New C-Class owner

ddentrec

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I have ordered a new C-Class estate for my wife. The dealer called to say that it was built yesterday (at precisely 4.42AM, build slot 20, or so they said) in Bremen and it should be delivered in 10 days.

This is our first M-B. It is a C180K Avantgarde SE Estate in Amethyst Violet (Ugh! But that is what she asked for).

I will use this thread to communicate to you what our experiences are with the car.

But first the reason why we she chose it (in priority order)

1. EuroNCAP 5 star rating.
2. EuroNCAP 5 star rating.
3. It is not a BMW.
4. Audi wanted £1800 for Byzanz Purple (to match M-B’s Amethyst Violet).

And the reason why I chose it (in priority order)

1. It has a chain-cam engine; not more timing belts for me.
2. It is not a BMW.
3. The M-B dealer gave a 9% discount; this made the car marginally cheaper than an Audi A4 1.8T with same spec.
4. Being an estate, it was built in Germany, not South Africa. My neighbour had a south African BMW 3 series and it was poorly finished and had paint defects so I do not care what anyone says but it has to be German built.
5. Car has a proper auto transmission; my friends A4 Multitronic had a clutch failure that the dealer refused to repair it under warranty, citing ‘driving style’ as the cause. Audi refused to give a me a letter stating that they would include the clutch in their warranty if I bought their A4.

What we do not like (but not so much it did not stop us buying the car):

1. Interior trim is naff; our VW Golf is better finished. For example, the air vents in the M-B are wobbly and the gadget box above the radio is bare plastic whilst in the humble Golf it is felt lined. M-B are definitely cheapskates here.
2. M-B brand image. But since the kids are going to wreck the interior, and we NEVER wash our cars (unbelievable, but true) it will stand out as the grubbiest M-B in our village, that’s for sure.
 
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mayoga

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Congrats.

A friend has just bought a C200K Estate and he loves it :)

Gav.

BTW. 9% discount was good going.
 

Shude

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Originally posted by ddentrec
This is our first M-B. It is a C180K Avantgarde SE Estate in Amethyst Violet (Ugh! But that is what she asked for).
Amethyst is a great colour! I would be very careful what you say about that colour, one of the forum members had his boring blue c-class repsrayed Amethyst! ;) IMHO it's one of the nicest colours you can get an MB in. At least you didn't order a silver one!
Originally posted by ddentrec
... the gadget box above the radio is bare plastic whilst in the humble Golf it is felt lined. M-B are definitely cheapskates here.
There is a very simple way to avoid having a cheaply-lined "gadget box" in the dashboard - fill it with gadgets! In my current c-class and also my previous I removed the plastic-lined tray (later a cd-library) and fitted the double-din comand unit :) . I think the "cheap" plastic lining is actually a non-slip material to stop the "gadgets" from falling out of the cubbyhole :)

Make sure you post pics and stories when you finally pick the car up! :D
 

Flyer

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Re: Re: New C-Class owner

Originally posted by Shude
At least you didn't order a silver one!

Oi! That's fighting talk, that is! ;)

Amethyst is a lovely colour, though :cool:
 

esox

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Your kids certainly will wreck the interior-i had an `02 c220 and the plastics on the door panels was a disgrace-you could scratch it easily with your fingernails!i reckon these cars will look quite shabby after a few years.
 
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ddentrec

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W123 280TE, W123 200T, W203 C180K
Here is an update....I collected my wife’s C-Class Avantgarde SE estate last Friday, and we have spent a few days with the car. It is our first M-B, and here are our first impressions:

DEALER
-Very professional vehicle handover-no rushing. 10/10
-Vehicle preparation very good-but see below. 8/10
-Dealer workshop very grubby; worse than Ford dealers. 3/10


CAR-FIRST DRIVE
-That new car smell!! 11/10
-Car is the quietest I have ever driven. But see below. 9/10
-Gearshift smoothness is untouchable 10/10
-Orion grey interior quality not as good as VW/Audi, but definitely not low-rent 9/10.
-Amethyst Violet looks amazing in direct sunlight. 10/10.
-Overall: The Dogs B******s.

THINGS I LIKE
-Bi-Xenon headlights ‘sparking up’ and the beam moving to its home position. I know it is sad but I just can’t stop playing with the headlight switch….!!10/10
-It is sooooo quiet!! But see below. 9/10

THINGS I DO NOT LIKE
-Body panel stamping not 100%; area around door handles is very slightly ‘creased’; shows up as small dent when looking along side of car from front. Whilst this may not be a big deal to some people it is really not acceptable in a premium brand vehicle. I noticed it when I got home; no doubt M-B would argue that it is ‘within spec’ but even a black Citroen Saxo has no such fault. 5/10.
-Body panel alignment on bonnet not 100%; body panels (‘fangs’)either side of radiator grille are not level. RHS panel protrudes 0.5 inch more than left. This sounds petty, but my wife noticed this obvious misalignment and was furious. Needs to be adjusted by the dealer; should never have left the factory like this. 2/10.
-Wind noise. Although the car is very very quiet there is an annoying buzz of wind from around the driver’s door, at around eye-level, at 60MPH. Passenger side is OK. This sort of thing really gets on my nerves so it is going to be a trip to the dealer to fix.9/10.

OVERALL
-Mechanically very good, very refined and smooth, but really should have been better in the bodywork department.
 

Shude

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Originally posted by ddentrec
Amethyst Violet (Ugh! But that is what she asked for).
Originally posted by ddentrec
Amethyst Violet looks amazing in direct sunlight. 10/10.
I knew you would change your mind about amethyst! :D

The bonnet adjustment is a very minor operation, takes 5 minutes to do. Is it possible that the bonnet "settled" into that shape while in transit?

We need pics of the car!! :D
 

Brian WH

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Originally posted by Shude
We need pics of the car!! :D

Pictures in the Gallery Please.

Any problems let me know, and I will try to help.

Sounds a lovely car once you have resolved the minor issues.:bannana: :bannana:
 
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ddentrec

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I have written to the dealer about the door skin quality on my wife's brand new C-Class estate, as described above...no response so far. Car has covered 461 miles in two weeks.

I am taking the car to another M-B dealer for an assessment of the door 'creasing'; I have looked at other C-Classes but they do not exhibit this clear problem. Maybe I am being too fussy..but then I just spent £23,000 so I am entitled to be!!

I will post some photos of the car (and the 'creasing' of the front door skins) as soon as possible.

If the other M-B dealer acknowledges that there is a manufacturing defect with the doors then I am will ask him to get an M-B technical specialist to examine the car. If he/she also accepts that there is a clear manufacturing defect then I will reject the car under the Sale of Goods Act.
 

Flash

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Ddentric,

I`ve owned 3 brand new W203s from new, and non of them were perfect... i.e. each had isssues. Unfortunately, Merc quality is not as good as it used to be.

I`m not trying to be pessimistic, but the dealer will do anything to avoid a refund. Under the supply and sale of goods act 1994 the dealer is entitled to attempt to rectify the fault at least once, should that fail then you may have a case for rejecting the car. MB may even turn around and say that your defect is within the so called "tolerance level". However, upon collction of the vehicle I`m sure that the Dealer must have made you sign a declaration that you are "satsisfied" with the conditionof the vehicle.

I happen to know of someone who had a "serious" issue with the the quality of the paintwork all over his brand new C Class and he took the car back to the dealer the next day. The dealer attempted to buff the marks out of the paint. From what the owner told me last he has had expensive legal bills, indentpendant specialist reports from paint experts, and has had to under the supply and sale of goods act keeps his car garged and not driven if he wants a good chance of a refund - thats if he wants to reject the car (thats the legal advsie that he has had). Despite the speiclaist paint reports clearly sayign that there is a serious defect with the painywork the dealer is still unwilling to refund/replace the car. I dont know the latest, but from what he told me last he is having to go to court and has a huge legal bill.

Unfortuantely, the Supply and Sale of Goods Act is not quite clear cut and dry as it may seem.

Good luck anyway.

Flash
 
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ddentrec

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Flash,

Thanks for you remarks. But I have been here before with a VW Golf. I will not bore you with the details but I received a compensation payment from VAG with regards to pain defects on a new VW Golf. I am only too aware that the dealer will not admit to anything-why should they?-and that they have all gone on their 'How to handle complaining customers' courses.

But I believe I am ahead of the game.

1. The car is going to a M-B approved repairer for an independent assessment of the panel stamping quality for the front doors. I am paying for this report.

2. The car is then going to be AA inspected for the same. I am paying for this report too.

3. The car will be offered to be returned to DaimlerChrysler UK for an inspection by their specialist. Chances are they will decline this as they prefer the dealer to take the heat and deal with the issue (as with my experience with VAG); this actually works in my favour.

4. If the reports show a manufacturing defect then it is for the supplying dealer to prove that the car was fault-free, not the other way round. The reports above will support my stance.

5. The dealer will then need to repair the car, or provide compensation. If I want to reject the car outright I need to do this asap since the dealer will deliberately drag out the whole saga; the longer I own the car the less the law is on my side.
 

marcos

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If a new car has a fault that has not been rectified by numerous visits to a dealer in the first year can you reject the car or is there a time limit.
 

S500L

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Unfortunately its people like you who are just a pain in the **** to any retail organisation.
Whatever you buy and whatever you pay you will never be satisfied.

You think that buying a MB you are buying something that will be absolutely top quality. But you are only paying bottom of the range family car money. What do you expect for £23 grand?

Also by your own admission (and taking great snobby pleasure about it) the car will look a total wreck in a few months.
But since the kids are going to wreck the interior, and we NEVER wash our cars (unbelievable, but true)
The little crease in the door will be insignificant then, won't it?

I for one would be happy for the dealer to give you a refund. Then you can take your snobby attitude to a manufacturer that deserves your arrogance.
 

Sp!ke

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Steady on S500, lets try to keep it civil please. :eek:

Personally I disagree with your comments. Even if I payed £6k for a Saxo I would expect the paintwork and body panels to be perfect....or at least within tolerances.

If ddentrec chooses not to wash the car then thats his own choice but it doesnt detract from the fact that he may have been sold a second. Lets face it, half an inch out on the bonnet is far out even for Italian engineering.

I must say however that I would be interested in seeing photo's of what all the fuss is about in order to make up my own mind whether I would justify taking the same stance.
 
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fuzzer

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Originally posted by S500L
Unfortunately its people like you who are just a pain in the **** to any retail organisation.
Whatever you buy and whatever you pay you will never be satisfied.

You think that buying a MB you are buying something that will be absolutely top quality. But you are only paying bottom of the range family car money. What do you expect for £23 grand?

Also by your own admission (and taking great snobby pleasure about it) the car will look a total wreck in a few months.

The little crease in the door will be insignificant then, won't it?

I for one would be happy for the dealer to give you a refund. Then you can take your snobby attitude to a manufacturer that deserves your arrogance.


Price isnt a matter in this . If it should come with a crease in the door it should say it does in the spec list. If it doesnt , it shouldnt have one.
 

Flash

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S500,

I think that ur comments in ur previous post were harsh.... and it is important that we all respect and get along with everyone on the forum.

If Ddentrec is not satisified with his car then he is entitiled to pursuit the matter with the dealer and I hope that he suceeds.

Anway, it is the "A Class" that is the bottom end family model range car and not the "C Class" (not that its matters anyway) - ever heard the saying "its not the size that matters.... its how u use it....." - I`ll let u think abot that....

P.S. This post was not intended to start of a slanging match...

Flash
 

Glideman

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I think he's right, if I'd paid £20,000+ for a car I'd want it to be perfect. If you dont take things back or complain then your going to end up with a house full of imperfect things. Most of the goods I've bought over the past 12 months ie T.V.'s & such like have all had something wrong with them. All brand new but with chipped glass shelves and things which to some people may seem trivial but if I pay new money I want something without fault. I don't think we complain enough, yes it's a pain for the dealer but is dealing with customer complaints not part of being a good dealer?
If people never complained we'd all be driving round in British Leyland cars. Mercedes built a reputation on engineering exellence, but from the amount of new car owners on this forum it seems the quality is on the slide. . . . .
 

Ian B Walker

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£20k is a lot of money. If I was ever in that position I would be camping on the Stealers door step till he got it right. :crazy: :crazy:
 

Dave Kerr

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Thats the trouble with this nation of ours, we whinge, we moan and do nothing about it.
The law now says that it is up to the vendor to prove that the goods are up to standard not the customer. There is what is known as a 'reasonable period', is it reasonable to expect the faults as described, to be on a new car, NO it is not.

Once you get past the smiley customer care manager, they then realise you are not going to be fobbed off, they will then take you seriously. I know because I took a trader to court and won. Not M-B BTW.

Stick with it to the bitter end it is worth it.

It is not the point how much something costs it is about value for money. I complain all the time about everything sod 'em, it's us who pay their wages. I will have satisfaction.

Dave
 
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ddentrec

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Thanks for all your comments-good and colourful.

At the end of the day it is the customer who defines the quality of the products they buy. A Mercedes-Benz is not a Citroen; they may be built the same, they may even share the same quality but the customer expectation is different.

I agree that some people whinge and moan over all sorts of things. But a brand new Mercedes-Benz, 3 weeks fresh from the Bremen plant, should not have any defects that are noticeable to the owner, especially if they are as basic as poorly-stamped front door skins.

My expectation is that no such defect would exist on any car.

And if my kids wreck the interior, and the car is never washed, then that is my business. But if you come to buy the car off me in 4 years time (washed and waxed!) and you notice the poor door skins will you accept it if I said “Its OK. All M-Bs have that problem.”

I think not.
 

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