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Update with scary picture - W204 2008 rear subframe failure

Discussion in 'Suspension, Steering & Brakes' started by syncman, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. syncman

    syncman Member

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    As the thread has dropped down the board I thought that this was the best way to get more people aware of a dangerous fault in my 9yr old C Class. Long story short, about to order a new C Class for March 2018 but needed to put my current Mercedes through the MOT. Failed on corroded brake line, OK. When test driven after the work garage said the car didn't feel right at the rear. Inspection showed corroded and cracked rear subframe (see scary photo attached). Spoke to MB customer service, weren't really interested, said contact my local dealer. Local dealer said would have to get the car to them (it's not safe to drive) then they would take photos, sent to MB and the may/may not get involved. Not an option as the MB subframe is £800 and on back order, I need the car. I now have a used frame and new bushes on order. A few more scary issues arose when I spoke to the dealership.

    1. Warranty Manager mentions in hushed tones when asked why a 9yr old vehicle had the much damage " well MB do have a corrosion problem"!
    2. More worrying he said "well you have got a full service history with us". True I have had 2 services with an independant MB specialist but all the others, including the last 2, with the dealership. He said " yes, but the last 2 were value services (cheaper option they offer for older vehicles). I asked was he saying that they check all safety critical issues on a full service but not all safety critical issues on a value service. The reply was that they used a different checklist! He said his son has the same car as me and he would be checking it out asap! SHAME ON YOU MB FOR PUTTING MY, AND MY WIFE'S LIFE AT RISK!

    I'm not stupid enough to to think other brands don't do this but why would you buy from a brand that you KNOW do this. My love affair with MB is over. Thanks for reading my rant, if it helps anybody identify a problem with they're vehicle I'm happy.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    Absolutely awful! Need to look back your other thread to refresh myself
     
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  3. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    To be fair this isn't necessarily MB practise - more likely a local dealership practise.
    MB will document what is in the service schedule and its up to the dealerships to follow that. I would be very surprised if MB 'skimped' on the recommended checks - thats far more likely to be a dealer trying to make a bit more money by not doing stuff they should for the same fee.
     
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  4. OP
    syncman

    syncman Member

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    Lostkiwi, you may well be right but when MB customer service hand the issue off to the dealership, both the service procedure and the reaction to complaint, then they should take responsibility. They, MB, initially produced a car with a subframe that rotted away in less than 9yrs.
     
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  5. flowrider99

    flowrider99 Senior Member

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    On the service issue....thats why a normal service is over twice the price of a value service, because they don't do the same work. That subframe is terrible on a 9yr old car, i cant believe that is normal. Has the car been in an accident?
     
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  6. OP
    syncman

    syncman Member

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    No, I bought the car from Mercedes-Benz Direct, ex managers car, when it was 15 months old. One part of the damage occurrd during removal but the rest is all MB!
     
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  7. umblecumbuz

    umblecumbuz Senior Member

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    And you're still going to buy another one?
     
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  8. KennyN

    KennyN Senior Member

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    How was that not picked up during the MOT ?

    It was only noticed as something was not quite right during the after work test drive which means the car had passed the MOT :shock:

    That amount of corrosion doesn`t happen over-night so it was missed by a couple of service technicians and by a couple of MOT`s inspectors .

    Kenny
     
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  9. OP
    syncman

    syncman Member

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    Absolutely not!
     
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  10. OP
    syncman

    syncman Member

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    I'm not certain but I don't think it' normal to check that part. When they picked it up after testing the new brake line work that eh and lingerie wasn't right. I've driven the car for 8yrs and hadn't noticed anything, when I went down the pit to look at the issue it was almost impossible to see, certainly not the amount of corrosion visible when it was removed. Funny how the dealership picked up safety concerns on the value service such as tyres, they were right, and brake discs, they were wrong, but not a potential lethal failure like this.
     
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  11. OP
    syncman

    syncman Member

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    Lingerie? ****** auto ill! The handling wasn't right!
     
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  12. Parisien

    Parisien Senior Member

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    Correct, typically the inside of these tubular type frames aren't well if protected at all, plus if water gets in at top of frame and slowly fills the cavity over time it "rots" its way out, I only discovered this on my Maserati when using a trolley jack with piece of wood to raise car at rear, tube section just caved in, so sign of corrosion on outside at all! Very poor quality, I'd advise anyone with a younger car to drill a couple or drain holes and fill cavity with waxoyl/Dinitrol to prevent delay of corrosion. Shame on these prestige car makers for such poor quality design and finish, unacceptable...., built in design failing and indeed not fit for purpose!


    P
     
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  13. KennyN

    KennyN Senior Member

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    I would have thought that the lower shock mount would be one of the places they should certainly be checking.

    Just had a look on eBay and there are a few for sale but none look anywhere near as bad as yours , looks like you were unlucky with the level of corrosion present but lucky as it has been found before something happened whilst on the move.

    Kenny
     
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  14. AJD

    AJD Senior Member

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    That's bad, I don't suppose a 9 year old Fiat would even be like that !! :(
     
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  15. OP
    syncman

    syncman Member

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    To be honest, I'm furious but neither MB or the dealer seem to appreciate the severity of the fault and neither seems inclined to help. I worked for over 20yrs for a blue chip multinational that had quality and safety at the top of its priorities. What I was looking for was...
    1. Someone to take ownership for the problem, MB and/or the dealer.
    2. A customer focused response.
    3. An acceptance of the severity of the issue and a speedy reaction.
    What I got was none of those!
     
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  16. umblecumbuz

    umblecumbuz Senior Member

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    Regrettably, you're wrong.

    The Fiat Panda and 500 series (same platform) are notorious for being scrappers after seven or eight years because the rear axle, especially the spring hangers, just rots away completely. The first notice you get is when the car suddenly drops at the rear as the springs punch through the cups.

    It's a real shame with these little cars as the rest of the body is usually perfect and the mechanics just run and run. My nine year old Panda has a nigh perfect rear axle because I got wise to this weakness and have Waxoiled it regularly, but such treatment shouldn't be necessary - especially with an upmarket car like a Merc.
     
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  17. Parisien

    Parisien Senior Member

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  18. OP
    syncman

    syncman Member

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    Interesting suggestion, thanks. Who would qualify as an engineer for the report? Do you think the removal of the subframe would work against a claim?
     
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  19. star

    star Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    C92FD9C4-9F0A-47E5-8A2C-E9053833E6F8.jpeg 04736A68-55E5-41FC-AB83-165905AB01B1.jpeg 55 plate slk today.
     
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  20. Parisien

    Parisien Senior Member

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    AA, RAC, MB Indie specialist, anyone whose reputation matters in automotive terms?!

    You look at the photos supplied and realise this deterioration more than likely started the moment it was fitted to the car ( to get to this state 6/7/8/9 years later), due to poor quality steel, poor/non-existent rust protection, no means by which water ingress could egress!!!!!!

    A report should cost less than £100, £30 fee......what have you got to loose plus the satisfaction of taking MB on and more than likely winning (Man on Clapham omnibus argument could apply........ie how long should the part have lasted, according to the average member of the publics view)


    P
     
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