A rusting E Class –Elegance Mercedes 1999

Happy Monkey

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Apr 6, 2009
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A rusting E Class –Elegance Mercedes 1999


I include below an excerpt of the letter I emailed to Mercedes re rusting wheel arches and door window frames. I had a great response initially from MB, phonecalls and a vist for photos and paint readings, Now it transpires I have no claim as car is ten years old and not had full MBSH, I take it to an ex mercedes technician who now has his own business. They said because I showed no customer loyalty! despite driving an advert for them everyday-my car aprt from the rust is immaculate, I have kept it that way plus any thing needed during servicing has always been an MB part. My point is it was at the cars creation whereby the problem started, not whether it had been serviced by them. I also have been led to believe certain chassis numbers were made with an inferior metal-does anyone know what my next move should be? Give it up or stand up for the person who genuinely loves MB cars and feels really let down. Shall I buy a BMW or Lexus instead.
I joke of course. Seriously can anyone suggest what I route I could now follow.

In August 2006 I purchased the above car from a trusted local Mercedes car dealership. However I am writing to advise you that despite my level of care for the car, rust has appearing around all four wheel arches and on the front passenger wing, particularly marked in places which showed no signs of rust a couple of months ago. To say I’m disappointed in this car is an understatement.
When I bought this car the bodywork was very clean and I maintain my car with regular hand washes and valet waxing. I have previously owned an H reg 190 and a P reg E class, neither of which are rusting to this day as I sold them to family members who still own the cars to date. My father owns a K reg 260E class and even this is showing no signs of rust. We all love the Mercedes car and are keen to stay with Mercedes. Even today on the radio whereby a discussion about brands was being broadcast there was even a comment from a listener saying how much they trusted Mercedes ‘as their cars go on and on’. This I do not dispute but the degree of rust which so quickly developed on the body of my car over the past few months and the deterioration has shocked me.
At the moment I plan to buy a CLS model next year. However I am concerned that this problem of rust will occur even on a later model again. I now am considering other makes of car BMW or Lexus.
The car will be going to the body shop for a total respray in a couple of months so I can achieve its current full market worth on resale and at a cost of just under £1500 it has not been an easy decision to make.
I look forward to your comments on my concerns, in light of the fact that surely I could have expected a longer lease of life from the paintwork.
I am most disappointed in the external quality of this car as this is one of the reasons why I have stayed with Mercedes especially since my employment for a national airline means I travel extensively by road and need a reliable calibre/marque of car, there is still a certain degree of expectation on the longevity of a product when purchased. I could have chosen a lesser make of car and not had this problem. With regards to a gesture of goodwill I appreciate this could be outside of your parameters however in this case I would like you to consider this closely, given the fact I am a loyal customer, and I would certainly like to hear your thoughts on the cause and comparative decline to other older models of Mercedes.
I have posted this in another thread-but I wanted to ensure lots of you viewed my post x


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May 12, 2004
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M1, Outside lane, somewhere between Leeds and Lond
Your Mercedes
Jaguar XF 3.0 S, LR Freelander 2, Fiat 500 & Fiat Panda
I don't see what you can do. You unwittingly bought a merc built during the rusting period. The situation is very well known on here. Finding an E class built around that period that doesn't have at least some corrosion would be a challenge, though extents do vary. Cars up to 8 years old, or with full MB history were commonly repaired FOC by MB which is quite an expensive thing for them to do when they have no legal obligation, especially to 2nd, 3rd or 4th owners. I bought my 2000 E class in 2001 and it was in every 9 months or so for some bit or corrosion or other. I never paid a penny.
You say you bought it from "trusted local Mercedes car dealership" - I assume, being over 10 years old without a dealer history, it wasn't a franchised dealer? At the end of the day its an old used car, bought outside the dealer network, so whatever loyalty you have to MB, from their perspective, you technically haven't actually spent a bean with them.

MB have to let go at some point and 8 years, plus a goodwill leniancy towards people who use the dealer network and may hold on to their cars for extended periods, is where they set their limits. Not a harsh decision IMO but no good to you. Clearly the car had been tarted up to sell as the rust wasn't new and if it came through that quickly then the 'trusted dealership' didn't do as good a job as you may have liked. Theoretically whilst they can't stop it, a decent bodyshop should be able to slow down the rust so its no longer a concern. So thats what I'd do.
IN answer to the future models comment, post 04 mercs are fully galvanised (many much earlier than that) so rust is no longer an issue post 04.
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