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Where Do You Think I Stand?

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by rozel, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. rozel

    rozel Active Member

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    Hi all

    I own a W208 CLK 320 Cabriolet.

    Recently I took my car into my Dealership, where I bought my car from six years ago, for it's B Service and to have Mercedes check over the rear wheel arches as there are signs of rust there.

    My car was registered 01.09.2002 so for the goodwill to apply I had to take the car in before the eight years runs out. I bought the car in July 2004, almost six years ago to the day.

    My dealership has always been excellent with me and never ever had a problem with them.

    In 2007 I had them check over some rust around the boot lock and they fixed this under the terms of the "goodwill arrangement - no problem :)

    However just after they carried out my service week before last I was told that the further work to repair the rear wheel arches etc had been declined as the goodwill does not apply to my car as Mercedes's records showed that my car was an "import" and this so called "warranty" did not apply.

    This was a massive bombshell as I was sold a UK car from inside my dealership network - it's history apparently was impecable showing two previous owners and with appx 14000 mls on the clock in 2004. I was informed the first owner was the dealeship itself and the previous owner was a local guy which was born out once I got my V5.

    Now it seems the car was imported from the carribbean (Trinidad and Tobago!!) and was fitted with some parts to adapt it for UK use - this was verified from their EVA system.

    I complained to my dealership who suggested I telephone in the first instance to Mercedes Customer Service. I did this but as my dealership did not respond within the alloted 96 hours, the case was escalated to the "Senior Team" with whom I spoke to last Thursday.

    The call was awful - Mercedes going down the defensive route by informing me that the car was an import and as such did not qualify for the work, refusing to answer why the work was authorised in 2007 etc etc. The regisration date in Mercedes's system is 15.02.2003 whereas my V5 shows 01.09.2002. The last owner apparently acquired the vehicle on 14.02.3003 and the Production date was 08.04.2002. Mercedes suggested that the information in their system was wrong and that I should trust the V5 information.

    I now have an immense number of questions to ask about it's history about whether the mileage was true at the point of sale, why the descrepancy with the registration dates etc., which was simply not the case at the time of sale.

    The purchase in 2004 was a dream come true - the car represented my "dream car", I was never going to re-sell it as I bought it as a "Sunday Car" as an enthusiast. At the moment the mileage reads appx 42,000.

    I was gutted to learn the news and devastated by the telelphone call I had with Mercedes last week. I therefore rang my Dealership and asked to speak with the most Senior person. He telelphoned me last Friday.

    He told me that first off his dealership did not know the car had been imported when the car was sold to me and given it's service history (they have done every service) he wants to put me in the same position as if the car was a UK car - in other words he will do the paintwork around the wheel arches and much more - there are 8 years worth of minor stone chip marks and they will attend to this work too at their expense - 5 panel resprays in all and powder-coat my wheels into the bargain. He will reinstate the MOBIL for life guarantee and anything else to ensure that I am not in any worse position by the fact that my car is an import. He came across in a highly professional manner, very empathetic and I truly think he wants to sort this sad matter out.

    As regards the car being an import he said that the only material difference would have been in the headlining but as my car is a Cabriolet, then this was not a factor. For all intents and purpose, my car is actually no different to a UK car as they both originated from Stuutgart. He said, after speaking with people very thoroughly, including the sales person who sold the car to me in 2004, who still works there, that they sold it believing it to be a UK Supplied Vehicle and went on to say that the car is perfectly saleable once the paintwork has been done. I do not want to sell but this has to be a consideration now.

    We discussed Grey and Parallel Imports and I gave him an "Agreement In Principle" in response to his offer, subject to me discussing the matter with a third-party. I will go back to him one way or the other, as to whether I accept his offer, on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

    I could easily go and see a Solicitor as to where I stand, but I wonder whether they would be skilled enough to know how Mercedes work and thus give me best advice. I have been delighted with the car since I got it and have never questioned it's integrity until now.

    However I have this nagging doubt that all is not as it should be with the biggest question surrounding who exactly was the first owner and whether the reported mileage at the point of sale was in fact true and why the descerpency in the Registartion Date?

    Mercedes's stance is that "their Dealerships are not obliged to inform it's customers that the car they are selling is an Import" a stance confirmed to me by the Dealership. Crazy I think, but maybe the Law suggests they can get away with this?

    So I am asking for your help, support and guidance please.

    You guys are experts and probably have come across this type of problem before and I wonder therefore if you could give me some pointers as to what I should do, whether the Offer from the Dealership is "reasonable" and anything else that may be relevant, that I have not covered.

    Many thanks for taking the time to read this, if you have got this far :) and look forward to receiving some expert opinion.

    Cheers

    Paul
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  2. grahamcol

    grahamcol Senior Member

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    Location:
    West Midlands
    Your Mercedes:
    2001 SLK230, 2000 C280 V6
    I think the dealer you spoke to on Friday seems to genuinely want to put things right but whether that's through fear of how far you might want to take things or not I just don't know. Yes, you're right to question the history / mileage done before you bought the car. My inclination would be to perhaps have a word with trading standards, however bear in mind the car was purchased quite a few years ago so I don't know how this affects thier ability to intervene. The other thing here is that I'd want to keep the dealer "on side" and the involvement of Trading Standards might have a negative effect. Your call I think. Good luck.
     
  3. television

    television Senior Member

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    Location:
    Daventry
    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL500, 216 CL500, all fully loaded
    I understood the imports are marked as such on the V5, my V70 is.

    It does not matter at this point in time if the car is an import, keep happy with the dealer, that offer was better than many get
     
  4. Miffy

    Miffy Senior Member

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    Location:
    Bromley, London
    Your Mercedes:
    CLK 320 CAB Elegance C208
    The cars datacard will clearly show the supplying dealer to be not of UK origin, mine does, and for the same reason as you I was refused goodwill.
     
  5. grahamcol

    grahamcol Senior Member

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    Location:
    West Midlands
    Your Mercedes:
    2001 SLK230, 2000 C280 V6
    Yes, that's a good point and I too thought that imports were marked on the registration document as such. As Television says, perhaps best to keep the dealer on side.
     
  6. Mic

    Mic Senior Member

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    Location:
    Oxfordshire
    Your Mercedes:
    MB SL500(2003), MB SLK320(2001), Volvo V70 XC AWD(2001)
    I think your dealership have made you a very generous offer and you should accept graciously. I do not see what more they could do. You have contentedly been the owner of the car for six years oblivious to it's earlier history......nothing has really changed. The car was made by MB even if there was a slight specification difference for a different market. At 8 yrs. old it cannot influence the car's value and in any event you intend keeping the car indefinitely.

    The car of course should not be corroding.

    Mic
     
  7. BarryF

    BarryF Senior Member

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    Location:
    Norfolk
    Your Mercedes:
    320 cdi avantgarde estate
    Hi As you have been happy with the car I would take their extremely kind offer. Trying to unravel the mystery of the car's origin from years ago will be an uphill struggle and if Mercedes are saying they are not obliged to inform you if the car was an import I suspect that at the end of it all you will be the loser and then may have jeopodised the offer from the dealer. How many cars Mercedes have sold that have been imports one can only guess but I suspect there have been lots. Given that they have a huge budget for legal expenses I doubt they will give in easily as it may the set a precedent for any other "claims". Lets be honest here if you keep the car another couple of years I very much doubt whoever buys it from you is going to worry about its origins.

    Barry
     
  8. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    Your Mercedes:
    2005 CL500.
    They may not be obliged to tell you the car is an import, but surely they are obliged to tell you if any assumed warranties do not apply?
     
  9. OP
    rozel

    rozel Active Member

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    Thank you for your extemely quick responses.

    Exactly what is the "cars datacard" and where will I find it? My V5 shows Date of first registration to be 01.09.2002 and Date of first registration in the UK to be 01.09.2002 also. It does not show my car to be an Import. And Mercedes date of registration is 15.02.2003 apparently via the car's VIN number.

    Mercedes told me (both at Head Office and at my Dealership) that Mercedes cars cannot be "clocked" - is that correct? How can I establish whether it has been or not?

    TAIA

    Paul
     
  10. *Thumper

    *Thumper Banned

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    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Your Mercedes:
    C220 CDi (09)
    Quite simple really ....... you've been mis-sold ......... at the point of sale, a trader, must point out to you, if the vehicle is an import ............. as this has a bearing on it's value ....... an import will be worth quite a bit less than it's equivelant UK counterpart.

    I understand why MB won't honor a goodwill warranty ........... but by that ....... they have condemed themselves.

    Your recourse is through the supplying dealer .......... the people you bought the car from .......... they have sold you a pup !!!!!

    Now !! ....... you need to decied what you want here .............. do you just want the rust sorting, or do you require financial recourse for being sold an imported car ???

    That the 1st hurdle to overcome .......... depending on your answer, will depend on you next course of action.
     
  11. Naraic

    Naraic Moderator

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    Your Mercedes:
    2005 CL500.
    They can be clocked.
     
  12. OP
    rozel

    rozel Active Member

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    Thanks Thumper.

    These thoughts have been passing through my mind ever since I was informed about the true origins of my car. Could you explain a few points please for my understanding?

    Why have Mercedes condemned themselves? I don't really understand your reasoning here. And have they really sold me a pup? Is the value of a "Mercedes Import" really considerably less than a UK Supplied Car? If so by how much appx?

    I paid just short of £30,000 for the car in July 2004. It's value now, whether it be a UK car or an Import, is considerably less. As I have stated I have been a contented owner and really want to keep it but....... and it's a big but........ with peace of mind and this peace of mind centres around it's true mileage.

    It's build quality etc etc is no different, whether it was an import or not. But if I paid considerably more for it than I should have done at the time of purchase, then that is entirely another matter. I can not afford to change it though and Mercedes are highly unlikely to refund me the total sale consideration price are they? So what would I achieve, or likely to achieve if I persue "financial recourse"?

    Paul
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  13. *Thumper

    *Thumper Banned

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    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Your Mercedes:
    C220 CDi (09)
    UK law ......... the customer is stupid, the professional, should explain clearly.

    So you've done nothing wrong by not interpreting the V5 doc....... (which has been hiding in a draw for 6 years, as there's no need to look at it)

    presuming it was an MB franchised dealer you bought the car from ......... both the dealer, and MB would be aware of it's origins, hence, MB condemning themselves.

    Although, they are not the target here, and my comment should be ignored ..... the supplying dealer is the target (I hope they are still in business)

    The car may well be the same in every way to a UK spec car .................. but it's not a car destined for the UK market, and so buyers would not wish to pay the UK premium for the motor .........

    A car is only worth what someone is prepaired to pay for it.

    An import, of that value, has got to be at least £2-3K less, at the point you purchased !!
     
  14. *Thumper

    *Thumper Banned

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    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Your Mercedes:
    C220 CDi (09)
    I would head to the dealer ........... with a figure in mind ......... if they refuse ... then it's small claims court !(around £100)

    You would need to get evidence of the value variations (a good indy may help at this point)
     
  15. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    CLS55 AMG '05
    The datacard is the record of build specification. i.e. everything that was optioned from the factory. Plus the build date, the order number and the dealer who ordered the car. It should be attached to the back of the service book.

    Personally I don't think you have any worries. You dealer has made an exceptionally generous offer to sort the car. You have been happy with the car (and dealer) over many years and you don't (didn't?) have any plans to sell.

    The car hasn't suddenly changed. Save yourself the torment and continue enjoying the car!
     
  16. drmw

    drmw Moderator

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    3,442
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    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Your Mercedes:
    SL63 AMG, prior to that A-M V8 Vantage, SL55, SL500 and many more
    I think the import issue is of no import now! Last time I looked there was no Mercedes factory in the UK so they are all imported one way or another.

    I fully understand your annoyance but I don't think there is any point in you losing sleep and getting yourself so worked up about it - you say yourself you have no intention of selling it so you have suffered no material loss and any difference in value will be miniscule in any event.

    Yes, it's annoying, no it's not worth chasing back and as several others have said here, the dealer clearly wants to make good so bite his hand off, accept the offer and let the history remain just that - life is way too short to waste time on the background! ;)
     
  17. OP
    rozel

    rozel Active Member

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    Thanks Thumper - I think I understand you now :)

    Well of course I am not stupid - I am a considerably competent car purchaser over many years and rebuilt (nut and bolt) an MGB Roadster (circa 1971). I know what I am doing with regard researching a Car's background - some years ago I bought a Jaguar XJS V12 - as that was from a backyard dealer in West Yorkshire, I took along the Director of the Jaguar Drivers Club who had just won Concourse the year before with his XJS.

    As I tried to explain in my first post Thumper, I bought the car from the very same Dealer in 2004 that I have had the car serviced from ever since. All my dealings are with the same Dealership including now. That Dealership sold me the car, they fixed the Rust Corrosion in 2007 and it was they, and only they, who informed me two weeks ago that my car was an Import. They told me this because the Rear Wheel Arch corrosion had been declined by Mercedes after "their guy" had checked over the car and reported back. It was declined because the car was an Import. I believe the Dealership when told that they did not know that this was the case. But no one has explained to me the descrepancy with the Registration Dates. The Dealership cannot explain this to me. The dates do not make sense in any case do they?

    As regards the V5 I did thoroughly check this - nowhere does it mention that it is an Import - no where at all. I said at the outset that I was informed of the two previous owners - that the first was MB themselves and the second acquired the vehicle on 14.02.2003 and was a local guy. The car was sold not only as a UK supplied car but from inside the same Dealership. In other words the Dealership, my Dealership, sold the car to the previous owner, it came back to them whereupon I bought it from them also.

    Further thoughts?

    Paul
     
  18. *Thumper

    *Thumper Banned

    Messages:
    1,096
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    Location:
    Warwickshire
    Your Mercedes:
    C220 CDi (09)
    Of course your not stupid .............. but in a court case, the pro, has to make sure everything is explain to you, and prove it !! .............. otherwise, how would you know ?

    Before we go any further ........ you need to sit down with a coffee, and think about what you want to achieve ........... a rust repair ......... or some recompence !!!!
     
  19. OP
    rozel

    rozel Active Member

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    Slurp!!!!! (drinking my columbian now hehe!)

    I need to know though if I did embark upon an endeavour to regain recompence, what could I likely achieve in £'s and whether this would at the same time entail giving up my car.

    In other words thumper - I need to compare the two avenues £ for £ approximately.

    Could you give me a rough outline of what would be the case if I set off down the yellow brick financial recompence road please?

    Paul
     
  20. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    17,982
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    Your Mercedes:
    CLS55 AMG '05
    Not answering for thumper but the question to ask is what material loss have you suffered? Without knowing this how can compensation be assessed?

    IMHO you have suffered no material loss and stand to gain significantly with the dealer's offer.
     

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