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Legal Rights - Small Claims Court?

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by mpwnbr, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. mpwnbr

    mpwnbr Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    Mercedes CL600 / 2007 / 5.5 litre
    I suppose this isn't necessarily a Mercedes issue, more a dealership issue, but given my car is a Mercedes I thought I'd post my story and ask opinion/advice, prior to any next moves.

    There's a long story here attributed to the purchase and ownership of my CL600 since its purchase in November 2014, however here's a potted history:

    Test Drive - October 2014. Agreed to purchase the car, at advertised price (not a penny off), however with the provision of a 12 month warranty in lieu of 3 month warranty. Also on the premise of a number of issues to be resolved on the car; massage function to be repaired, minor scratches to be painted, vibration from car at high speeds to be put right.

    Purchase - November 2014. Massage seat (seemingly) fixed, scratches painted, and then upon driving the 100 miles back home the vibration was still present.

    November 2014 - notified dealer that seat massage operation is intermittent, and car still vibrates at high speed. I put the car into a Tyre specialist, who balanced the wheels, however notified me that the driver front wheel was buckled, hence he suspected that was the issue. Car returned to local Mercedes dealership who repaired the massage function and replaced the buckled wheel. Car returned - vibration remained. Copy of Warranty requested - not provided.

    December 2014 - the car vibration remained. Car returned to original dealership, courtesy car provided, all four wheels (supposedly) sent to wheel specialist for x-ray and repair. Two rear wheels had "micro-cracks" welded and all four wheels balanced, with new micro-valves provided. All costs incurred by dealership. Car returned. Vibration remained.

    February 2015 - vibration continuing, car returned to local Mercedes dealership. Mercedes Technician test drove the car and confirmed the vibration. Observational comments made by the Technician and Service Manager that the car had welds on wheels, which they did not recommend. Car then test driven with four new wheels on. No vibration present. Report provided to original dealership (Inchcape Jaguar) identifying ongoing problem and means for resolution. Dealership unwilling to cover the costs of replacement wheels. Original wheels put back onto vehicle. Copy of Warranty requested - not provided.

    April 2015 - Rear driver side window stops working. Car vibration continues.

    May 2015 - Driver window stops working. Car vibration continues.

    May 2015 - Two ECU's fitted to the car to resolve window problems. Copy of Warranty requested - not provided. Local dealership does search for Warranty on the Approved System - Warranty appears to have expired after 3 months of purchase. Repair costs paid via invoice between the purchase dealership and the local dealership. Vibration remains.

    June 2015 - "Park Assist inoperable" warning appears on dashboard when braking. Brakes temporarily locked on. Vibration remains. Copy of Warranty requested. Supposed warranty provided by purchase garage. Purchase date of warranty not purchase date of car, instead June 2015.

    June 2015 - "Park Assist inoperable" warning appears, brakes lock on, car not driveable. Car put onto flat bed truck and returned to local Mercedes dealership for repair. Dealership reject work (new transmission control unit) under warranty as warranty not live. I paid for the works (£750) on debit card. Once again warranty details requested from purchase garage, who suggest there must have been a problem with the paperwork. Purchase dealership suggest a resolution to the problems would be for them to buy the car back off me.

    July 2015 - I still await a reimbursement cheque for the £750 costs incurred. I still await the Warranty Policy Documents, regardless of countless requests. The car still vibrates at motorway speeds.

    So in summation there's been a few problems. It appears the 12 month warranty was never put on the car at purchase, instead initially just a three month warranty was provided, and more recently maybe an extension has been provided to it. This is clearly in contradiction to the purchase/contract. Although wheels aren't covered by warranty, the vibration was an issue identified at purchase and rectification was agreed, yet this still hasn't been put right. It is now 5 weeks since I paid £750 for the Transmission Control Unit and I still await reimbursement. I also still await the Warranty policy details.

    I have no desire to trade the car back to the dealership first of all because I love the car, secondly because they're rare as rocking horse ****, and thirdly I think the garage underpriced the car, and the buy back offer from them reflects the depreciation on their sale price.

    So if anyone has been able to get to the end of this post, what's your opinion? Have I been reasonably patient? Has the purchase garage been reasonable in their attempts to rectify situations? Or is it time I started mentioned legal recourse on this one; namely the Small Claims Court.

    Any experience or opinion would be welcomed.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lister1512

    Lister1512 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2015 (65) CLA Shooting Brake 180 AMG Sport
    The warranty provided is a scam used by some dealers and one that I uncovered a long time ago purchasing a car. It's one, where a car is sold with an alleged warranty, however if you take a faulty car back, the dealer will try and patch up, fix the fault in house or with someone he uses. Often the warranty was never registered. Years ago, I wastold by a dealer that I was given an RAC warranty. This was a warranty sold to me. After some concerns over issues I had, I contacted RAC and my warranty had never been registered. In addition, my Dad has also bought a vehicle the same time from the same dealer with a longer warranty at his expense and his too had not been registered. What I did find out however from RAC was that under warranty you can take to other garages to be repaired not only the dealer. I wish I'd done that.

    In terms of your dispute, if there are still outstanding issues from purchase then they hdve sold a car not promised. Trading Standards may be able to help or advise?

    Darren
     
  3. television

    television Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    This does not really help, buy I am mystified of all the wheel balance issue and the time it took to find this, all odd as it could not have been anything else.

    There is no way that it needed 2 ECU's to fix the windows.

    OK the gear box speed plate/valve block is a common problem, even though the symptoms were unusual.

    It looks like the main issue is with the promised 12 months warranty and or the warranty that was provided.
     
  4. OP
    mpwnbr

    mpwnbr Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    I totally agree with you Darren. There's been a reluctance to issue the Warranty details from the off, and that's probably because I'd have seen a three month expiry date. It's clear the dealership have hoped that beyond the three months there would either be no problems, or I would just go away. Not a chance! However out of warranty this has now cost them £760 for the 2Nr ECU's and £750 for the Transmission Control Unit. Oh, and I will continue to demand sight of the "current" warranty through to the 12 month anniversary of the car. Luckily I've been taking the car to a local Mercedes Dealership whom are part of the same franchise, and they've been very cooperative with me in seeking resolutions to the problems. I think you're right, maybe it's time to speak to Trading Standards.
     
  5. OP
    mpwnbr

    mpwnbr Senior Member

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    Thanks Malcolm,

    I think with regard to finding the problem with the wheels, it seems they've been trying to do as little as they can and hope that through their efforts I'd give up and accept the problems. And that certainly won't be the case!

    As for the ECU's, I was told by Mercedes that there was an ECU that controlled the front two windows and a separate one that controlled the rear two windows. Are you suggesting that's not the case?

    Regarding the warranty; the whole thing has been a continual case of "smoke and mirrors". I was told there was a 12 month warranty. I was then told a new warranty was under application. I was then informed the new warranty paperwork must have been ongoing. I've since been told the warranty is now live. And I have all of that in writing! My last contact and request for my reimbursement and warranty wording was one week ago. If not received by the end of this week I will then provide them with written correspondence providing a reasonable deadline, and if not received then I will be seeking legal advice.
     
  6. drmw

    drmw Moderator

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    Your Mercedes:
    SL63 AMG, prior to that A-M V8 Vantage, SL55, SL500 and many more
    My approach would be to contact Inchcape's head office by phone. Ask to speak to the PA to Stefan Bomhard (new group CEO). You should get through to him/her.

    Stay pleasant & say you have an issue that you appreciate Mr Bomhard will not deal with personally but nonetheless it is one of which you feel he should be aware, so could he/she provide an email address to which the details can be sent and hopefully the problem can be passed on for resolution.

    Mention in the call the fact that the problem appears unable to be resolved by the dealership in question and is becoming a higher profile than they would like by virtue of the forum.

    Tel: +44 (0) 20 7546 0022
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  7. television

    television Senior Member

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    I wonder if the dealers get some special terms, for instance the dealer pays for a warranty, and if they do not claim on it they get get special terms, or some money refunded.

    Though I did not buy my car from a mercedes dealer, there was a 3 month warranty, I had a rear window problem and the dealer would not even answer my Emails. I also asked for details of the warranty, but nothing came. In the end I fixed the fault myself.
     
  8. OP
    mpwnbr

    mpwnbr Senior Member

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    I like your style, and perhaps you're right and this thing needs some escalation. I think in my next correspondence I'll identify to the purchase dealership that I will be escalating matters if the issues are not resolved within a given period.

    As an aside, have you seen Stefan Bomhards CV? This guy definitely paid attention at school!
     
  9. OP
    mpwnbr

    mpwnbr Senior Member

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    You could be right Malcolm; there could be some sort of arrangement as per your suggestion.

    It's shocking how these dealerships will ride roughshod over customers even when customers supposedly have a level of protection. And it looks like you've succumbed to it too!

    I've had a similar issue in the past with BMW, and although it took a while to get there, with the right level of threat, no persuasion, no knowledge, eventually we found a resolution to the dispute. I'm sure we will this time around too!
     
  10. drmw

    drmw Moderator

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    That approach has worked well for me over the years - last time was with Aston Martin who had told me to take a hike over paint defects on a front wing - I called the PA to the CEO, emailed (with some lightly veiled threats of bad PR on another forum I know they watched) and within 48 hours I'd had a conference call with two senior guys and new wing was organised at no cost.

    With respect, you've given the dealership more than ample opportunity - I think you should just go for it now & include in your email your opening post verbatim.
     
  11. OP
    mpwnbr

    mpwnbr Senior Member

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    David, you definitely drive a hard bargain!

    You're right, I have given ample opportunity, more than in fact, however I understand it's common practice to advise of a deadline and the actions to be taken should that deadline not be achieved. I think I'll pen an email this evening to the purchase dealership, identify the problems, resolutions, final date for resolution, and also identify an escalation will be followed should these not be achieved. Of course this won't include describing the method of escalation. I suppose I shouldn't be so forgiving given the ongoing problems and inconvenience I've experienced, however I think this is born from my sympathies for them for their undervaluation of the car!
     
  12. JBell

    JBell Senior Member

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    NO you shouldn't!!!!!
     
  13. drmw

    drmw Moderator

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    I don't think you should ever feel sorry for a business from which you bought something - they made their profit and this place has messed you around to a unacceptable extent. You've been patient far beyond what would be reasonably expected - it's obviously your choice how and when you put your foot down - we can only suggest.
     
  14. television

    television Senior Member

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    Absolutely David, they have not come back on any issue raised, or answered a thing, they were just hoping he would go away.
     
  15. jaymanek

    jaymanek Senior Member

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    Well at least they have been cooperating with you.
    I think the items gone wrong have been fairly routine for a car like this and they have dealt with most things.
    I think you just need to write to them and head office to seek resolution on your warranty.
    With regard wheels, I would guess that four alloy wheels will come in at a fair chunk of change. As they are not MB dealers they won't be making a massive saving over list price. Maybe suggest that they either find you a perfect used set to swap them with or if they cannot do that then they replace the faulty cracked ones.

    And of course give them 2 weeks to repay your 750 otherwise just log a small claims.. takes a few minutes to do online...
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  16. television

    television Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    Those wheels retail near on £5k, I have a set at home I never use.
     
  17. OP
    mpwnbr

    mpwnbr Senior Member

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    I've been quoted by Mercedes at £680 per wheel, and with three new required I can see why the dealership have been so reluctant. They absurdly suggested I should go onto eBay and source some myself, that a set could be bought for £400, and they would then reimburse me up to a maximum value of £400. I couldn't control the laughter and even had to explain to the Sales Manager the stupidity of his suggestion. He still believed at that price they would be OEM!

    I have even explained that I would accept them providing me with used, good condition wheels, but still nothing coming.

    As for Televisions spare set at £5k........are you trying to broker a deal there Malcolm?! ;)
     
  18. JBell

    JBell Senior Member

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    They may Retail at £5k but they prob cost £400, the mark up on OEM wheels is staggering
     
  19. television

    television Senior Member

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    I do agree with you, i have the AMG 20" they are of a most stupid design in that the rim sits several mm further out than the tyre.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. OP
    mpwnbr

    mpwnbr Senior Member

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    Lovely wheels Malcolm, and with that offset from the tyre, you also deserve congratulations on the condition of the rims!
     

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