I purchased a 2001 E320 4matic with 12,619 miles on it in March and have
been very happy with the purchase. Apparently, with all the things to
absorb in a test drive I did not hear a slight clunking noise from the back.
What is happening is if I am in traffic and I take my foot off the
accelerator and then a few seconds later apply some gas I hear a slight
clunk coming from the rear - sounds like a universal joint (I think the
Merceds equivelant is a slip disk). I bought the car from a dealer (paid
$32,200), I have the Starmark program (and I bought a 4 year 100,000 mile
warranty from AAA) so getting it fixed won't be an issue just wanted to get
some feed back on what it might be and if this is common with E320's of this
year. BTW I did check CarFax and the Mercedes repair history and the car
wasn't touched except for normal maintainence (oil changes etc). The car
was exceptionally clean - not a nick, scratch, dent on the paint, the
leather was clean etc..., cd changer, Bose system. I had a Volvo S80 Turbo
that was transportation. Driving this car is, well, like a mini vacation.
I have this same issue, although much worse than what you describe as car is
much older. I have seen this in several other cars and always thought it was
play in the differential. A little play in the differential is supposedly
normal for many cars. Be sure to write back on what the dealer does (if
anything) to cure this.
I purchased a 2001 E320 wagon (non-4Matic) last April from a Mercedes
dealer. It was still under factory warranty with an additional one year
I literally drove the car off the lot and noted a "clunking" in the rear. I
it too much attention thinking it was a loose car jack or spare tire. When I
(75 miles later) I checked those items and they were not the problem. After
more days of clunking I took the car to my local dealer (5 miles away) and
diagnosed a defective hydropneumatic suspension system. It took 5 days to
parts from Germany and fortunately the parts and labor ($1500) were covered
warranty. I was quite peaved that a "Starmark certified" car could be driven
dealer lot with a MAJOR suspension defect. I wrote a letter to the General
of the dealership. Several days later I had a message from a junior salesman
my answering machine. That was the extent of the response from the dealer to
So much for customer satisfaction............
1. The dealership which sold me the "Starmark Certified" car was not the
dealership which did the diagnosis and repairs.
2. Do YOU consider it perfectly acceptable that a "Starmark Certified"
car (you know, the program which meticulously goes through 128 inspections
to make sure you have a good-as-new car) allows a car to leave the lot
with a major suspension defect?
3. Isn't customer satisfaction one of the PRIMARY responsibilities of a
General Manager? Is he TOO BUSY to call me on the phone?
Sorry, if MB adapts your attitude, their J.D. Powers ratings, consumer
satisfaction and sales will continue to plummet.
I am not affiliated with DC, and any attitude expressed by me is purely
I am not saying that they didn't have a problem, but fixing it was
there responsibility (which they did).
Unfortunately, people who buy expensive fancy stuff (like MB's) also
seem to like to have there ass kissed, which they failed to do.
PS I bought a Used certified 2 year old Volvo for my wife, and had
similar experiences, where the warranty clearly spelled out certain
criteria, I still had to bring several items to there attention
(emphatically) to get them resolved.
"Making money is his only responsibility"
As a small business owner I'm intimately familiar with "making money"
and "responsibility". One must ask......"how is that done...?" Business
owners know they live and die by their reputation. MB has over 100 years
of good will based upon superior engineering, flawless execution,
meticulous service and dedication to customer satisfaction. What they
aren't about is "making money" by cutting corners, avoiding responsibility,
and looking to the fine print in the warranty to justify sloppy, inattentive
service. Sure, a company can live on it's past glory for a period of time
eventually the chickens come home to roost. When Hyundai soundly spanks
Mercedes in the J.D. Powers Customer Satisfaction survey, something is
seriously amiss. All one has to do is follow the newsgroups, read The Star
magazine and talk to mechanics to know the precipitous decline in MB
quality. I'm not a Mercedes basher....I own three and have owned a total
of eight Mercedes in the past 22 years. I'm saddened that a once-glorious
company has fallen into the pit of mediocrity.
I own a 1995 E320 wagon, 2001 E320 wagon and a 2002 SL500. The
execution, fit and finish and solidity of my 95 is better than my 2001, and
the service advisor at my local MB dealer agrees. I bought my MB's for
superior engineering, not because I like to have my "ass kissed".
The old saying applies: "fool me once, shame on you.....fool me twice,
shame on me". If my 2001 E320 has the problems many other owners
report, my next car is likely to be a Lexus.
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