Semi- good news. Spoke with Mercedes dealer and they said it would be about $900 with labor. This includes "extra cost because they have to remove my after- market Alpine DVD system."
$900 - still alot of money but I was thinking $3000.
I did NOT tell them lemonade spilled in the gear shift. They told me this happens alot and newer Mercedes have a boot over the shifter now.
For future reference if this should happen to you- do NOT say something spilled in it. Just say shifter went dead. If you say you spilled something then it will not be covered under warranty. However, the tech did say that if Mercedes finds liquid remnants on the shifter than you are responsible even it it's under warranty.
They even have the part in stock "because people spill stuff in the open shifter all the time." What a racket Mercedes has going on with this "open shifter" business!
Thank goodness ONLY $900 (yes still alot of money but...)