Very poor practice by dealership - possibly my last Mercedes

culpano

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Hi folks,

I have owned my 2017 W213 E220d for nearly three years now and I am very happy with it. Its a very smooth car with lots of kit.
I am much less happy with my local dealership who I will not name at this time.
When the one year approved used warranty ran out I bought the service plan and the warranty extension.
It went in for service a year ago and when the service was completed and I drove the car out of the dealership the yellow engine light was on.
It then went off for a while but came on again so the next day I rang the dealers to say the engine light had come on.
They asked me to bring the car in to the dealers and it would cost me £192 for diagnostics check.
I asked them how they could justify this when I have never seen that light on in two years of owning the car yet it comes on straight after being in for service. Anyway after much arguing I left it and just covered the light with a piece of tape as it was annoying to see.

Cue one year and my car is in for service at the moment. I told them about the issue and that I am not paying for any diagnostics check as I suspect the NoX sensor is faulty or the dealer have done something amiss during the service.

Service has been done and they said the NoX sensor is faulty (what a surprise) and said it is £700 but they would replace the part as a gesture of goodwill.

But they did say the part was on order so I would have to bring the car in and they also reported that all my brake pads and disks need replacing at a cost of approx £1000. I am suspecting they are using the NoX sensor replacement of a way of getting me to commit to having all my brake pads/disks replaced at the same time.

I am waiting until I get my NoX sensor replaced before doing anything.

I did tell the dealers that I have an extended warranty and service plan with Mercedes and they said they hadn't realised this. I told them they should know this and it should be on their system. They said "no it's a separate company that deal with the warranty". I told them to stop spinning this yarn. They have told me this before on last service when they tried to charge me for another issue that is covered by warranty.

I told them my warranty letter is on official Mercedes letter headed paper exactly the same as all my other correspondence and the direct debit from my account says "MERCEDES BENZ CARS" for the warranty so this "its another company" line doesn't wash with me.

The gripe I have is being told I need to pay £192 + vat for a diagnostics check when it is 99.9% certain it is something they did when they serviced the car. I have seen plenty of posts about these NoX sensor failures so why could Mercedes not have said "lets check the sensor is not faulty and if it is it is covered under your warranty". No they couldn't be bothered doing that - they just wanted to charge me for a diagnostics check.

This diagnostics fee is pure nonsense to me. If the car has a fault, the car has a fault ! Because a warning light is displayed its a fault ! Diagnose the fault and replace the part under warranty ! If its a wear and tear part then fair enough.

They also told me the hinge on driver door has failed and I have to pay £257. No - it should be covered under warranty I said.

I am going to cancel my warranty and service plan after I have got the NoX sensor replaced. The £110 a month is better in the bank. Take my car to a Mercedes specialist for servicing and issues. It is clear to see here that the dealers just want to cream as much money as they can out of people.

Yes I should know what these dealers are like as this is my third Mercedes and I have had three Lexus, a Jag XF and BMW from main dealers.
 

Will

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I think to be fair the extended warranty is totally different to the new car warranty, and is not underwritten by Mercedes-Benz although they may act as a go between to help arrange the cover.

The diagnostic charge thing is frustrating but is standard practice. This should be refunded if the claim is authorised though.

I wouldn’t have left the fault outstanding for a year personally.

If it is a NOX sensor issue it may be coincidental that it failed around the time of the service. Have to give some benefit of the doubt, it could fail at any time.

Get the brakes done somewhere else and save £££s. No need to pay £200/hour labour for this IMHO.

I hope you get the NOX sensor issue sorted out, maybe see how you feel about the car after this. Seems a bit drastic to change car over just one of two minor issues? You can always try another dealer if you’re not happy :)
 

A.J.

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As mentioned by Will a used car warranty will generally be underwritten by an insurance company. I suspect that as the payments are being drawn down by ‘Mercedes Benz Cars’ that they are creaming off the top. :rolleyes:
 
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culpano

culpano

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I think to be fair the extended warranty is totally different to the new car warranty, and is not underwritten by Mercedes-Benz although they may act as a go between to help arrange the cover.

The diagnostic charge thing is frustrating but is standard practice. This should be refunded if the claim is authorised though.

I wouldn’t have left the fault outstanding for a year personally.

If it is a NOX sensor issue it may be coincidental that it failed around the time of the service. Have to give some benefit of the doubt, it could fail at any time.

Get the brakes done somewhere else and save £££s. No need to pay £200/hour labour for this IMHO.

I hope you get the NOX sensor issue sorted out, maybe see how you feel about the car after this. Seems a bit drastic to change car over just one of two minor issues? You can always try another dealer if you’re not happy :)

I do like the car but I just don't trust the dealership. I know the warranty isn't the same as the original one but it was arranged through main dealer, it is on Mercedes Benz letterheaded paper, the debits say "Mercedes Benz". You think its ok to be fobbed off with "oh the warranty is a different company" ? Twice they've done this. How hard is it for them to record that I have a service plan on their computer system ? In fact I have several pieces of documentation about the service plan and it is 100% Mercedes Benz on it. Why would anyone think its anyone else ?
 
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culpano

culpano

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As mentioned by Will a used car warranty will generally be underwritten by an insurance company. I suspect that as the payments are being drawn down by ‘Mercedes Benz Cars’ that they are creaming off the top. :rolleyes:

I don't care who its underwritten by - it was bought from Mercedes and paid to Mercedes and they should know I have this service / warranty plan. It was an official Mercedes letter that informed me my warranty was due to expire and would I like to purchase an extended warranty product from....."Mercedes Benz Extended Warranty" and visit their website.... "www.mercedes-benz-warranty.co.uk"
 

Dryce

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10 to 15 years ago the warranty on an Approved Used car was a fully branded up MB warranty - in practical terms as good as new car warranty.

The current setup is that it's a third party warranty - and I don't think it's as good. So they're not lying to you about that.

The 192 diagnostic charge is appalling for a car showing an engine light that is also covered by the official warranty.

I think you made a mistake by not following it up earlier.

As regards the hinge you'd need to check the warranty small print.
 

kianok

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Just be grateful they replaced the Nox sensor FOC.
 

Will

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I do like the car but I just don't trust the dealership. I know the warranty isn't the same as the original one but it was arranged through main dealer, it is on Mercedes Benz letterheaded paper, the debits say "Mercedes Benz". You think its ok to be fobbed off with "oh the warranty is a different company" ? Twice they've done this. How hard is it for them to record that I have a service plan on their computer system ? In fact I have several pieces of documentation about the service plan and it is 100% Mercedes Benz on it. Why would anyone think its anyone else ?
I’m not saying anything is okay, I just explained that the warranty scheme is not actually run by Mercedes-Benz but is simply an insurance product that they offer. A quick search shows that it’s actually Allianz who are the underwriter.

This is completely separate to the service plan scheme of course.
 
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culpano

culpano

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I’m not saying anything is okay, I just explained that the warranty scheme is not actually run by Mercedes-Benz but is simply an insurance product that they offer. A quick search shows that it’s actually Allianz who are the underwriter.

This is completely separate to the service plan scheme of course.

I totally understand this. Am I being unreasonable here ?

I bought my Mercedes from a MERCEDES dealer
I received a letter from MERCEDES asking me if I wanted to purchase a MERCEDES extended warranty
I rang MERCEDES and purchased the extended warranty
I received a confirmation letter from MERCEDES with my payment plan payable to MERCEDES
I look at my bank statements and my warranty payments are to MERCEDES

I go to Mercedes dealer and they tell me faults need fixing and tell me the cost.
I tell them I have an extended warranty and they say "Oh we had no idea. Its a separate company".

Oh I should have known this should I ?

A year later the same thing... "we didn't know you had a warranty".....

No excuse -its totally poor.
 

markjay

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If the dealer carried-out the infamous 'Dieselgate' software update when they serviced the car last year, this can explain the NOx sensor fault and the MIL on the dash.
 

markjay

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If the car is covered by warranty (albeit an extended one), then I don't fully understand why there should be a charge for diagnostic, even if the diagnostic fee is waved or refunded if the repair is approved by the insurer.

This practice will have the effect of deterring owners from submitting warranty claims due to the risk of being charged a not-inconsiderable amount for diagnostic.

I would be interested to know if the dealer insisted on a diagnostic fee also after they were made aware that the car is covered by warranty, and if they did, I would like to know if it's part of the MB warranty's T&C or just a local initiative by an enterprising dealer.

If it's MB's official T&C to charge diagnostic for claims made under warranty until approved, then I would raise this with the Ombudsman or FCA - an extended warranty is a financial product, and as such it is regulated and covered by legislation.

PS - I wouldn't be too bothered about the fact that the dealer did not know that the car had MB warranty cover, most dealers are franchised and as such they are a separate a private company, and even the MB-owned dealerships are set up as a separate company to MB finance (albeit under the Daimler group umbrella). But I would be concerned if they still insisted on a diagnostic fee after they were made aware that the car is covered by warranty.
 

Will

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I totally understand this. Am I being unreasonable here ?

I bought my Mercedes from a MERCEDES dealer
I received a letter from MERCEDES asking me if I wanted to purchase a MERCEDES extended warranty
I rang MERCEDES and purchased the extended warranty
I received a confirmation letter from MERCEDES with my payment plan payable to MERCEDES
I look at my bank statements and my warranty payments are to MERCEDES

I go to Mercedes dealer and they tell me faults need fixing and tell me the cost.
I tell them I have an extended warranty and they say "Oh we had no idea. Its a separate company".

Oh I should have known this should I ?

A year later the same thing... "we didn't know you had a warranty".....

No excuse -its totally poor.

I can see the confusion for sure, but as it’s been said the extended warranty is actually run by (and underwritten) by a separate company. As with any warranty/financial product etc you do need to familiarise yourself with the T&Cs:


It’s at the bottom on the web link or in the policy paperwork (there’s a link to those on there too)
 

190

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The bottom line for me is that the OP paid £110 per month or £1320 per year to MB for them to service and warranty his car and for that he should have expected to get better service with no excuses. He has learnt the hard way that regardless of their excessive costs, MB dealers are no better and mostly worse than an independent specialist.

If it was the software update that caused the problem then the dealer must have know this was a possibility which compounds their inadequate performance.
 

Dryce

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If the car is covered by warranty (albeit an extended one), then I don't fully understand why there should be a charge for diagnostic, even if the diagnostic fee is waved or refunded if the repair is approved by the insurer.
ISTR a dealer asking for payment for an AU in-warranty diagnostic in a post some time ago.

It looks like they are covering themselves in case the diagnostic uncovers a problem not covered by the warranty.

It's a bit nasty. And the charge is nothing short of outrageous. It's hard to see the warranty underwriter being unhappy with this setup if it also acts to deter claims.

I think what we're seeing is that the AU premium is getting hard to justify.
 

markmifsud

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wow, 110 a month? I just paid 960 for 3 years warranty, inc car/hotel/breakdown cover on my Insignia VXR
 

Will

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If the car is covered by warranty (albeit an extended one), then I don't fully understand why there should be a charge for diagnostic, even if the diagnostic fee is waved or refunded if the repair is approved by the insurer.

This practice will have the effect of deterring owners from submitting warranty claims due to the risk of being charged a not-inconsiderable amount for diagnostic.

I would be interested to know if the dealer insisted on a diagnostic fee also after they were made aware that the car is covered by warranty, and if they did, I would like to know if it's part of the MB warranty's T&C or just a local initiative by an enterprising dealer.

If it's MB's official T&C to charge diagnostic for claims made under warranty until approved, then I would raise this with the Ombudsman or FCA - an extended warranty is a financial product, and as such it is regulated and covered by legislation.

PS - I wouldn't be too bothered about the fact that the dealer did not know that the car had MB warranty cover, most dealers are franchised and as such they are a separate a private company, and even the MB-owned dealerships are set up as a separate company to MB finance (albeit under the Daimler group umbrella). But I would be concerned if they still insisted on a diagnostic fee after they were made aware that the car is covered by warranty.
Charging diagnostic fees before a claim is authorised is typical practice amongst many manufacturers/garages. In fairness to the garage they usually clarify this at the beginning before any work is started so that it does not come as a shock to the customer.

The garage are a separate entity to the warranty company, and if the claim is rejected they will still have to pay their staff for the labour to diagnose. How do you know a claim is valid without diagnosing the problem first? Frustrating for the customer of course but understandable in business terms.

I think typically the diagnostic fees are covered if the claim is accepted or factored into the claim (depending on the cover/T&Cs of course)

Even with new car warranties I think this isn’t unheard of. You need to establish that a fault exists and what’s causing it before you can determine if it is indeed covered by the warranty. Sometimes faults are caused by stuff that isn’t covered - accidental damage just for an example :)
 

MikeInWimbledon

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You were joking when you wrote this, weren't you? "Anyway after much arguing I left it and just covered the light with a piece of tape as it was annoying to see."

Did you think it was just a decorative light ?

As regards warranties provided by most car manufacturers, they are provided and managed by third party risk management organisations. That enables a dialogue to happen between the car dealership and the insurer which keeps the cost "reasonable."

Changing car brand, of itself, won't move you away from that kind of dialogue.
 

DSM10000

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You were joking when you wrote this, weren't you? "Anyway after much arguing I left it and just covered the light with a piece of tape as it was annoying to see."

Did you think it was just a decorative light ?

As regards warranties provided by most car manufacturers, they are provided and managed by third party risk management organisations. That enables a dialogue to happen between the car dealership and the insurer which keeps the cost "reasonable."

Changing car brand, of itself, won't move you away from that kind of dialogue.
You really cannot help those who will not help themselves.
 

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