Originally Posted by AustinGuy
Not to beat this horse to death, but rather try to understand how much the public perception about MB's quality & reliability problems are based on fact
As some of you might know, I have never owned an MB - been a BMW guy the whole time. Finally, I decided to buy a Benz and ordered an 08 S550/AMG (which will be delivered in April). From talking to business acquaintances and friends (most of whom have owned or still own MB's), the overwhelming responses are that MB's are VERY problematic. Some have even gone as far as telling me that they are the WORST car to buy as far as reliability is concerned. One person who owned a 2004 ML for 3 years told me that she had immense issues with oil leaks, burning oil and electrical problems. Another guy tells me that he owned a 2005 C-class and it was in the shop more than in his garage... another colleague tells me that his 2005 S500 was a nightmare - many electronic/electrical issues, etc. Then, my wife's good friend told her last night that they were considering an S500 in 2006 but there were so many issues and bad reports about it (W220) that they settled for a Lexus....
While I understand that even the media's favorite bellwethers - Accord/Camry/LS400, etc. have issues, there seems to be this overwhelming outcry about Mercedes' quality!
Hello, isn't that exactly what MB was known for? If not for quality (and to a lesser extent looks), why would the car even be worth $110k+? What is MB thinking? Why can't they get on it and fix this damn image problem with their cars?
Could it be this stubborn/arrogant attitude that exemplifies MB or simply a lack of customer relations and evaluation of public feedback? This problem has been going on for too long now...... and you would think that a company that spends so much on technology would try to get the basic things working without faults.... How can Lexus get the electronic/electrical and mechanical nuances right, while MB and BMW keep stumbling and bumbling around? With that being said, the W221 seems to have it right for the most part, but then you still see all these issues people are having now with the parktronic, distronic+, etc. Now, consumer reports
has the Lexus LS460L rated as it's best luxury sedan and while most here might dismiss it as "just consumer reports gibberish", it still speaks volumes about how far MB needs to go before it can rightfully reclaim that spot as the worlds best luxury/performance auto maker.
For those of you out there who have been in tune with MB, HOW MUCH truth is there to this? More importantly, is the W221 in the same mould?
You won't find anyone who is more critical or obsessive about their car than me. I have owned five MB's and understand the source of the criticism. Some of it is justified, and some of it stems from the frustration of owners with regard to systemic deficiencies. I'm probably one of the few people who read the manual cover to cover and do a lot of research to understand how everything works.
My bottom was the 2002 W220 - nice car, but cheap materials on the inside and many problems with systems. Too many new things - airmatic, comand, etc.that weren't tested long enough. Lot's of things failed and the dealer fixed them promptly, and for free, but you can't fix the quality of the parts after they are installed. The 2004 W220 was a different car, looked the same but much better on quality. I honestly did not have that many problems in the four years I had it. An airmatic sensor in the front left wheel was the biggest problem.
I now have a 2008 s550. This car sets a new standard for quality in Mercedes. Nothing has gone wrong with mine. Stopped back at the dealer for the initial check and haven't been back since. That was 5 months ago. The quality and feel of ever thing has been upgraded and the systems work very well. My understanding is that MB ran a large fleet of these cars with blackboxes inside for an extended period of time to catch all of the failures. From my standpoint it worked. Sure, there may be some nitpicky software issue here or there, but I haven't heard of anything really major.
The distronic+ parktronic sensor issues are mostly not issues at all, mostly warnings regarding system interference which isn't a system failure. I use to think mine was going off for no reason at all when I pulled into the garage. Now I understand its picking up the pole supporting the beam if I drive too close to it.
I think Consumer Reports is wrong in their assessment and time will prove that these cars are much better in quality.
Enjoy your new S when you get it. I'm sure you'll be pleased.