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)
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
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.
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
which sold me the car, advising him of the problem and my concern at having
sold a "Starmark inspected" car which was defective from the moment I drove
I never received a reply from the GM. He gave it to his junior sales rep who
a message on my answering machine which said essentially ".....gee, sorry
So much for "outstanding customer service"........
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
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.
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
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)
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]
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