What would you do? (Long and drawn out)

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.

pickles

New Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
16
OK,

We took delivery of our W169 A150 Elegance brand new on the 1st March 2006. We loved the vehicle as the quality felt superb, the drive was very good and after all, it was a Merc.

For the first year, we had twelve months of trouble free motoring only with a couple of tiddly little glitches and a slight creak from the rear which could have happened to any car. The real problems started a few days after its first birthday.

During a cold snap in march, we found that the the rear washer wasn't working, which we put down to perhaps it was frozen, and actually forgot about it. In April time, the vehicle developed an electrical fault, and the tailgate warning light came on on the dash, then the alarm kept on sounding after 10 minutes of being locked, we called assistance who came out and couldn't fix the fault so it was recovered to our local dealer (Drayton Stourbridge). After a day or so, they phoned and said it was due to a faulty sensor and a part had been ordered and would be in a couple of days after, so we said that as the A service was due, could they do it whilst they had the car, which they said would be OK. We got the car back a few days later all serviced and fixed with an explanation of what was done on the service and the check sheet.

A couple of days later, we noticed the rear washer STILL wasn't working, we looked at the check sheet and the technician had ticked it was working OK, after trying to get it to operate for 5 minutes, the tailgate warning sign came up on the dash again, and sure enough, 10 minutes after locking the car, the alarm went off for no reason. That afternoon I called the dealer and explained the problem was back, plus the creaking in the rear had worsened, and that the washer wasn't working even though the technician indicated it was on the service. Being a little unhappy, I told them I was going to return the car to them straight away and I wanted a courtesy car when I got there, as they had obviously not sorted the original fault. The car went back in, and the next day they said that the washer pipe had come off the washer, and was flooding the electrics in the rear with washer fluid causing it to short out and causing the alarm fault. I also enquired if the service had been done correctly because the washer didn't work before or after the service, but the tech had said it was fine, a question they couldn't answer.

They delivered the car back saying all the faults had been fixed, but as soon as I reversed off the drive, the creaking was still there sounding like the body was twisting. I was by now furious and asked the service manager to come to the house to listen to the creak himself, which he did and took the car back with him to get it fixed. 5 days later the car was brought back, and they had actually fixed the creak, saying a rear striker plate was loose causing the trim to rub when the body moved. Apart from the argument about the front washers operating when the rear washer was used, we were happy we had a quiet car again, even though the car had been in the garage for around 3 weeks.

Everything was going well for about a month, then we noticed the creaking coming from the rear again, but this time it was louder than before, and sounded quite severe when going over speed bumps (even at 5 MPH) We planned to get it back in soon, but with work commitments lived with the noise for about 2 weeks, during which time a whirring sound started being emitted from the central locking motor on the drivers door. Then suddenly 3 weeks ago, whenever we went round a moderate bend, there was a clunk from the front when the steering straightened, and the day after this started, we were sat in traffic at a busy roundabout when the clutch started slipping when pulling away (a bit scary in the place it happened during rush hour). The smell was awful, so I decided that the Stourbridge dealer was on the way home so managed to get out of trouble, and drove carefully to the dealer. When we got there, I spoke to the service manager who said I could leave the car with them and get a taxi home, although that would have meant my wife being stuck at work overnight which wasn't an option, so he said to take the car home, call assistance and they would supply a car for me (No I wasn't very happy with the lack of help), so that is what I did. The next day I had to drive the car to the dealers (I chose to take it to Drayton Worcester after the problems we had had with Stourbridge), and booked it in with all the faults, Clutch, steering, creaking, and clunking. That was on the Friday the floods came, on the following Monday, I got a call from the service advisor saying all the faults had been checked, the clutch was fine and was probably caused by being in traffic (evidently you can't drive an A class in traffic) the clunking and creaking was caused by a front spring moving, and all the suspension had been slackened and greased which had cured the faults. The Central locking was awaiting a part, which may take until Friday to arrive so I could have the car back or I could leave it till the Friday, I chose to wait until the Friday as we had a courtesy car and it would be a waste of time to drive back and forth all the time. The next day I got a call saying the car was ready as the part arrived early. I thought great and went to pick up the car which supposedly didn't have any faults.

Are you getting bored yet?

I picked the car up at 17:30 on the Tuesday and drove home thinking everything was fine. I thought I would just test the rear suspension out on a speed bump, so went slowly towards one, the front went over fine, but then it came to the rear, *Creeeeaaak* I must say I lost it, shouting and swearing at the car and tried to phone the dealer to let them know my frustration, only to find that everybody goes at 17:54. That night we stayed in, and didn't use the car. The next day (Wed) I phoned the dealer and got no joy from the service advisor, so decided enough was enough and got the MD's name and contacted him, explaining the story so far, he came back and told me they couldn't get the car in that day but he assured me it would be in next week, which I wasn't happy with, but with the flooding situation, I agreed and left it for him to contact me. Later that day the wife went out in the car, and on her return said "that clunking is still coming from the front". I was livid, so we went out in the car to listen for myself and sure enough the same noise, then as soon as we were sat at some temporary traffic lights, you could smell the clutch, burning itself out. I now wanted someones head on a stick, three of the four faults that had apparently been fixed, were still there, seemingly untouched by MB's hands. MY blood was truly boiling, so I phoned assistance yet again, who kindly said they would just recover the car the next day as it was late. They came at 10 and took our car, we then got a call from National, saying they couldn't get a courtesy car to us until 3pm, not ideal, but at least we would have a car. I called the MD who said he would have a look at it himself, and phoned back saying that the creaking from the rear, was very very bad in his opinion and they were also looking at the other faults, but he was sure it would need a new clutch (15 months and 17K miles....hmmmm) over the next few days he updated me with what was happening but was very concerned about the noises.

Last Tuesday I got a call from the service advisor asking if I could change courtesy cars on Friday, I agreed and awaited her call (obviously the car was not going to be back for a few days). Saturday she phoned at 12 and said could I come over and change cars, but I said it would have to be Monday. Monday at 1, I turned up at the dealer to be seen by a different service advisor who proudly said "your car is actually finished" confused I explained that I was coming to change cars and he said that they had managed to get our car fixed and all the faults were done and the car was "100%" BRILLIANT, at last. We had a chat with the technician who had worked on it, who told us how some bolts had come loose on the car ("which always happens on cars") causing the body to move and the locks and trim to rub, causing the noise. The clutch was replaced under warranty, together with the slave cylinder, and a stone was removed from the front suspension and there were actually 5!!! faults on the car causing the noises from the rear. He told us he wasn't happy it had been released before it was fixed fully the previous week.......hang on, the faults were fixed weren't they???.....and he "wouldn't let the car go out unless he was 100% sure it was correct and there were no faults on the car."

With these words ringing in our ears we brought the car home, tried the speed bumps and we were thrilled with the lack of creaking, no more clunky steering, and the clutch didn't smell.

At last we thought we had a proper Mercedes again, one to be proud of, one with no faults........How disillusioned can one be eh?

Last night, we had the wife's gran with us, we were going to go out for a family meal and we had to take her due to no room in any other cars. When we called for her, we walked down to our car, and I had the keys in my hand and I was just about to unlock the car when the alarm started to go off and I noticed gran getting into the rear of the car. Hang on I thought, I haven't even unlocked it, how did she get in there? I made her get out the car, closed the door, and locked the car, and imagine my surprise when we found out that the rear passanger door of the vehicle wouldn't lock, I was over the moon of course. The main problem was the fact that we couldn't really go out and leave the car in a town centre car park and go for a meal, as although we had probably unknowingly left it unlocked before, sods law says we would be caught out by someone that evening taking chances on doors being left unlocked, and they may not be able to steal it by driving, they could make a hell of a mess by getting inside it, or decide to squat in it for a laugh, a remote chance, but a risk we decided we didn't want to take. We decided to come home and phoned assistance, who phoned back and said they could be up to 90 minutes before they got to us, in fact they were only 20 minutes, but he looked at it and explained that he couldn't fix it and didn't want to leave it on the drive unlocked because of the reasons we didn't go out in the first place, and pointed out that with a lack of fprced entry, the insurance would probably blame us for leaving it unlocked and refuse to pay.

He took the car away to take to storage and on to the dealer in the morning and told us to call and arrange a hire car (yet a-bloody-gain) so called assistance at 21:40 and they said somebody from Enterprise would call us back within 30 mins to arrange everything. 100 mins later and I got fed up with waiting so called them back, got put through to enterprise who said they had been trying to contact me, but when they tried the out of hours agent, they found it impossible to contact him and agreed that he probably hasn't tried calling me and has gone awol. Another 30 minutes passed and I called them again to find out what was happening and was told, the area manager was also trying to contact the agent with no luck, so they will let me know what was happening when they had sorted something. 12:15am, I called assistance again who told me they had a problem as the out of hours service close at 12. 12:40 3 hours after my original call, ass. call me back to say they are trying to sort something out for me, when suddenly the out of hours guy phones me to say he is about 90 minutes away from me so will be with me about 2am. He arrived at 1:40 and at last we now have a Zafira 1.9cdti (couldn't believe the noise levels in it) and await a response from the dealer tomorrow.

Now after all that waffle I have a question.

We are extremely disappointed with our A-class, there is no feeling of reliability after all the faults it has developed and to be honest, it is not what I would expect from a car priced as it is, therefore I have serious questions about the quality of the vehicle. We have it on a contract hire agreement through Merc finance, and I was wondering if I would be within my rights to ask for a replacement vehicle, as recently, the dealer has had it more than what we have, I realise that we had it for a year before all these problems really started but whenever my wife is out alone in the vehicle, I worry about anything happening to her or it due to a fault, as some of the previouse faults are pretty serious.

What would you do if you were me?


P.S. thanks for reading this far, I do go on a bit but we are at our whitts end with it
 
I think that may rate as the longest first post in a thread I have ever read!!

Sorry to hear about your troubles, hope you get it sorted!!
 
And I though you were limited to 4000 words per post, obviously not..ha ha..

Well it appears that you have had a tough time with the car but even more so the dealer.
The faults you had were easily rectifiable and should have been dealt with if not in one visit, certainly two. Stone in spring., loose subframe bolts, washer pipe loose and electric door lock broken, clutch slave cylinder gone.
See THIS thread.
Not hard faults.

It now appears that you have another door lock failing. Unfortunately this is a fact of life with electric central locking and is unconnected to the previous faults.

As the other faults are fixed and you are happy with the car just get the door lock fixed but see if you can have Mercedes UK provide and extended warranty on the car as it has been problematic.
 
Last edited:
I think that after so long you would be highly unlikely to get a straight exchange because you have had ''12 months trouble free motoring'' and MB would quantify that has being a significant amount of your total ownership.

You could embark on a ''mission'' of sorts directly with MB or through the supplying dealer but I think that this would probably sour the relationship even further and would you really want that all that associated hassle?.

My A Class is about the same vintage as yours and yes, I've had only the odd little niggle here and there compared to you but I think its been down to how the dealer/s have handled things as opposed to the overall quality of the car.

If you put down a relatively small deposit into the car at the beginning?? then the trade in price could be about the same as the balance owing?, so, instead of going to war simply start over again. I think that the A Class is an inherently good car and I would/will have another but maybe one with a larger engine.

My 2p worth.

I enjoyed your post btw :D

Portzy.
 
Hi -- I bet you felt better after getting that off your chest....

I too would wait until the locks have been replaced...as its on contract hire do you intend to return it after the hire period is over? If so extended warranties are of no value to you...how about asking for the next service free or is that also included in your "price" ?
 
Sounds to me as though you've bought a Friday afternoon car.

Its problems like this that made me vow never to buy an Audi again.

I would read the T&C of your contract very carefully and see about returning the vehicle.
 
Well the war has started and I think I wore my fingers down a bit now I have re read my post :p

Thanks everyone for your comments, just a couple that I would like to pick up on at this time are (Now you are thinking, here we go, war and peace again) about my rights, I am going to read my contract now and find out if I can end it, if not, if there are any clauses stopping me from applying lubricant to the car before I stick it up Merc where the sun don't shine. Also about the relationship with Merc and the dealer, I think I spoilt that when I called the dealer a bunch of lieing wasters and I pointed out to the MD that his dealer group were a shower of s**t.
 
I think I spoilt that when I called the dealer a bunch of lieing wasters and I pointed out to the MD that his dealer group were a shower of s**t.

Well I suppose that all depends on how accurate your comments were and whether the Dealer Principle is able to see that and accept critisism.:rolleyes:
 
What would you do? (Short and to the point)

Buy a TOYOTA/HONDA/MAZDA??
 
Last edited:
Well I suppose that all depends on how accurate your comments were and whether the Dealer Principle is able to see that and accept critisism.:rolleyes:
Good point, the group MD didn't disagree with me on either statement.

I spoke to the DP this afternoon (the group MD was out for the day so it is his turn tomorrow), and he didn't seem to listen to my description of the fault, and phoned the wife back to ask whether I was sure the doors were locked when we tried to open the door as they can't get it to replicate the alarm!!?? fault, even though I told him we tried it about 15 times to make sure it wasn't us doing something wrong. He then phoned back to tell me they were replacing the door lock mechanism, which they have in stock, so the car would be ready this afternoon, unfotunately we are out later so I advised that perhaps they should keep it overnight to check the fault had been fixed, after all, I am sure they wouldn't want to send the car out with faults still on it :rolleyes:

As for the buying of another car, I have decided after 20 miles I won't be buying a Zafira in the future.
 
He then phoned back to tell me they were replacing the door lock mechanism, which they have in stock, so the car would be ready this afternoon, unfotunately we are out later so I advised that perhaps they should keep it overnight to check the fault had been fixed, after all, I am sure they wouldn't want to send the car out with faults still on it :rolleyes:

Hmm..Never had one go before then..??:rolleyes:


As for the buying of another car, I have decided after 20 miles I won't be buying a Zafira in the future.

LOL..:D

Says it all really..
 
If you really want to cause huge amounts of trouble, and a lot of grief, but you do want it sorted, then cut and paste your initial post into a letter to the contract hire company and cancel your direct debit. I used to work for Renault and advised 3 customers to do this, it worked every time (as you no longer row with the dealer, the finance company do it on your behalf). In addition we have just done it 6 months ago with a 14 month old S320CDi we had (unbelievable gearbox issues!!), and it resulted in them giving us a brand new S320CDi (new shape) for a moderate balance to change (£19k over book back for the old one!!!). Hope this helps, good luck.
 
If you really want to cause huge amounts of trouble, and a lot of grief, but you do want it sorted, then cut and paste your initial post into a letter to the contract hire company and cancel your direct debit. I used to work for Renault and advised 3 customers to do this, it worked every time (as you no longer row with the dealer, the finance company do it on your behalf). In addition we have just done it 6 months ago with a 14 month old S320CDi we had (unbelievable gearbox issues!!), and it resulted in them giving us a brand new S320CDi (new shape) for a moderate balance to change (£19k over book back for the old one!!!). Hope this helps, good luck.

ive know someone that was given double book price (40K as opposed to 20K) on a C215 CL500 after numerous rust and electrical issues... against a brand new S class of course....
 
I am just looking for a huge tub of vaseline.
 
If you really want to cause huge amounts of trouble, and a lot of grief, but you do want it sorted, then cut and paste your initial post into a letter to the contract hire company and cancel your direct debit. I used to work for Renault and advised 3 customers to do this, it worked every time (as you no longer row with the dealer, the finance company do it on your behalf). In addition we have just done it 6 months ago with a 14 month old S320CDi we had (unbelievable gearbox issues!!), and it resulted in them giving us a brand new S320CDi (new shape) for a moderate balance to change (£19k over book back for the old one!!!). Hope this helps, good luck.

May cause you a credit rating problem................
 
May cause you a credit rating problem................

Strictly speaking, you`re in dispute, as opposed to default. Should they decide the garage is in the right and you are in the wrong, they will insist you pay, in this case I would suggest you do. If they are on your side, they will merely suspend the contract agreement until it is sorted out. They will usually be on your side if your problems are genuine. That`s the way it always used to be anyway ;)
 
Just a quick update.

We got the car back yesterday with a new rear door lock fitted. It seems to have cured the locking problem, and even the other repairs seem to be holding.....for now.

The only problem we have now is, the new lock must be exceptionally heavier than the old one, as when the vehicle was towed away on Tuesday night it had JUST (not even a needle width) under 1/2 a tank of fuel in it, when we got it back, yesterday after it only being driven 14 miles to be delivered to us, it now has under a 1/4 of a tank of fuel (in between the 1/4 and empty) we had put £20 of fuel in, 2 hours/7 miles before it was recovered so we would like to know where it jas all gone.

Before realising the fuel had got so low, I called the Drayton Group MD to talk about the level of service they have offered during the repairs, and why faults were not picked up during a central locking test, but he was happy to tell me the service we recieved was very good, and he couldn't seem to see why I was unhappy.
 
Regarding the fuel, they probably (hopefully) road tested it to ensure that they've resolved the problems. I think its fair enough that they do that.

I hope your car is fixed now Pickles, all the best.
 
Regarding the fuel, they probably (hopefully) road tested it to ensure that they've resolved the problems. I think its fair enough that they do that.

I hope your car is fixed now Pickles, all the best.
I thought that, but it has only done 15 miles since it left our house on Tuesday, and if it uses over a quarter of a tank of fuel in that distance, I think I may book it in for a consumption test, as it would work out at 56 miles on one tank of fuel at this rate.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top Bottom