Distronic - radar cruise control?

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I bought a C-Class in 2001 and it has been a total horror-story. I was perhaps very unlucky in some respects. I ordered my car while I lived in Germany, but got sent by work to France shortly after taking delivery. My
car was also of horrific quality. It has taken two years, twenty two visits to various dealers, 65 days off the road, forty two faxes, uncounted telephone calls, and a great deal of hassle to finally sort out the car. I eventually had to drive it back to Germany to get one fault fixed because Mercedes France would no longer attempt to repair it. If you search on my name on Google I expect you will find further details.
Sure, anecdotes don't make data, and my experience may not be typical. But combine that with the JD Powers reports, and other consumer surveys like Which magazine, and MB is not looking good.
Also, bear in mind that when I was scoping my car, I was reading these horror stories too, and I thought to myself that it "wouldn't happen to me", or that "these problems were last years problems - MB would have sorted them out by now", etc, and any other excuse I could find to let heart overall cold logic. But foolishly I bought the car anyway. NEVER AGAIN!!!! I'll probably never buy another new car (as buying new you can't take a test drive before handing over the money), but if I do, I will ruthlessly study the JDPower ratings before I make a decision. I certainly will also never buy another Mercedes.
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I think you are confusing what 20% means.... 20% JUST slows you down a little. It will NOT bring you to a stop. When you step on the brake and come to a stop, that is 100% use of the brakes. Not 10% of the capacity of the brake system....

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Of course you are right with that, OTOH Mercedes has to beware of drivers who first fall asleep or start reading the newspaper during the ride - and then sue the hell out of DC. I regard Distronic to be helpful in that type of dense traffic, where you usually always have to adjust or switch off your Cruise Control. It is not suitable for Stop & Go. In Germany at least half of all S-classes are equipped with distronic, and I have not heard anything negative from it. IIRC it works only with speeds up to 100 mph, but this is quite an old info.
Frank
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The Nov. '03 issue of a US consumer magazine tested such CC systems in both a Lexus LS430 and a M-B S430 and didn't like either version. The testers felt that both systems overreacted by "accelerating or braking disconcertingly"
You can imagine, in our (law)suit happy, blame someone else for any mistake society, how an engineer would design such a CC system - very, very cautiously.
Unfortunately, for us M -B owners, the S430's lousy repair record vs. the Lexus' excellent quality caused the testers to recommend the Lexus over the otherwise favored M-B.
M-B just doesn't get it that owners don't want to waste time with repairs, Lexus understands it.
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I highly recommend a visit at http://www.500sec.com/distronic.html there is also 2videos of how it works in reality.
Regards Peter AT 500sec.com
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I have it in my SL, and it works very well in dense traffic (NOT stop and go). When I enter the Autobahn in the morning, I switch it on and don't use gas or brake until I come to my exit (40km drive). Distronic doesn't work so well in light traffic, where you have the occasional, slower guy cutting in before you or not freeing the lane at the right time - essentially, you would stay at your given speed longer than Distronic does, discouraging the guy in front to hold the lane. I like it very much and would buy it again, if I would ever buy a Merc again. The quality of the cars is so bad, that I am in the process of returning my second SL now....... Regards, Florian

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. I like it very much and would buy it again,

I
My 99 S 420 seems pretty reliable, but I had been considering a new E or S. What types of problems have you been encountering?
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Sorry for not getting back sooner... TE 430 4matic: oillevel sensor, crankshaft rev sensor, 5x COMMAND, right mirror electrical setting, mirror memory, 4-matic transfer case (@86.000 km, car was only moving forward under terrible noise, made it very difficult to get the thing on the trailer), driver seat creaking, rear seat unlocking lever, Parktronic.
CL55: Teleaid (took them 3 tries to fix that), TV broken from factory, rear screen defrost (dealer), creaking drivers seat, all kinds of noises in both doors, tweeter on passenger side came off (dealer), battery empty after one week, major scratch in drivers door (dealer), COMMAND, left brake light (two tries, no fix) -> car returned, got my first
SL55: Teleaid (two tries), forgot CD-changer (dealer), wrong color (no joke, dealer), complete audio system was failing every other day, hissing noise behind passenger seat, creaking roof -> as they couldn't fix the audio system within four weeks, I returned the car and another
SL55: hissing noise behind passenger seat (according to dealer from the tank - tank changed, no change), various noises from the roof (took the dealer three weeks to fix that, installed the performance package afterwards), noises from roof AGAIN, and now the best: the paint is starting to come of in large strips! You can only believe it, if you see it. MB declares this as an adhesion problem of the paint, so this car goes back to them, too. In my humble opinion MB has a MAJOR quality problem, both with the cars themselves and the dealerships, which are quite incompetent. That is the reason why I won't buy one agein. The cars are really pretty and especially the SL is really fast, but the hassle is not worth it. Enjoy, Florian

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