C43 engine failure

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Morning All,

Finally heard from the motoring Ombudsman yesterday who decided that a fault at the point of sale couldn't be proven so there is no liability for the dealership or MB.

We went ahead with the repairs and paid the £9k and got the car back around 1 month ago. The new engine needs to be run in and has a 2 year warranty. The car seems to be running fine and is still a nice place to be!

It does beg the question, would I buy another AMG? Obviously I love the cars but my confidence in the brand has been seriously knocked. Firstly because of this engine failure and secondly in the support, or lack of, from MB. Yes, it was great that they contributed 57% but their brand is based upon reliability and quality which was lacking here. The dealership were very helpful and the impression we got was that they felt MB could/should have done more. Yes, it was out of warranty, but are we expected as consumers to pay an extra couple of thousand pounds a year to protect against the unknown in a relatively 'young' car?
I believe Toyota has a 10 year warranty, which to me shows confidence in their products but I don't doubt there are some horror stories there too!

Thanks for all your help and advice. I think in the future an MB extended warranty is a must, as I have on the C63, just in case......
 
Morning All,

Finally heard from the motoring Ombudsman yesterday who decided that a fault at the point of sale couldn't be proven so there is no liability for the dealership or MB.

We went ahead with the repairs and paid the £9k and got the car back around 1 month ago. The new engine needs to be run in and has a 2 year warranty. The car seems to be running fine and is still a nice place to be!

It does beg the question, would I buy another AMG? Obviously I love the cars but my confidence in the brand has been seriously knocked. Firstly because of this engine failure and secondly in the support, or lack of, from MB. Yes, it was great that they contributed 57% but their brand is based upon reliability and quality which was lacking here. The dealership were very helpful and the impression we got was that they felt MB could/should have done more. Yes, it was out of warranty, but are we expected as consumers to pay an extra couple of thousand pounds a year to protect against the unknown in a relatively 'young' car?
I believe Toyota has a 10 year warranty, which to me shows confidence in their products but I don't doubt there are some horror stories there too!

Thanks for all your help and advice. I think in the future an MB extended warranty is a must, as I have on the C63, just in case......
Thanks for bringing everything up to speed, and sorry it cost so much! As a positive though, at least you have it back on the road and can enjoy it now. Sounds like it's been quite the journey!

Kind of feel for the retailer in situations like yours, having been involved in similar engine stripdowns and investigations or disputes at dealers in the past; You kind of end up as piggy in the middle. It's very frustrating when the manufacturer opposes or doesn't fully support your expectations too, i.e not providing a larger contribution to a repair etc.

Extended warranties can sometimes be a minefield of exclusions and small print too, but I guess it would've been solidly worth the investment in your case.

Onwards and upwards eh?! Enjoy your AMG 😎
 
I'm glad that at least you've been able to resolve this quickly; it had the potential to drag on longer.

It does raise the question more generally about what are still very expensive outlays for young used cars. For me, it makes me want to stay away from spending anything north of £10k unless it's brand new. The warranty does seem worth taking in that situation provided it covers these sort of high cost engine replacement failures.
 
I'm sure times have moved on....but when I was selling new VW and Audi fior a living a lady customer had a 45 to 50k miles Audi V6 spin a crank bearing. New engine was authorised as good will at the first point of claim....when we are surprised about that. 100% goodwill payment. To be honest I would have expected that from Merc. Imo if you had gone to court over it you would certainly have one.
 
Typical ombudsman decision as already mentioned earlier

If you’re in for £9000 might be worth retrospectively trying a small claims case

Money claim online as it’s called now might even win a case like this by default as if MB UK are sued, by the time the paperwork reaches the correct department the time scale for a response might have elapsed

If you do go for this make sure you detail the company you are complaining against precisely

Factor in any costs and add them to your claim at the start

You can’t be charged their legal costs if you lose and you can’t claim your own

Good luck if you go down this route
 
That’s a worry. How did you work out the oil was incorrect, and which oil did they use by mistake?
Hi Bobby Dazzler ,

The dealer used a Shell 0W30 bulk oil that can be used in most petrol Mercedes engines but not the M276 3.5 litre engines.

No mention was made about AMG cars.

I must say the dealer changed the engine oil instantly.

They contacted Shell who confirmed that this oil does not have MB approval in the M276 engines.

I have a copy of the email from Shell confirming the above information.

Refilling the car engine they used Shell 5W30 229.5 that does have Mercedes approval in Mercedes M276 engines.

I found out because the dealer on the service print out stated 0W30 with no additional specification.

Should have started with 5W.

I believe it was a genuine mistake but the "Master Technicians " did not appear to be over 18 , perhaps with an experienced technician they would have questioned the oil specification in the M276 engines.
 
Morning All,

Finally heard from the motoring Ombudsman yesterday who decided that a fault at the point of sale couldn't be proven so there is no liability for the dealership or MB.

We went ahead with the repairs and paid the £9k and got the car back around 1 month ago. The new engine needs to be run in and has a 2 year warranty. The car seems to be running fine and is still a nice place to be!

It does beg the question, would I buy another AMG? Obviously I love the cars but my confidence in the brand has been seriously knocked. Firstly because of this engine failure and secondly in the support, or lack of, from MB. Yes, it was great that they contributed 57% but their brand is based upon reliability and quality which was lacking here. The dealership were very helpful and the impression we got was that they felt MB could/should have done more. Yes, it was out of warranty, but are we expected as consumers to pay an extra couple of thousand pounds a year to protect against the unknown in a relatively 'young' car?
I believe Toyota has a 10 year warranty, which to me shows confidence in their products but I don't doubt there are some horror stories there too!

Thanks for all your help and advice. I think in the future an MB extended warranty is a must, as I have on the C63, just in case......
Glad that your issue has been resolved, albeit at considerable cost to you. It shouldn't have been that way. Mercedes should have paid all of it. If you'd made a big noise, perhaps they would have, but at considerable cost to your time and blood pressure.

Is it a weakness in this particular engine I wonder? I believe the 43 is a tuned standard Mercedes engine, unlike your 63?
 
Typical ombudsman decision as already mentioned earlier

If you’re in for £9000 might be worth retrospectively trying a small claims case

Money claim online as it’s called now might even win a case like this by default as if MB UK are sued, by the time the paperwork reaches the correct department the time scale for a response might have elapsed

If you do go for this make sure you detail the company you are complaining against precisely

Factor in any costs and add them to your claim at the start

You can’t be charged their legal costs if you lose and you can’t claim your own

Good luck if you go down this route
I did precisely this having bought a 997 Turbo from a dealer a few years back. After around 3 months, the turbo's stopped boosting, and after much to-ing and fro-ing it turned out that I needed new turbos at a not inconsiderable cost. I spoke with a lawyer who told me to go through (at the time) the small claims court, and having spent ages detailing the whole story from start to finish, I won. The dealer took a barrister in with him, but the process is very fair and the judge ended up tearing him off a strip and awarding me 100% of my claim.

The rules changed in 2015 and now favour the consumer. See this link Consumer Rights Act 2015 for used and new cars | AutoTrader

If I remember correctly, the small claims court people rang me to check that the claim was one which they could handle, and therefore would tell you if yours isn't.

Good luck if you do it, it was a hugely satisfying experience for me.
 
This whole episode is just frightening, I've always wanted an AMG Mercedes, even a BMW M3.
I couldn't justify a new car so would have to buy 2 or 3 year old model instead.
Buy you hear all the horror stories of expensive engine failures and such like that puts me off.
If you look on Utube all I see is "enthusiasts" thrashing their cars around, wheel spinning and redlining with zero mechanical sympathy, some may not even know or care how engines operate.
These may end up as Approved Mercedes vehicles after a prep and an alloy wheel skim.
Maybe the OP's car was one of these, previously thrashed by a previous lease owner from cold, and that maybe prematurely caused a main bearing to seize resulting in the hole in the block ?
 
This whole episode is just frightening, I've always wanted an AMG Mercedes, even a BMW M3.
I couldn't justify a new car so would have to buy 2 or 3 year old model instead.
Buy you hear all the horror stories of expensive engine failures and such like that puts me off.
If you look on Utube all I see is "enthusiasts" thrashing their cars around, wheel spinning and redlining with zero mechanical sympathy, some may not even know or care how engines operate.
These may end up as Approved Mercedes vehicles after a prep and an alloy wheel skim.
Maybe the OP's car was one of these, previously thrashed by a previous lease owner from cold, and that maybe prematurely caused a main bearing to seize resulting in the hole in the block ?
Hi , your comments are spot on.
 
This whole episode is just frightening, I've always wanted an AMG Mercedes, even a BMW M3.
I couldn't justify a new car so would have to buy 2 or 3 year old model instead.
Buy you hear all the horror stories of expensive engine failures and such like that puts me off.
If you look on Utube all I see is "enthusiasts" thrashing their cars around, wheel spinning and redlining with zero mechanical sympathy, some may not even know or care how engines operate.
These may end up as Approved Mercedes vehicles after a prep and an alloy wheel skim.
Maybe the OP's car was one of these, previously thrashed by a previous lease owner from cold, and that maybe prematurely caused a main bearing to seize resulting in the hole in the block ?
Or it could just have been a manufacturing fault..........
 
Buy you hear all the horror stories of expensive engine failures and such like that puts me off.
Are there that many? This one stands out but I can’t think of any others, although that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more. I would find it difficult to determine that catastrophic failure is more likely in an AMG than a Mercedes, or M than a BMW though. The reality is that all modern cars cost a lot to repair once out of warranty.

I also wouldn’t my worry too much about previous owners thrashing their cars. Take your time to buy the right car - and there are plenty out there to choose from - you will be able to find examples which are unlikely to have been used and abused. Skipped maintenance is more common than terminal abuse.
 
Buy you hear all the horror stories of expensive engine failures and such like that puts me off.
Could you list 3 of these "horror stories" that are relevant to your assertion?
 
This whole episode is just frightening, I've always wanted an AMG Mercedes, even a BMW M3.
I couldn't justify a new car so would have to buy 2 or 3 year old model instead.
Buy you hear all the horror stories of expensive engine failures and such like that puts me off.
If you look on Utube all I see is "enthusiasts" thrashing their cars around, wheel spinning and redlining with zero mechanical sympathy, some may not even know or care how engines operate.
These may end up as Approved Mercedes vehicles after a prep and an alloy wheel skim.
Maybe the OP's car was one of these, previously thrashed by a previous lease owner from cold, and that maybe prematurely caused a main bearing to seize resulting in the hole in the block ?
I'm not sure what horror stores you're referring to here? The problem is, once you go looking for bad things on the internet, it's easy to find stories about any car you like. The odds of you buying a car that becomes said 'horror story' are pretty minimal, provided you don't go into a purchase completely blinkered.

I bought my current C63s without a test drive - sure, a risk many people aren't willing to take but, i'm not averse to the odd risk now and again. What i'm saying here is, its all about the odds and taking a chance, life is way too short to always be thinking 'What if.........?'.
 
Are there that many? This one stands out but I can’t think of any others, although that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more. I would find it difficult to determine that catastrophic failure is more likely in an AMG than a Mercedes, or M than a BMW though. The reality is that all modern cars cost a lot to repair once out of warranty.

I also wouldn’t my worry too much about previous owners thrashing their cars. Take your time to buy the right car - and there are plenty out there to choose from - you will be able to find examples which are unlikely to have been used and abusSkipped maintenance is more common than terminal abuse.
Hi Bobby Dazzler , agree with most of your comments in the last couple of years but terminal abuse and lack of serving could you explain how you can tell if you are buying a well maintained or an example that has been thrashed all its working life.

I worked for a company that was a global player in their particular market.

Company car drivers were instructed to fill the car up with the cheapest fuel available , given a max price per litre they would pay , had to put in the cheapest engine oil available when topping up oil.

Tyres I won't go there and the same with clocking the mileage.

If the car required servicing an inquest into why was conducted.

I apologize in advance but buying an ex company car is a no no for me , modern cars really clean up well !

A few years ago I got into a conversation with a. Volvo fleet engineer who suggested to me in general terms hire cars are a good purchase : When the car is returned off hire the staff from the hire companies go over them with a magnifying glass , all levels are checked and any issues found are re charged to the client credit card : debit card.
 
Hi Bobby Dazzler , agree with most of your comments in the last couple of years but terminal abuse and lack of serving could you explain how you can tell if you are buying a well maintained or an example that has been thrashed all its working life.
Most cars won‘t have been thrashed that hard all of their life. Buying a car from the original owner really helps, but generally buying the previous owner as much buying the car is a good start.

Generally cars with servicing on the button, faults repaired, organised history file, neatly presented, with matching tyres, tend to have been less abused. Not absolute but good indications.

Unfortunately you can still get unlucky with truly cherished cars. Stuff breaks.
 
Often, if you want a 'low risk' car that's been faultlessly looked after, I find there seems to be a large number of VW polos. One elderly owner for past X years. Age forces reluctant sale. Only every serviced at VW with all the DSB history. Garaged all it's life. This sort of buy is what I aspire to when purchasing second hand.
 
Company car drivers were instructed to fill the car up with the cheapest fuel available , given a max price per litre they would pay , had to put in the cheapest engine oil available when topping up oil.

Tyres I won't go there and the same with clocking the mileage.

If the car required servicing an inquest into why was conducted.
That is not my experience with company cars at all - times really have changed. The last company I worked for had a fleet manager who was meticulous at making sure ALL the company cars were impeccably maintained. Servicing intervals were strictly adhered to, fitting anything other than manufacturer recommended tyres was a no-no given the fact that the lease company would charge back if the cars went off lease in anything less than excellent condition (i.e with junk rubber fitted etc).

In my eyes the fleet manager is responsible for everyone's safety, at least he was at my previous place. The company (like many) wanted to run their fleet as economically as possible, but not at the expense of a law suit.

Ex-company car can be very good buy's, provided you do your due diligence.
 
Morning All,

Finally heard from the motoring Ombudsman yesterday who decided that a fault at the point of sale couldn't be proven so there is no liability for the dealership or MB.

We went ahead with the repairs and paid the £9k and got the car back around 1 month ago. The new engine needs to be run in and has a 2 year warranty. The car seems to be running fine and is still a nice place to be!

It does beg the question, would I buy another AMG? Obviously I love the cars but my confidence in the brand has been seriously knocked. Firstly because of this engine failure and secondly in the support, or lack of, from MB. Yes, it was great that they contributed 57% but their brand is based upon reliability and quality which was lacking here. The dealership were very helpful and the impression we got was that they felt MB could/should have done more. Yes, it was out of warranty, but are we expected as consumers to pay an extra couple of thousand pounds a year to protect against the unknown in a relatively 'young' car?
I believe Toyota has a 10 year warranty, which to me shows confidence in their products but I don't doubt there are some horror stories there too!

Thanks for all your help and advice. I think in the future an MB extended warranty is a must, as I have on the C63, just in case......
Really sorry to hear about this misfortune. It's really sad to hear you had to go through this pain with minimal support from the manufacturer. Just hope there aren't anymore folks out there who find themselves in similar position. 😟
 
I'm sure times have moved on....but when I was selling new VW and Audi fior a living a lady customer had a 45 to 50k miles Audi V6 spin a crank bearing. New engine was authorised as good will at the first point of claim....when we are surprised about that. 100% goodwill payment. To be honest I would have expected that from Merc. Imo if you had gone to court over it you would certainly have one.
Audi are good that way. A number of years ago I had an Audi A3 Sportback diesel S Line with nearly 100k on the clock at three and a half years old, I'd had it from new, but it started not running as smooth as it should have, Audi threw everything at it it took months, I was given a brand new Audi as a loan car in the mean time which was changed regularly as I was clocking up the miles on it; I was shown the internal bills at one point by the service manager and it was about 8k it had cost them and it still wasn't sorted, they said they were just about to offer to take the car back form me, I said no they had done enough and sold it to someone local who had been an Audi technician, I explained the problems and he was happy to buy. I doubt Merc would have done the same.
 

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