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Old 26-07-2010, 09:22 AM
rozel rozel is offline
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Default Where Do You Think I Stand?

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 by rozel; 26-07-2010 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:32 AM
grahamcol grahamcol is offline
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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.
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:42 AM
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television television is offline
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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
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:43 AM
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Miffy Miffy is offline
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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.
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:43 AM
grahamcol grahamcol is offline
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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.
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:44 AM
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Mic Mic is offline
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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
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:44 AM
BarryF BarryF is offline
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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
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:48 AM
Naraic Naraic is offline
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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?
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:49 AM
rozel rozel is offline
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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
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Old 26-07-2010, 09:49 AM
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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.
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