i have not read or heard anything about this problem before so i thought i would share it with you all. certain versions of the 272/273 generation v-engines have a problem with timing gear wear, that is excessive wear of the gear mounted in the center of the 'v'. on the 272 this gear is used to drive a balance shaft, and on the 273 it is simply an idler gear. it is an issue with 'high mileage cars' - ie mileages over perhaps 40,000 (no, not exactly high, i know) the issue is to do with the material used for the gears, and MB have changed the manufacture of the parts in question. the gears wear over time causing incorrect timing of the o/s camshafts in particular. the first the driver knows of the problem is the illumination of the MIL. a short test reveals codes p1200 & p1208 to do with camshaft position, if the codes are current and/or recur quickly after erasing it is recomended to check the ignition timing. this is fairly easily done on the o/s bank by removing the cam position sensors and observing the position of markings on the pulse wheels. if it is deemed that a vehicle is suffering this scenario then there is a repair kit available which includes a gear/balance shaft (as appropriate), tensioner and oil pump as well as camshaft positioner solenoids. to replace these parts on a 272 is a big job, requiring engine removal followed by sump, g.box and front timing case removal and associated work. MB are aware of the problem and have information available to dealers, which is marked 'strictly confidential'. don`t expect them to be very chatty about it, a bit like the self destructing 112 240 engines. i diagnosed and repaired one a few months back now and all has been fine since, but i though i would share it with one and all here and make it 'google-able' for anyone trying to research the fault codes in future.