Mercedes Quality - John Slaughter
I've seen the postings re. falling Mercedes quality. Today I read in July's 'Car' magazine that Mercedes quality problems cost them £1billion last year - 30% of Daimler-Chryslers profit.

Warranty cost have apparently grown 3 fold in 2 years with worst offenders being A class, M class and V class.

This certainly seems to bear out the various comments on this site.


Re: Mercedes Quality - Andrew Bairsto
It makes it more interesting when you realise DB do not actually produce these vehicles themselves the M is built alongside the BMW x5 in a factory in the US ,the V is built in the universal van factory in Spain and the A class in France.What is also strange is the Jeep range for Europe is built in Germany and Austria.It is becoming a national disaster in Germany the once king of car makers held up to so much ridicule throughout the world.
Re: Mercedes Quality - Simon

The main complaint I have is with waterbased paintwork, it only 60% of the thickness of the old leaded variety.Lead is an elastomer, remove it & embrittlement occurs.The clear coat over it is thin & subject to stone chippingat an alarming rate.I am having to apply Armourfend type protective tape to the leading edge areas to avoid a peppercorn finish.My car is not an isolated case, as indicated in other forums.This of course applies to all other makes of car including BMW,Porsche,Lamborghini etc.
In comparison with my previous model from the 80s there is a distinct lowering
of quality,plastic underbody fairings, plating on doorlock mechanism,interior trim etc. etc.
I am fully aware of the problems Chrysler has given MB & not meeting the anticipated returns & that competition from other makes is significantly fiercer etc but anyone purchasing a modern model cannot realistically expect the old style bomb proof car that can last indefinitely.

Re: Mercedes Quality - James
I agree entirely, my previous 80's car had excellent paintork and my 1 year old Merc is CRAP(excuse the French).

Dealrs and Merc are just not interested.

So much for German quality. what a Joke

There is no way I would ever shell out for a Merc again

It is absolutely ridiculous that you have to consider buying something like amourfend for such an expensive and supposedly quality car.
Re: Mercedes Quality - David Lacey
I noticed the Mercedes quality drop a few weeks ago when I jumped into an A170 CDI that had been part-exchanged recently at our dealership. I took it home overnight and whilst I was impressed with the performance, I was none too impressed with the seats and switchgear. Both felt plasticy and the switches all felt 'cheap' to operate. The indicator stalk creaked horribly when operated and the sunroof switch plainly refused to operate at all. The seats were terribly uncomfortable - to the extent any longish drive would leave me with backache. I was quite tempted to 'downsize' from my A4 TDi110 to an A Class CDi before, but will not now for certain.
Re: Paint quality - Stuart Bruce
Simon said

>The main complaint I have is with waterbased paintwork,.....subject to stone chipping at an alarming rate....

I think Simon has a very good point here, I cannot comment about MB in particular but in general I believe most recent cars that I have looked at ncluding my own suffer far more from chipping than they used to. Its not just the metallics but also solids. Plus the metallics are much more prone to bird ssccch you know what.

Previously I have scoffed at the guys who when they get their new car spend from 9am Saturday morning till Sunday pm polishing it with Autoglym's finest, but I hereby publicly eat my words and car is going to get the treatment.
Re: Mercedes quality - Alvin Booth
When my buddy retired 8 years ago he immediately left for Cyprus to live with his Cypriot born wife. After running bangers all his life he bought the car of his dreams a brand new Merc. And that isn't as easy as it sounds in Cyprus.
One could write a book on the problems involved.
At the same time his wife bought a small mazda saloon.
The mazda has never cost a penny (or cent) in repairs.
The Merc has had almost all its suspension replaced among numerous other problems. The Merc dealer in limassol is very good, he gives Bill all the parts he has had to replace to show him the wear. He has a big box full now in his garage. Was there with him a few weeks ago up in the Troodos miles from anywhere and the key wouldn't turn in the ignition. Long story but we got back and the main dealer gave him a special blank while they ordered one from Germany. Day before he took me back to the airport the engine kept cutting out every time we stopped at lights etc. "If I still had that bloody old A35 van I'd know how to cure it" says Bill.
Perhaps this is why jerry had nearly all their wartime tanks built for them by Skoda........true.
Re: Mercedes Quality - Karl
Well, I guess most of us are to blame - aren't we? After all, we all want "bells and whistles" ie abs, pas, alarms, radio/cd, etc etc etc. and if the car co's are to make money like any other business something has to give. It won't be too long before cars are throw away items! Aren't there plans aleady to make car companies pay for recycling/disposal - of course we will pay for that in the cost of our cars. And to think my first car didn't even have a heated rear window!
Re: Mercedes Quality - Andrew Bairsto
my first car did not have a heater.
Re: Mercedes Quality - Ian Cook
My first car had a side valve engine, rod brakes, 6 volt electrics, no heater, 3 speed box with no synchro on first but it was bomb proof, and the paintwork was superb. What was it? Why, one of Henry's best - an E93A Popular (known as the "sit up and beg".

MB should be ashamed of themselves!
Not just Mercs!!!!! - Malcolm
There is a downward trend in quality in almost every consumer product we buy today as manufacturers battle against each other for market share. How many products do you buy today from well known British and German brands that are actually made in China?. I wonder how many car makers source some of their components from the far east.
Their is so much rubbish imported from China today they must have the best ballance of payment figures in the world.
BEWARE THE SLEEPING BEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Not just Mercs!!!!! - Andrew Bairsto
Strange as it may seem there is a new German law inforce that states all products must carry a two year unconditional gaurantee.
A Ford Popular was a bit to new for me you had to pay extra for the boot lock.My first was a 37 Austin ten followed by a 47 Austin 16
this had leather front seats with armrests and west of England cloth rear seats a proper heater sunroof and rear window was very comfortable and on the first Motorway the Preston Bypass it would do 85mph but wanted a lifetime to stop.
Re: Not just Mercs!!!!! - Chris
Malcolm wrote:
> There is a downward trend in quality in almost every
> consumer product we buy today as manufacturers battle
> against each other for market share.

I've got to disagree with this. Modern engines go for easily twice the distance they did thirty years ago with very little maintenance. We have higher expectations now, and as someone else said we want the mechanicals to look after themselves while we enjoy aircon, CD players etc. etc. I reckon the average margarine carton is manufactured to closer tolerances than an engine in the 1950s. It may be that because the tolerances are tighter than they were, minor faults become major failures more easily - luckily there are fewer minor faults.

Re: Not just Mercs!!!!! - Nicholas Moore
My godfather has some considerable experience over the past 20 years with BMW and Mercedes, covering 50-70k a year. He owned a large Ford main dealership until he retired in the early 80s, so has some experience of cars.

-1985 Jaguar XJ (?exact model) - riddled with technical faults (as they were back then). Almost killed when brakes and handbrake failed on a hill - so got shot of the thing.
1985 to 1990 various large-engined Mercedes "S class" saloons
1990-1994 three BMW 740i saloons
1995-1996 BMW 320i saloon
1996-1998 BMW 528i saloon new shape
1998-spring this year Mercedes C280 Elegance facelift
1 February 2001- new shape C320 Elegance

He gives any criticism of MB build quality short shrift: "The reports in the national press sometimes are critical of new models but I believe that some correspondents merely wish to criticise for criticism's sake." He "pays particular attention to Autocar magazine which usually gives unbiased reports on new models". I know that HJ is also a fan of Autocar from his report on the new Mini.

In respect of MB vs BMW, he feels that Mercedes are of superior build quality. He very much disliked the new shape 528i that he took delivery of on launch day, and was very relieved when his C280 was delivered.
Re: Not just Mercs!!!!! - Karl
There's no doubt that the "Friday afternoon car", Lemon or whatever you like to call is alive and kicking.
I owned a 3 series BMW - one of half a dozen or so different makes, and it was by far the worst. Problems started on day 2 of owning and didn't stop 'til I sold it over a year later. It's luck of the draw. But I note a comment from HJ to say that Mercedes are the 2nd lowest for warranty claims.
Oh, and yes my wife does have a Mercedes!
Re: Not just Mercs!!!!! - Malcolm
Chris wrote:
>I've got to disagree with this.
>Modern engines go for easily twice the distance
>they did thirty years ago with very little maintenance.

Chris, yes you are right, engineering has come a long way in 30 years but I was merely refering to consumer products in general and you have only to look at the tacky plastic components in most cars to see what I mean by a downward trend in quality.

Value my car