Should Mercedes-Benz pay for my Mercedes-Benz E28CDI's alloy wheels to be refurbished?

I have a Mercedes-Benz E280CDI, which I bought new in November 2005 and which has patches of corrosion on all four of the alloy wheels. My local dealer has sent photographs of the corrosion to Mercedes-Benz who have refused to pay for any replacement or refurbishment. My only personal previous experience of alloys has been on a Vauxhall Omega MV6, which I purchased new in 1997 and, when I sold it in November 2005, the alloys were unmarked. I also have a friend who owns a Volvo S60, which he bought in early 2005, and his alloys do not have any corrosion. I maintain that the wheels on my car are not fit for purpose, and I have told the local dealer so. I would welcome your advice as to whether I am being unreasonable, and if not, what would you suggest I do next? The only response from my local dealer has been to give me the details of a couple of firms who refurbish alloy wheels, at a cost to me of course.

Asked on 4 June 2011 by JW, Taunton

Answered by Honest John
It's common across many manufacturers and is worst in the UK because road salt used for winter gritting forms corrosion batteries with the metallic particles in brake dust. You might have had a case if the car was still under warranty, though even then Mercedes-Benz may have countered with stone damage or lack of maintenance arguments. The car and the wheels are now more than six years old, so there's no case to answer. You will just have to get them refurbed. Quite a lot of specialists listed at www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/damage/
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