- Nov 24, 2003
- S211 E320Cdi Avantgarde Estate & Toyota Land Cruiser
Perhaps the message is just starting to trickle in though, as I read on the Car keys web site that MB are starting to acknowledge the quality gap.
Started some time ago. They joined the Brown Trouser brigade after the terrible JD Power surveys & the normally secret EuroCar reliability results being leaked. Following comes from a press article last September.
"Top executives at Mercedes-Benz admit that a wave of increasingly complex electronic products proved so difficult to debug that the German automaker is modifying its first-at-all-costs approach to technology. Quality glitches caused by Mercedes' Comand system proved maddeningly difficult to fix two years ago, forcing the automaker to boost product testing by 50 percent. Problems with Comand, which integrates the onboard navigator, entertainment system and phone, forced Mercedes to buy back 2,000 E-class sedans from U.S. customers. The quality glitches also created tensions with Robert Bosch GmbH, a key Mercedes supplier.
This is the first time Mercedes-Benz has acknowledged the widespread quality problems. During an interview with Automotive News at the Frankfurt auto show, a top company executive said Mercedes is working hard to improve its ranking on consumer quality surveys. "We have a problem because we are the technology leader," said Juergen Hubbert, the DaimlerChrysler board member responsible for Mercedes cars. "We were not talking about (the improvement) because you have to see it. On the next survey you will see we are on our way."
Hubbert was referring to J.D. Power's most recent Initial Quality Survey, which measures a vehicle's quality three months after it is purchased. The survey, which was released in spring, ranked Mercedes 15th among brands, barely above the industry average.
Problems began to crop up two years ago, when Mercedes-Benz had trouble integrating Comand's features. Bosch supplied the system's navigator. When Mercedes-Benz connected Comand's electronic systems, the screen would go blank and systems would malfunction. The system created other glitches. For example, the system inadvertently would activate the electric seats and drain the battery.
A Bosch source says Mercedes asked the supplier to integrate Comand's features after Mercedes had trouble doing so. But the effort to debug Comand strained Bosch's engineering resources. According to a Mercedes executive, Bosch placated its angry customer by firing a top executive in its Blaupunkt unit, which produces navigators, radios and other electronics. The Mercedes source did not name the executive, and the Bosch spokesman declined to comment."