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Advice on garage (Mercedes Benz of Brighton) overcharging me for an issue they caused

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blesshimblesshim Forumite
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Hi All,
I'm after some advice as i've been left without a car for 3 months but feel that nobody is understanding the issue my local garage has presented me with.
My local garage (Mercedes Benz of Brighton) broke a bleed screw while performing a service on my car. The car is in great condition, 6yrs old with full main dealer service history. I accept that small parts can break and they tell me that it broke while they were following their procedures so they're not responsible for the cost.

My issue is that the bleed screw costs circa £10 as a consumer for me to buy, but they want to charge me for an entirely new caliper at £670, saying the entire unit is now damaged and that the car is unsafe to drive because they cannot guarantee it will hold the brake pressure and the brakes may fail.
A complaint to the garage and mercedes has resulted in the same stock answer that they've followed their procedures, so i've escalated to the Motors Ombudsman, but they're so slow, it could be several more months before i get any adjudication and even then, they never seem to be that 'independent or impartial'.

Citizens Advice have suggested citing the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in a complaint but from my understanding, this only works if proper procedure hasn't been followed, so i doubt that is a viable route to take. They didn't seem to grasp that i'm being overcharged for something that isn't warranted.

The crux of the issue here is that the bleed screw should be able to be extracted but the garage won't give me any information on condition of the screw or caliper, so i can't build a case against them but at the same time, they can't be bothered because it is time consuming to do the work themselves. Specialist firms have said they could resolve the issue but they can't give me a price or timescale until they've seen images of the caliper, but common estimates were between £100-£200 to resolve the issue.

I'm stuck in a situation with no car, that is just sitting there incurring further damage as this type of mercedes is prone to various failures if not run regularly but all the escalation routes seem to rely on me to resolve the issue myself and i can't do that because Mercedes Benz of Brighton are blocking me from doing so.

Am at my wits end here, hopefully someone else has some alternative advice
thanks




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Replies

  • KimJongUn88KimJongUn88 Forumite
    143 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    First of all, what type of Mercedes is prone to various failures if not run regularly? What type of failures do you expect?  
    Arrange to get the car recovered to another garage who will repair the fault at a price point you're more comfortable with.  

  • edited 29 May at 1:37PM
    JumblebumbleJumblebumble Forumite
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    edited 29 May at 1:37PM
    blesshim said:
    Hi All,
    I'm after some advice as i've been left without a car for 3 months but feel that nobody is understanding the issue my local garage has presented me with.
    My local garage (Mercedes Benz of Brighton) broke a bleed screw while performing a service on my car. The car is in great condition, 6yrs old with full main dealer service history. I accept that small parts can break and they tell me that it broke while they were following their procedures so they're not responsible for the cost.

    My issue is that the bleed screw costs circa £10 as a consumer for me to buy, but they want to charge me for an entirely new caliper at £670, saying the entire unit is now damaged and that the car is unsafe to drive because they cannot guarantee it will hold the brake pressure and the brakes may fail.
    A complaint to the garage and mercedes has resulted in the same stock answer that they've followed their procedures, so i've escalated to the Motors Ombudsman, but they're so slow, it could be several more months before i get any adjudication and even then, they never seem to be that 'independent or impartial'.

    Citizens Advice have suggested citing the Consumer Rights Act 2015 in a complaint but from my understanding, this only works if proper procedure hasn't been followed, so i doubt that is a viable route to take. They didn't seem to grasp that i'm being overcharged for something that isn't warranted.

    The crux of the issue here is that the bleed screw should be able to be extracted but the garage won't give me any information on condition of the screw or caliper, so i can't build a case against them but at the same time, they can't be bothered because it is time consuming to do the work themselves. Specialist firms have said they could resolve the issue but they can't give me a price or timescale until they've seen images of the caliper, but common estimates were between £100-£200 to resolve the issue.

    I'm stuck in a situation with no car, that is just sitting there incurring further damage as this type of mercedes is prone to various failures if not run regularly but all the escalation routes seem to rely on me to resolve the issue myself and i can't do that because Mercedes Benz of Brighton are blocking me from doing so.

    Am at my wits end here, hopefully someone else has some alternative advice
    thanks




    You will get no help from the garage as their agreement with Mercedes for repairs will probably specify that the Caliper is irreparable and needs to be replaced as it is tampering with critical braking systems and |Mercedes do not want their main dealers doing this.
    They did not cause the issue. Your car did.
    Any competent engineering shop should be able to remove the broken off bleed screw
    If you are too scared to drive it ( although it is very unlikely that there would be an issue but there could be) then have it trailer ed  to a local trusted garage , or back to your home and have a mobile mechanic remove the caliper and see if it can be drilled out
    The local boys who get diesel glow plugs out would be a good bet

    I have an old Zafira
    in its earlier time Vauxhall said the sump plug hole  was stripped and wanted to relieve my wallet of a large sum to supply and fit a new sump
     Local garage wanted £30.00 for a Helicoil it still has it's original sump 8 years later
    I recall what an old engineer told me. If you want me to extract that bleed nipple just take it off and do not try to do  anything yourself 



  • AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    Nearly £700 for a caliper? Ouch. But it's entirely possible that MB simply don't supply bleed nips separately, so the only part they can order is the entire caliper. The "won't hold pressure" is guff.

    This is just one of the reasons why main dealers are best avoided on older stuff. They simply cannot "think outside the box".

    What work was being done? Was it just the fluid being changed? If so, then that caliper simply hasn't been changed, and the car will still be perfectly driveable.

    But, no, a seized nip that shears isn't their fault.
  • edited 29 May at 2:05PM
    Mickey666Mickey666 Forumite
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    edited 29 May at 2:05PM
    Modern 'mechanics' are really just fitters, not proper mechanical engineers.  They plug in a computer to read the diagnostics and it tells them what to replace.  They rarely actually repair anything they just replace it with a new part.  It's a scandal really but it's easy for them to claim the old 'elf-and-safety' defence.  It's the same with everything these days.
    I had an cooker hood light switch fail and the manufacturer only listed the entire control unit as a spare part for about £70+vat, plus fitting of course.  I took it apart, bought a new switch from Maplin (sadly no more) for about £1.25 and replaced it myself.  Has been working fine ever since.  Actually repairing stuff has become a lost art in our throw-away culture - no wonder the world is becoming a rubbish dump!

  • blesshimblesshim Forumite
    4 posts
    Ninth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Thanks everyone so far for their opinion, i've had plenty of that already, i was hoping more for advice. I fully accept that bleed screws break off as do other small components, but my issue is my car is being held hostage for the cost of a new caliper which is unnecessary.

    But it address a few of the queries:
    - Its an E63 AMG, so one of their premium high performance models and they're prone to the air conditioning issues drying up the tubes or the condensor failing, as well as the secondary battery degrades rapidily when not used which controls a lot of the electrical sensors and features in the car, whereas the primary battery is purely used to power the car itself.

    - The bleed screw is available over the counter and direcly from MB, so an entire new unit isn't the only option.

    - I have asked for the car to be delivered back to me, they've refused that request and they've also refused to let another garage come to collect it.

    - It was in for a full service and while i know that if the bleed screw is still in there, it should be maintaining pressure fine, they've recorded it on the job sheet that the car is 'unsafe' and not to be driven. as that is currently recorded, it would invalidate my insurance if i needed to make a claim as i would be knowingly driving a car that is not roadworthy.
  • 452452 Forumite
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    It is roadworthy unless they've let air get into the system that can't be bled out. I would be down there in person the first day they open for sales and having the car back. 
  • edited 29 May at 3:58PM
    AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    edited 29 May at 3:58PM
    blesshim said:
    they've recorded it on the job sheet that the car is 'unsafe' and not to be driven. as that is currently recorded, it would invalidate my insurance if i needed to make a claim as i would be knowingly driving a car that is not roadworthy.
    No, it wouldn't. And no, you wouldn't.

    If it IS unroadworthy, and that unroadworthiness contributes to a collision, then your insurance may well hand you the bill. But whether you know or not is irrelevant. Ignorance is never an excuse.

    And you'll know the first time you press the pedal whether the brakes are full and bled or not. If the brakes are hydraulically happy, then it's not unroadworthy, whatever somebody's written on a piece of paper.
  • KattekwaadKattekwaad Forumite
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    Get the caliper and find someone to extract the bleed nipple, replace and take it back and then find a decent indi garage.
    Hi, BB had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
  • JumblebumbleJumblebumble Forumite
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    AdrianC said:
    blesshim said:
    they've recorded it on the job sheet that the car is 'unsafe' and not to be driven. as that is currently recorded, it would invalidate my insurance if i needed to make a claim as i would be knowingly driving a car that is not roadworthy.
    No, it wouldn't. And no, you wouldn't.

    If it IS unroadworthy, and that unroadworthiness contributes to a collision, then your insurance may well hand you the bill. But whether you know or not is irrelevant. Ignorance is never an excuse.

    And you'll know the first time you press the pedal whether the brakes are full and bled or not. If the brakes are hydraulically happy, then it's not unroadworthy, whatever somebody's written on a piece of paper.
    Don't all car breaking systems have fail safe dual circuits in any case?
    Mr Plod might not be amused if you were caught driving a car which a main dealer had advised you not to and said dealer phoned plod when you left and plod had nothing better to do.
    The main dealer certainly has no right to not allow another garage to collect and i would be involving the police if they persist

  • clive0510clive0510 Forumite
    168 posts
    100 Posts
    the bleed nipple can probably be removed or if not maybe drilled out and the hole rethreaded by some one who has the knowledge and tools to do that. a main dealer probably cant be bothered with all that and also the possibility of it going wrong and that at the end of the day you probably going to end up having to have a new caliper any way.
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