Reliability declining of some European cars

A friend of mine wants to buy a Mercedes sedan but it's worried about the reliability declining of some European cars, like MB, Jag etc. For that reason he may purchase a used MB and would like to know the
year when the decline started. It may be hard for most users of this group to admit the fact that a Lexus is more reliable that a MB but is apparently a statistically proven fact. May be MBs are as reliable as before. Only the Jap are that much better.
Thanks for your time
Vlad
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The decline in reliability began when the 124 series ended:1995 E Class. Mercedes was determined to put more and more technology into their car which relied on computer modules. MB traditionally went with Bosch and Hella electronics. These firms had problems with their "Chips". Daimler refused to put reliable, Japanese chips in their German car. They decided to switch to Alpine audio when they were bombarded by letters from dealers and customers who emphasized that the developed nations of the world listened to music from Compact Disc for over twenty years. They finally went through their inventory of Becker tape/radios and made the switch. Daimler, BMW, and Volkwagen AG have turned the corner and all claim that their cars are reliable again. The bottom line is, would you rather be in a Mercedes-Benz in an accident or a Japanese car? P.
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wrote:

Peter This is exactly what I was looking for. I have another friend that purchased a 745(?) BMW about a year ago for circa 100k and had lots of problems. Always with electronics. Problems that the dealer wasn't capable of fixing. Thanks
Vlad
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Declined after 1980
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says...

When Jurgen Schrempp (AKA Jerkin' Shrimp) took the helm of chairman of Daimler back in 1995, engineering development budgets and schedules were cut way back to get new products on the road quickly and reduce engineering costs. M-B used to take 6 to 7 years to bring a new vehicle to fruition. Now it's much closer to the industry norm of 3 years or so.
Engineering processes did not keep pace with the new schedules and budgets. The result is poorly tested and half baked products. But old Jerkin' Shrimp has made a lot more money so it's OK. He observed American management styles and correctly reasoned that he could devalue the his products, coast on the Mercedes reputation for years before all but the moneyed clueless noticed, and line his pockets better than any other German corporate leader. Now that is corporate leadership!
In the USA many M-B dealers have greatly expanded their service facilities. They probably knew it would be needed. I wonder if Daimler funded any of this?
Look at JD Powers recent USA data on the M-B vehicles. On average Chrysler products have a better quality level than M-Bs. Save yourself a bunch of money and get the Chrysler 300 instead. If it's any comfort it has a lot of last generation E-class parts underneath and you can always scrounge a 3 pointed star if your friend is particularly insecure in the suburban vehicular pecking order.
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Very good information. Thaks
Vlad
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So, does this revamp in 95 have any relation with the naming change, for example, from 300E to E300?
Repo Man wrote:

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No.
In short, in the old days the E suffix meant that an injection engine was installed. At some stage all engines were injection, so the need for the E suffix fell away. By then the model range had become bigger (intro of 190 and its successor, the C-Class) and so the letters were put in front and used as 'Class' designations. There always was an S-Class but I suspect that "excecutive" for E is a post-fact rationalisation.
DAS
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