Rust reappearance, MB takes hardline

philharve

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Hi All

I have detected rust in the lower, trailing corner of the front passenger door. My indie will assess the need for my C230K to visit the bodyshop again on Monday when my car goes in for a service. I expected rust to make a reappearance but not quite so soon. Maybe my indie can do something to arrest it or at least prevent it from getting worse quickly. Fortunately I detected the rust early. My car is now 9 years old so I will have to fund the repair myself. But that's enough of 'rust'.

My real reason for posting this thread here is the hardline MB is now taking towards all rust claims. I mentioned my car's rust problem to my indie and he was very sympathetic. He had submitted a claim for his much younger ML which had developed rust too. MB's reaction has been to deny my indie's claim and he feels he will have a fight on his hands. He added that he still receives a steady stream of complaints from customers concerning rust on post-Millennium vehicles, some as little as 2 years old. My indie feels the credit crunch and the World recession has a lot to do with MB's attitude towards rust claims. They are not keen to fund the repairs.

My indie added that MB has recognised their mistake around the Millennium concerning taking their eyes off quality and, as a result, they have a new Vision to make their vehicles to the standard of quality 'before' the Millennium. Very laudable! MB are now addressing this as forum members are well aware. However, my indie argued that this will likely increase MB's manufacturing costs and he doubts very much that customers will be willing to pay these inflated prices in the current economic climate. There is now a focus at MB on using composite materials that don't rust and are relatively cheap to produce.

My indie added that it is not only vehicle bodies that have suffered quality problems. There is also an issue with replacement components, they are not lasting as long. They don't have that enviable MB reputation for longevity any more. He said he spends more time replacing failed nearly-new components than he used to. He attributes this to poor materials and bad design. He thinks MB still has BIG problems but that aside he is fiercely loyal to the marque.

REGARDS

Phil
 

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Yes just take drop links, on a MB they go after 30k miles, on a Volvo they last well up to 150k miles.OK the Volvo ones cost £60 compared to the MB at around £15, but it is the labour cost involved and the inconvenience, swivels are another. No Volvo goes rusty anymore than a cheap Jap car, it was the rust that killed Lancia, maybe when they went bust, MB bought up all of the steel for the bodies
 
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philharve

philharve

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And there's more ...

Hi Malcolm

I thought I would hear from you first!

My indie did mention something else. He stated that the reason he left MB and became an independent was because he could see MB being hit with serious quality issues. Rather than tow the corporate line he left the company and started his own business.

But he said something else that rang big bells with me. Just after he left MB, the company decided to cull its workforce and over 50s were the target. Much of the company's experience were either retired or moved onto other careers. I have seen this in my own company before I retired. Yes, I am a 50+. However, I can't help feeling that when you get rid of experience and put the management of a company in relatively inexperienced, younger hands you are taking a serious gamble on the future success of that company. I don't happen to believe that at 50 I'm 'over-the-hill' and that I can still contribute a great deal more. In the UK we don't value age and experience but if you travel to the far east the situation is very different.

REGARDS

Phil
 

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This fits with when the in thing was to have the new wiz kids coming into management .

OK I have been in the service industry since 1950, in those days the design dept worked with the service department, we had models that would run for years, slowly getting perfected all round. These day the design dept never talk to the service dept, the service side being seen as a nasty expense on the budget, I made money from the years of experience, making more as the years went by my knowledge gained in how material things and components behave. A TV I have fixed this morning used a component rated at 30ma, when 30ma was passing through it, what crack pot person used that in the spec, certainly someone who had no experience at all.

MB must know that our roads are getting worse, causing all of these drop links etc to fail, why not make a better one that last, or is all this a part of the plans to keep the dealers service dept fully engaged.
People come onto the forum amazed at these things have failed, when on the previous cars, non MB they have never failed.
 

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I can't see how Merc can deny any rust claims on post millenium models particularly as they all come with the 30 year warranty for anti corrosion.
 
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philharve

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Rust on newer vehicles

I can't see how Merc can deny any rust claims on post millenium models particularly as they all come with the 30 year warranty for anti corrosion.

Hi Jensen

I agree, my indie's ML is much younger than my C class. MB is using the 'untreated stone chip' ploy to avoid liability in my indie's case. But my indie is MB-trained and knows the difference between external rust and rust originating beneath the paintwork.

The 'untreated stone chip' ploy was used against me when I made my second rust claim about 3+ years ago. My MB dealer denied my claim. At my indie's suggestion I sought a second opinion from a MB-approved bodyshop and the decision was reversed.

Now you know why I prefer to deal with an indie rather than my MB dealership. I suspect my indie has fallen foul of the exact same attitude: if the origin of the rust is in doubt, claim it is due to untreated stone chip damage and deny liability. Simple! This decision would halt most claimants in their tracks, after all, MB are the experts! Aren't they?

I have made 3 claims in total and all repairs were sponsored by MB except for the last one where I paid about GBP300 to have some non-rust damage repaired (car park gouge not of my doing). It seemed only sensible to have all damage fixed in one go. MB paid for all the paintwork but they didn't know it. It was a good decision. Now a 4th visit to the bodyshop seems likely. You get used to it. Sigh!

If my C230K had proven to be a lemon I would have got rid of it by now. However, the opposite has proven to be the case and it's worth hanging onto this car. It has years of life left in it, if only I can keep the rust in check. The big 'known' rust issues, e.g. wheel arches, have already been attended to with back-to-bare-metal repairs that should never need further attention.

REGARDS

Phil
 
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