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  • FIRST POST
    • DN35
    • By DN35 12th Jun 17, 11:48 AM
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    DN35
    Should Car Manufacturers Reimburse Customers For Faulty Parts?
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:48 AM
    Should Car Manufacturers Reimburse Customers For Faulty Parts? 12th Jun 17 at 11:48 AM
    My C250 suffered a breakdown due to a failed part, which has lasted about 50% of it's expected life span.


    When I approached Mercedes and asked to be reimbursed for the parts they stated the following:


    1) As the work was not carried out by Mercedes it was against their Policy to refund the parts cost;
    2) They have Procedures in place to validate if claims will result in a pay out for the work, this complaint does not fall into a pay-out.


    I have asked them for a copy of their Policy and Procedures documentation they have consistently referenced on phone calls but they are now refusing to share this information as it "might be for internal use only" - they don't seem to know.
    Can they hold the fact that I used an qualified alternative garage for the work against me? Do they have some small print in their sales T&C's that states I can only use Mercedes approved garages for any work?
    Given the part which failed only lasted about 50% of it's life-span, does this fall under the Customers Rights Act, as in, not fit for purpose?


    Thanks for any help that is forthcoming!
Page 1
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 12th Jun 17, 11:52 AM
    • 3,208 Posts
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    martinthebandit
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:52 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:52 AM
    What part was it?

    .......and 'expected life span' is a phrase that leaves lots of room for manoeuvre
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • DN35
    • By DN35 12th Jun 17, 11:57 AM
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    DN35
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:57 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:57 AM
    Thank you for the quick reply.


    The part was the Cam Chain guides which caused damage to the overhead cam sprockets and the chain it's self - all needed replacing as the vehicle wouldn't run. The chain and ancillaries should be good for around 100,000 miles, this vehicle had only done 50,000 miles.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 12th Jun 17, 12:12 PM
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    AdrianC
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:12 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:12 PM
    Not a hope.

    If you'd taken the car to the Mercedes dealer, and they'd done the work, then there MAY be a goodwill payment from MB, assuming a full dealer service history.

    Wear in a camchain is very likely to be exacerbated by incorrect servicing - wrong oil, unchanged oil - so there's no way you can say for sure "The parts were faulty". Also, you didn't BUY the parts themselves. You bought a car, containing those parts. Your contract is for the car as a whole.

    I presume the car is not six months or less from brand new, so the onus is on you to prove that the fault was present at the time of purchase. Also, if you bought the car before October 2015, your legal recourse would be under the old Sale of Goods Act, not CRA. If you bought the car from anybody other than Mercedes Benz UK themselves, even a franchised dealer rather than a wholly-owned one, then your legal recourse would be against the supplier, not M-B.
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 13th Jun 17, 8:59 AM
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    EdGasketTheSecond
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 8:59 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 17, 8:59 AM
    I bet it's a W203 series; they are renowned for this. Chain and sprocket problems start around 65K usually. Those cars are best avoided. Never heard of anyone getting help from MB with this. They went from a perfectly well designed engine in the W202 to a rubbish one in the W203 series; must have been cost saving gone mad to go from a duplex chain to a single one!
    • DN35
    • By DN35 13th Jun 17, 9:44 AM
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    DN35
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:44 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:44 AM
    It is indeed a W203 :-( and it failed at around 60k.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 13th Jun 17, 9:49 AM
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    AdrianC
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:49 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:49 AM
    The W203 C-class was replaced in 2006/7. This is a car that is, at the youngest, over a decade old.

    And you're seriously even contemplating goodwill from the manufacturer...?
    • takman
    • By takman 13th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    • 2,488 Posts
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    takman
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    My C250 suffered a breakdown due to a failed part, which has lasted about 50% of it's expected life span.

    .....
    Given the part which failed only lasted about 50% of it's life-span, does this fall under the Customers Rights Act, as in, not fit for purpose?
    Originally posted by DN35
    It is indeed a W203 :-( and it failed at around 60k.
    Originally posted by DN35
    The W203 was produced between 2000 and 2007, your saying the part only lasted 50% of its lifetime.
    That means that due to the car being between 10 and 17 years old your saying the expected life of the part is between 20 and 34 years!.

    The car as a whole wont even have an expected life of 20 years, so i'm not surprised Mercedes are not interested.
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 13th Jun 17, 7:59 PM
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    EdGasketTheSecond
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:59 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 7:59 PM
    I think the OP meant that the engine should be good for well over 100K miles which should be true of any engine that is maintained. There was a flaw with the W203's but MB to my knowledge have never helped out with costs of fixing the chain and timing gear or indeed the whole engine when the timing gear fails.
    • DN35
    • By DN35 14th Jun 17, 9:24 AM
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    DN35
    Sorry for the confusion, I'm not an expert - hence why I'm here asking the questions! :-)


    It's a 2010 year so I guess that's a W204 ............?
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 14th Jun 17, 9:28 AM
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    AdrianC
    Sorry for the confusion, I'm not an expert - hence why I'm here asking the questions! :-)

    It's a 2010 year so I guess that's a W204 ............?
    Originally posted by DN35
    Yes.

    It's still a seven year old car, though. I presume it doesn't have a full main dealer service history? Did you buy it new or used?
    • DN35
    • By DN35 14th Jun 17, 9:51 AM
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    DN35
    I would expect to change a timing BELT at 60k but not a chain - or am I being unrealistic???


    It was bought 2nd hand from Mercedes Leeds and has been serviced annually but not at the dealer.


    One question I have is, what difference does a dealer vs. non dealer serving make? Why can MB or any other brand, hold that against the customer?


    Cheers!
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 14th Jun 17, 10:03 AM
    • 14,796 Posts
    • 13,148 Thanks
    AdrianC
    I would expect to change a timing BELT at 60k but not a chain - or am I being unrealistic???
    Originally posted by DN35
    Mercedes are far from the only manufacturer to experience short service lives from cam chains on recent engines.

    It was bought 2nd hand from Mercedes Leeds
    Mercedes Leeds is a Stratstone franchise, part of Pendragon PLC - so your consumer rights would lie against them, not MB UK, because you did not have any contract with MB UK.

    and has been serviced annually
    "Serviced annually"? Does that fit the manufacturer's schedule?

    but not at the dealer.
    There's MB UK's get-out, then - not that they really need one. The servicing may not have been done to schedule, using OEM specification parts.

    One question I have is, what difference does a dealer vs. non dealer serving make? Why can MB or any other brand, hold that against the customer?
    Within manufacturer warranty, they can't, because of EU block exemption regulations (yes, post-brexit that may well cease to apply). You simply have to be able to demonstrate that the work has been carried out to schedule, to manufacturer standard, using manufacturer-quality parts and consumables. Your car is long out of manufacturer warranty. I presume it's also long out of any approved-used warranty, or aftermarket insurance-backed warranty, that may have come with the purchase.

    Outside manufacturer warranty, you would be asking for a goodwill contribution. They can use whatever criteria they wish to determine that, so long as those criteria aren't themselves discriminatory.

    Excessive wear on a cam chain may well be exacerbated by a failure to change the oil on time, by the use of the wrong oil, or by the use of a sub-standard filter. It may be that a dealer service would have noticed early symptoms, reducing the damage when the chain failed. It may not be, of course, but they have no legal requirement to prove anything...
    Last edited by AdrianC; 14-06-2017 at 10:05 AM.
    • DN35
    • By DN35 14th Jun 17, 11:08 AM
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    DN35
    Thank you AdrianC, very helpful reply!
    • EdGasketTheSecond
    • By EdGasketTheSecond 14th Jun 17, 12:12 PM
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    EdGasketTheSecond
    W204 has the same chain/cam arrangements as the W203; still rubbish. My W202 is nearly 20 years old and has done 155K and no engine issues at all; it has a duplex chain; as any decent engine should.
    Last edited by EdGasketTheSecond; 14-06-2017 at 12:14 PM.
    • CardinalWolsey
    • By CardinalWolsey 14th Jun 17, 1:13 PM
    • 75 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    CardinalWolsey
    Consider as well that if you had gone to a main dealer, AND MB UK had made a goodwill contribution, you would still have had to pay more for it to have been fixed than using your local independent...
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