I took Mercedes-Benz to court over their 30-year bodywork warranty.

You have often featured Mercedes-Benz cars suffering with rust that should have been covered by the Mobilo Life 30-year warranty. The following might be of interest to your readers. With a mileage of just 35,000 my Mercedes-Benz W210 E320 CDI, registered March 2001, had started to show rust blistering paintwork on both front wings by the end of 2011. The warranty clearly and simply states: "If the car rusts through from the inside anywhere on the bodywork it will be repaired with no charge for labour and materials".

However, following visits to the local supplying dealership, in June 2012 Mercedes eventually gave some cock & bull ‘pro forma’ reasoning as to why the Mobilo Life 30 Year Anti-Perforation warranty was not applicable in the case of my vehicle. The local dealership quoted £750 for the repairs, and for some reason offered a £300 contribution. I decided instead to pursue Mercedes-Benz through the County Court. I took the car to a reputable local repairer who, having inspected it, then wrote a damning report, stating that the corrosion was clearly a result of manufacturing defect. I failed to see why I should now accept any old repair job, so I obtained a quotation for repairs using new Mercedes-Benz replacement wings, which took my claim up to £1,404.62 + costs.

In October I presented my claim to the court with confidence. Mercedes procrastinated, asking the court to strike out the claim, but to no avail. The case was eventually heard on 10 June 2013. Mercedes did not bother to appear, and I was awarded £1,607.22 inclusive of my costs.

Asked on 19 October 2013 by AW, via email

Answered by Honest John
In response to the previous email about this, where I quoted a reply from the SMMT’s ‘Motor Codes’ clearly taking the side of Mercedes Benz and professing no knowledge of the problem, Motor Codes then sent me a case history where it had previously supported the customer against Mercedes Benz. So it seems that, even though these are now old cars, if an owner has had one from new he may successfully claim on this ill-considered section of the otherwise excellent 30-year Mercedes Benz Mobilo Warranty. It appears that a decision was made to offer the 30-year warranty shortly after production shortcuts were implemented that made the cars particularly rust-prone. Happily, quality was re-instated in 2003.
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