrible job" and that they would call as soon as the car was ready, probably Saturday. By late Saturday morning (the 26th) we hadn't received a call so I called them again. I was put through to the service manager and he asked me to hold... he never came back on the line. We called yet again and they said the work was indeed complete but they hadn't realized that they needed "special fluid" to fill the ABC system so they had just ordered some. The car may be ready now on Monday. These people are just unbelievable! How could they start a major repair job and not think it through far enough to know what type of fluid they would need to have on hand to fill the new hose that they special ordered??? I have zero confidence in my dealer's service department and yet I have no options. Oy fey!
On a brighter note... while driving through town I happened to see our old S500 Coupe that we recently sold. But even that was a little depressing because it still looked absolutely gorgeous and I so longed to have it back. Note to self (and McBrue): Keep the car that you love regardless of what new-fangled, high-tech model comes along to replace it. If it still runs great and still gives you that special feeling that you got when you first saw it... keep it, no matter how old it is! Dale (not Camille) 88 560SL 00 CL500
Dale wrote:

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Dale ( snipped-for-privacy@alaska.net) wrote:

Did U C this, Dale?
NHTSA RECALLS, July, 19 2004 Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC. Models: Mercedes Benz CL Class Years: 2001-2003 Mercedes Benz S Class Years: 2001-2003 Number Potentially Involved: 6,238 Dates of Manufacture: December 1999 March 2004
Defect: On certain passenger vehicles, corrosion may occur in the inner steel portions of the Active Body Control (ABC) high-pressure distribution hose due to extensive exposure to heat and humidity. Over time, corrosion may deteriorate the inner steel portions of the hose. This may result in ABC hydraulic fluid leakage.
Remedy: Dealers will install new, corrosion resistant ABC high-pressure distribution hoses. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification is expected to begin during July 2004. Owners may contact Mercedes-Benz at 1-800-367-6372.
[NHTSA Recall No. 04V228]

Agreed!
Wolfgang
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Wow... good find Wolfgang... now Dale can get his money back!
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