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E Class corroded subframe

  • 03-04-2020 9:08pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ NickNickleby


    Starting a new thread, had hijacked a previous thread.....

    Bought my beautiful E Class E200 W212, 2010, in 2016, ie six years old. Paid 21k for it. Was the going rate for it at the time (if buying from a dealer). Was happy to buy from a big showy main dealer , albeit not a Merc dealer. After all, buy g what I perceived to be a premium badge from a big posh garage is a guarantee of longevity is it not. My intention is that I'll be buried in it. Well I will be if I pop my clogs tomorrow.

    After Christmas just gone, I noticed a clunking sound coming from the rear driver side, when pulling away. Anyway, one day while waiting for an appointment to get it investigated, I heard a loud cracking from underneath. So off to a garage immediately. My rear axle subframe had corroded and snapped where the lower arm from the wheel connects. I believe this is called a drop link. Well, it certainly dropped. The garage is a small indy, and the owner is well versed in Mercs. He called me and said it's buggered and cannot be welded. His suggestion was that it be taken to a merc main dealer and ask for it to be repaired under warranty.

    So, I took it to the main dealer nearby. I said what had been diagnosed, and that my expectation was that Mercedes would carry the cost of this given the nature and seriousness of the fault. The service manager said that was for them to decide, and that such decisions were taken on a case by case basis. He also said that the car would not be released back to me until it is roadworthy. I felt like telling him to take his fake effing gun from my head, but decided to remain silent, and not start a row before its necessary. He said they'd get back to me in due course. Then Leo shut down the garage.

    Still, the car would only be sitting in the front drive anyway....


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,943 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi


    That's a popular fault with those and dealers are known to do goodwill contributions on them too.

    That said, you didnt buy it from a main dealer and you weren't servicing it with a main dealer and goodwill is usually authorised by the dealer so I suppose you need to be prepared for it not to go well for you.

    You can take it out of the dealer no problem, they'll just get you to sign a disclaimer stating that they advised you the car is unsafe to be driven. You might get lucky though and they'll cover it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,704 ✭✭✭✭ L-M


    A friend of a friend got the subframe covered on a 08 C class recently. He had just bought it privately and I would say very little history. Hold tough


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ NickNickleby


    Thanks Toyotafanboi

    Yeah, I get that my eh, reluctance to hand over gazillions to a main dealer is likely to come back to bite me now. Still, for a low mileage, otherwise (as far as I know) pristine example of a premium badge, you'd expect not to be having to deal with this kind of crap. My neighbour is a retired mechanic and says he's never heard of this type of component failing so drastically, other than in a crash.

    If they won't fix it, I wonder will they give me a free sub frame and I get my indy guy to replace it. I can already guess the answer to that. We'll give you a free subframe, and you pay main dealer rates to fit it (at best). Or , "sign this and get off my forecourt".

    Saw a refurbished one on ebay in Germany, €1350 plus delivery. And God only knows how much to install it. And will the front one go next year???


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ NickNickleby


    Thanks L-M,

    Hopefully I'll get lucky, like your friend's friend.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,943 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi


    Thanks Toyotafanboi

    Yeah, I get that my eh, reluctance to hand over gazillions to a main dealer is likely to come back to bite me now.

    If they won't fix it, I wonder will they give me a free sub frame and I get my indy guy to replace it.

    Well the dealers are franchises, your car has dodged them for sales and servicing for a decade but now you've found them sharpish, cap in hand, looking for a freebie. Could you not put the few bob you saved over the years off the sub frame job? would your indy not do you a good deal on supply and fit if he's been good for everything else?

    No chance they'd give you the component to take away in any kind of deal, it doesn't work like that.

    Dealers do seem to cover these though so there may be an official line from Mercedes to cover the cost on cars below a certain age/ mileage no quibble as it's fairly embarrassing stuff for them. That's what you need to be hoping for.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ NickNickleby


    Cap in hand, hahaha. Nope, I expect that an expensive car shouldn't start to literally fall apart in less than ten years and 60k miles , and if it does , then it must be due to poor material or build quality. Either of which are the responsibility of the manufacturer.

    Yes, my indy could and would do it, but my belief is that Mercedes should be carrying some of the load here.

    We'll see how it goes. I'll post here when there are developments.

    Ninja edit due to finger trouble resulting on premature posting.😊


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,943 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi


    it must be due to poor material or build quality. Either of which are the responsibility of the manufacturer.

    If you were the Mercedes would you entertain that point of view though, when you're service centres havn't been given the opportunity to inspect the condition of the product annually as per the service schedule for the last ten years? Any manner of external influence could have caused this and if spotted sooner the cost and extent of repair could have been mitigated.

    Sure theres some precedent for these failures but generally speaking the above would apply. You do have the precendet here though which is lucky.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭ kermitpwee


    I hope you get it sorted and it looks like you might.
    It's a 10 year old car regardless of brand.
    Mercedes are not know for quality, luxury perhaps.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 17,106 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Henry Ford III


    Was it a UK import?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ NickNickleby


    If you were the Mercedes would you entertain that point of view though, when you're service centres havn't been given the opportunity to inspect the condition of the product annually as per the service schedule for the last ten years? Any manner of external influence could have caused this and if spotted sooner the cost and extent of repair could have been mitigated.

    Sure theres some precedent for these failures but generally speaking the above would apply. You do have the precendet here though which is lucky.

    I totally agree with your points about the lack of Accredited Mercedes dealers not being given the opportunity to find this earlier. And, that say some sort of damage in the interim could be responsible. But.... I've owned cars since 1976, some brand new, some second hand. Even with the brand new cars and following the main dealer route, I've had unbelievable grief. (Well, twice, and it was a long time ago). But even my crappy 1969 Triumph 1300 didn't have vital substructure falling off. My rustbucket 1980 Toyota Corolla (I bought it on Dec 8th, and on Christmas Day my father spotted the rust on the roof!!), was in and out of the main dealers for two years till I gave up and traded it in (for sweet FA, as you can imagine).
    So, my experience over the years has been that going the official main dealer route was just an exercise in handing over extra money for no real gain.

    My neighbour, who was a mechanic in a main dealer says that things ARE better now, and that while the hourly rate charged is eye watering, in most cases the main dealers require fewer actual hours to get the job done.

    Perhaps this was the one occasion when I should have bitten the bullet:confused::pac::D

    Just to add, my most recent service was carried out by a guy with all the Merc qualifications and specialist tools, he uses the STAR system diagnostic machine - he gave me the printouts - which I should have left in the car, now that I think of it. AND it passed the NCT in November (I think it was) - unsurprisingly I suppose, it wasn't noticed then.
    kermitpwee wrote: »
    I hope you get it sorted and it looks like you might.
    It's a 10 year old car regardless of brand.
    Mercedes are not know for quality, luxury perhaps.

    When I bought it, it was six years old and never in my wildest dreams did I think it would come to this. The 05 Fiesta is running fine and no bits falling off it:(
    Was it a UK import?

    Nope, Irish.

    Ah well. We live in hope, and as we all know, this is negligible in the greater scheme of things at the moment. I'm just venting, and also there might be useful observations in this thread for others.

    Thanks all, I'll keep you posted.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 17,106 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Henry Ford III


    Best of luck. I hope Mercedes treat you reasonably at least.


  • Registered Users Posts: 625 ✭✭✭ galvo_clare


    Thanks Toyotafanboi

    Saw a refurbished one on ebay in Germany, €1350 plus delivery. And God only knows how much to install it. And will the front one go next year???

    Maybe it's a more complex part but I got a sub frame from a breakers for my 2003 3 Series cabrio for €50 delivered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 231 ✭✭ pale rider


    I had a 2010 e250 for six years and loved it, the Indy garage I got it serviced with had a couple of these in over the last 18 months, it's not uncommon and all owners should have this checked, mine was fine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,893 ✭✭✭ cml387


    Excellent result.

    Old timers will know the story of the Rolls Royce owner who mistreated his car on his poorly paved estate to the extent that he broke the rear axle.

    Rolls Royce took his car away and returned it later all fixed.

    After failing to get a bill for a while and being an honest aristocrat he wrote to RR asking about the cost of repair.

    He received a reply:

    "The rear axle on a Rolls Royce does not break"


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,471 ✭✭✭ Casati


    UPDATE

    Well, having left the car into a main dealer weeks ago, today I got a call out of the blue. Car is ready to be collected! New rear axle assembly fitted, then all the underneath of the car has been cleaned and sprayed with some sort of protection. ALL courtesy of Mercedes. It was explained to me that it's not a warranty, but rather a goodwill gesture, recognising the extreme and unusual nature of the problem. Apparently it's recognised as a "known" problem, but whilst it's a bit more common than expected, it's not happening to all cars of that vintage. The service history wasn't raised, although they knew someone with know how and access to "downloads" etc had been the last person to work on it.

    So, happy ending there. During the waiting period, I had been preparing myself for a spend of a couple of grand, as I wasn't going to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Phew!!!

    That is a great result, fair play to Mercedes for doing all this work free of charge. I know from your perspective it’s a car you spent over 20k on a few years ago but its still a 10 year old car which is probably 7 years out of manufactures warranty so I’m shocked they would do this work for free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,406 ✭✭✭✭ Eric Cartman


    This actually says quite a lot for Mercedes customer service. Im sure somebody has an example but in general they seem to cover faults that are design based / not owner faults pretty comprehensively.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,943 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi


    The big question is now OP, seeing as they've got you sorted. Will you go there for a service in future?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ NickNickleby


    The big question is now OP, seeing as they've got you sorted. Will you go there for a service in future?

    When I got the call yesterday, THAT was my first thought upon hanging up. And then I got to thinking about my investment so far in the car and should I be looking to protect that investment, or should I continue to use indies to care for the car, and let that take me where it might.

    Well, I'm going to use the Main Dealer. This is partially based on selfish reasons, hopefully protection against similar incidents in future. And more likely, a feeling of, well...... loyalty. I'm not normally one for 'brand loyalty' so this is more driven by my experience with the Main Dealer people and the outcome.

    As an aside, when I collected the car, the chap who brought it round the front said he was astonished that it was a 2010 car as it looks in such good nick (no relation:pac:) and that he's seen 171's that don't look as well kept.

    Anyway, I came on here originally, with a bee in my bonnet over an MB car falling to bits, so its at least incumbent on me to highlight the good service I have received from the Mercedes Benz dealer network.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,245 ✭✭✭ swarlb


    Well done on your result.
    This puts me in mind of a make of car from the 1970's up to the early 80's. There was a problem with rust on the front subframe in this case. Only came to be noticed when the model had been in production for a few years. At first the manufacturer offered to replace the subframe free of charge, then the press got hold of the story.
    Tales of engines falling out while the car was being driven, other tales of the whole car crumbling to dust around the driver while he waited for the lights to change.
    Not wanting too much bad press, the manufacturer offered to buy back the models from customers that were unhappy. Bear in mind now, there were cars that had experienced no problems whatsoever, and some of these cars still exist today...with the original subframes.
    The manufacturer however never really recovered, and pulled out of the market not long afterwards.
    The brand still exists, but virtually unknown by many.
    Oddly enough, a certain TV 'motoring' program once did a special on the brand, and rated it 'the greatest car maker.. ever'.... naturally they couldn't help but mention 'the incident'
    I wonder if the media today got hold of this Mercedes problem.... would the brand die a death within 10 years ?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,980 ✭✭✭ ofcork


    Great outcome but Mercedes still seem to have quality issues to this day even the AMGs are not immune!


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,328 ✭✭✭✭ Esel


    @swarlb - is the brand a secret?

    Not your ornery onager



  • Registered Users Posts: 72,776 ✭✭✭✭ colm_mcm


    Esel wrote: »
    @swarlb - is the brand a secret?

    Think it was the RWD Toyota Starlets assembled in Dublin?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,113 ✭✭✭ jelutong


    Lancia?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,893 ✭✭✭ cml387


    colm_mcm wrote: »
    Think it was the RWD Toyota Starlets assembled in Dublin?

    There was an issue with Starfighters where assembled in Dublin had missing paint or ant-corrosion covering where the rear axle is bolted to the chassis. Toyota bought those back, we're talking about late 1980's when this came to light,
    However Toyota a very much with us.

    The great Lancia Beta rust disaster comes to mind. these were rotting before they left the showroom and finished Lancia as a brand in Ireland and the UK.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,710 ✭✭✭ johnayo


    Alfa Romeo were porous back in the 70's. Many of them had a touchup at PDI stage. I doubt they have that problem now.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,293 ✭✭✭ TheBoyConor


    If you were the Mercedes would you entertain that point of view though, when you're service centres havn't been given the opportunity to inspect the condition of the product annually as per the service schedule for the last ten years? Any manner of external influence could have caused this and if spotted sooner the cost and extent of repair could have been mitigated.

    I wouldn't buy that sort of bullshít argument from a dealer. Service schedules and periodic thorough inspections are all well and good for dealers and service managers to yap on about but in the real world, outside of hire fleets etc, nobody actually takes these seriously or does them. Why? What is the point of it? If it is ok it is ok and if there is a problem it will manifest itself. Plus it is extra expense and inconvenience for no real benefit.

    I have never had a car in for a routine underbody inspection nor have I ever heard anyone do it. Yet the subframe collapsing on cars is not a thing - it is a very rare event. Unfortunately these Mercs are prone to it, probably due to either flaws in design, manufacturing or materials.
    Having some big eared spotty apprentice gawk at it every six months won't prevent rust.

    If this is trotted out it is just an excuse to avoid having to do the repairs at a reduced rate.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,293 ✭✭✭ TheBoyConor


    UPDATE

    ......….then all the underneath of the car has been cleaned and sprayed with some sort of protection. ALL courtesy of Mercedes. …...
    Phew!!!

    In other words, they plastered it with Waxoyl in order to cover up other areas that were half rotten.

    Seeing this stuff newly applied to the underbody of a car when buying is usually a bad omen and a sign to run away as the underbody is likely to be held together by it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,245 ✭✭✭ swarlb


    Esel wrote: »
    @swarlb - is the brand a secret?

    No... but at the time it was plastered all over the newsprint media, it was reported on the TV news for weeks, and finally a TV 'consumer' program hammered in the final nails.
    My point is that I cannot imagine the same thing happening today.
    Every manufacturer I can think of in the 60's, 70's and 80's had a problem with rust, some more than others, but for some reason this one took the hit and died.

    It was Lancia...
    I don't expect most people under the age of 30 to have any experience of it, but still, for those who do remember, they did make good cars, better than most in many regards.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭ Gooey Looey


    I wouldn't buy that sort of bullshít argument from a dealer. Service schedules and periodic thorough inspections are all well and good for dealers and service managers to yap on about but in the real world, outside of hire fleets etc, nobody actually takes these seriously or does them. Why? What is the point of it? If it is ok it is ok and if there is a problem it will manifest itself. Plus it is extra expense and inconvenience for no real benefit.

    I have never had a car in for a routine underbody inspection nor have I ever heard anyone do it. Yet the subframe collapsing on cars is not a thing - it is a very rare event. Unfortunately these Mercs are prone to it, probably due to either flaws in design, manufacturing or materials.
    Having some big eared spotty apprentice gawk at it every six months won't prevent rust.

    If this is trotted out it is just an excuse to avoid having to do the repairs at a reduced rate.

    You don't need to do this inspection, the NCT will do it for you every 2 years outside warranty


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