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Updates: The MB-Tex Problem

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Updates: The MB-Tex Problem

 
Old 01-06-2015, 01:54 PM
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Updates: The MB-Tex Problem

Since my original thread has gotten very long, I thought it might be helpful to start a new thread where we can share our experiences and any solutions to this MB-Tex issue.

From what I've able to learn so far, this seems to be a problem with the plasticizer that is used to soften the vinyl used in MB-Tex. For some as yet unexplained reason, a combination of very cold, then warm, temperatures can cause this additive to leach out of the fabric, producing what looks like a shiny spray to form on the seating and headrest surfaces. After some cooling, a white lanolin-like substance will form. It looks like this:




or like this:




The appearance of the stains changes dramatically with temperature, and may even disappear on its own, but it always comes back. MB is aware of the defect, and has issued the following TSB:

"Topic number
LI91.18-P-060470

Complaint

Oily, shiny surface or white residues on MB-Tex seat covers

Cause
In cold weather the surface of the MB-Tex can appear oily or shiny.

When the material warms up again, the substance evaporates and this can result in white edges on the surface (IMG_2054.jpg)
Remedy

1) For customer vehicles with issue only!

Replace the seat cover and head rests, except for the front passenger seat bottom.

The passenger seat bottom cannot be changed at this time because the factory calibration is performed on the cushion/cover/bladder as a complete set.

We are currently in developing a spare part kit, once established, this Tips LI will be updated.

2) For vehicles in dealer inventory

Please clean the seats with warm soapy water solution (do not use aggressive cleaning agents) before releasing to customer.

A final resolution is currently under development, this LI will be updated accordingly."

Thanks to member Rocman8 for finding this TSB.

In my case, my dealer has been contacted and has ordered the repair kit, although it is currently backordered due to high demand.

I have also contacted MB-USA and spoke with two representatives today. I now have a case manager who will escalate this and have some answers by tomorrow. She agreed that my experiences with the car have been unacceptable and will be addressed by them. She also asked if the car was leased, financed, or purchased outright, so they may be considering a replacement vehicle, but that's just speculation on my part.

This thread might be a good way to share information with others who may be experiencing this very odd problem with their MB-Tex seats.
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:25 PM
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Well posted and really good information, this is one of the great things with this forum.
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:30 PM
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I am happy to hear that MB has responded to you and appears to be doing the right thing. Unfortunately, it looks like I also need to file a complaint and open a case as my seats are getting worse. This is what I found this morning:








While not as bad yours (yet) this is absolutely unacceptable for a $55k vehicle that I've had less than a month. I will be firing emails off this evening to the dealership and MB corporate and hope they are responsive.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:03 PM
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Welcome to the club!

The thing that is really strange is how these patterns will change with the temperature. Don't be surprised if it looks almost normal tomorrow morning, then even worse than it is now later in the day. Sometimes it's only oily smudges, other times it's a gross display of that white stuff, other times a bunch of white splatter.

At least we have the TSB so they can't say they don't know what it is.

Originally Posted by PittsburghBenz View Post
I am happy to hear that MB has responded to you and appears to be doing the right thing. Unfortunately, it looks like I also need to file a complaint and open a case as my seats are getting worse. This is what I found this morning:








While not as bad yours (yet) this is absolutely unacceptable for a $55k vehicle that I've had less than a month. I will be firing emails off this evening to the dealership and MB corporate and hope they are responsive.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by StanNH View Post
I have also contacted MB-USA and spoke with two representatives today. I now have a case manager who will escalate this and have some answers by tomorrow. She agreed that my experiences with the car have been unacceptable and will be addressed by them. She also asked if the car was leased, financed, or purchased outright, so they may be considering a replacement vehicle, but that's just speculation on my part.
Good to see that MBUSA is on your case ! Given that MB has admitted that this issue of defective MBTex seats is widespread with the US built W205 and that there is no immediate resolution for the problem, I would hold out for a replacement vehicle with LEATHER seats !

Best of luck for a speedy resolution !
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DerekACS View Post
Good to see that MBUSA is on your case ! Given that MB has admitted that this issue of defective MBTex seats is widespread with the US built W205 and that there is no immediate resolution for the problem, I would hold out for a replacement vehicle with LEATHER seats !

Best of luck for a speedy resolution !
I'm apparently still progressing through the "escalation" phase, so I haven't spoken with anyone in a decision making position yet. So far, the three people I've spoken with were just gathering information.

I will let them know that a new vehicle will be the best way to get this done, but I have no idea how they'll react to that request. That may be the cheapest way out, given the amount of work that needs to be done on this car.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:56 PM
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Stan and Pittsburgh, what is the color of your MB-Tex? I was wondering if it is color related. Can't really tell with the white craps all over the fabric.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:58 PM
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My C300 w/ MB-Tex is being build this week, freakin no way to change it to leather now.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:11 PM
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Based on the TSB it'll be an interesting week (weather wise) in terms of how many more owners will experience this. Wonder if dealers will check their outdoor inventories, proactively saving future customers the grief?
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark's M View Post
Based on the TSB it'll be an interesting week (weather wise) in terms of how many more owners will experience this. Wonder if dealers will check their outdoor inventories, proactively saving future customers the grief?
Good point...if dealers notice the defect in cars on their lots, will they put a hold on them until the fix is made, and then make them available for sale?
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteInGilroy View Post
Good point...if dealers notice the defect in cars on their lots, will they put a hold on them until the fix is made, and then make them available for sale?
I doubt it very much. If you re-read the MB service bulletin, it advises dealers "to clean the seats with warm soapy solution before releasing to customer" !!!!

IMO, MB should put a hold on all unsold W205 inventory with MBTex seats until this issue is resolved with the seat cover supplier. If a few more W205 owners with defective MBtex, like StanNH and PittsburghBenz, post photos on the internet, it would have very serious consequences for the future reputation the new C Class. The two cases illustrated on this forum are already having an adverse impact.

Last edited by DerekACS; 01-06-2015 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteInGilroy View Post
Good point...if dealers notice the defect in cars on their lots, will they put a hold on them until the fix is made, and then make them available for sale?
And hopefully they won't prioritize the repair kits to go to the unsold stock leaving us customers at the end of the queue.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DerekACS View Post
I doubt it very much. If you re-read the MB service bulletin, it advises dealers "to clean the seats with warm soapy solution before releasing to customer" !!!!

IMO, MB should put a hold on all unsold W205 inventory with MBTex seats until this issue is resolved with the seat cover supplier.
I don't see how cleaning the seats will prevent the defect from occurring a day or two later...say after the car is sold (especially in this weather). Can you imagine the rage when the customer returns to the dealer?
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cidtek View Post
And hopefully they won't prioritize the repair kits to go to the unsold stock leaving us customers at the end of the queue.
Originally Posted by PeteInGilroy View Post
I don't see how cleaning the seats will prevent the defect from occurring a day or two later...say after the car is sold (especially in this weather). Can you imagine the rage when the customer returns to the dealer?
Excellent points. Wonder what they'll do? And Stan cleaned his seats, more than once, to no avail. So the TSB is encouraging dealers to mask the problem and let unknowing customers deal with the surprise they might eventually get? Wow, brilliant move.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteInGilroy View Post
I don't see how cleaning the seats will prevent the defect from occurring a day or two later...say after the car is sold (especially in this weather). Can you imagine the rage when the customer returns to the dealer?
I was hit by this issue about a week ago, though to a much lesser extent than StanNH. It only impacted the rear seats, looked like someone had sprayed a hose over the MB Tex, small shiny oily spots everywhere with a couple of very large patches. A few minutes of cleaning with soapy water and everything looked absolutely back to normal. The problem hasn't reoccurred yet.

We've just hit the snowy season here in southwest Ohio, so I'll certainly be keeping an eye on things, but perhaps some batches of the material have been more significantly affected than others?
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cidtek View Post
And hopefully they won't prioritize the repair kits to go to the unsold stock leaving us customers at the end of the queue.
One more question for you and don't know if I missed it elsewhere.....how is MB Canada handling this? And the dealership? Curious to know if you've got a moment.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by miketc View Post
Stan and Pittsburgh, what is the color of your MB-Tex? I was wondering if it is color related. Can't really tell with the white craps all over the fabric.
All black here. It would be most obvious on a darker color, but I don't know if the lighter colors are also being damaged by this.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by StanNH View Post
I'm apparently still progressing through the "escalation" phase, so I haven't spoken with anyone in a decision making position yet. So far, the three people I've spoken with were just gathering information.

I will let them know that a new vehicle will be the best way to get this done, but I have no idea how they'll react to that request. That may be the cheapest way out, given the amount of work that needs to be done on this car.
You're not out of line in your request. As I said in another thread, this would be the RIGHT thing for Mercedes to do. As well as ensuring not another car is made with this many QA issues, even if that entails a hiatus in building cars while processes and vendors are changed around. Thank you for keeping us in the loop.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark's M View Post
One more question for you and don't know if I missed it elsewhere.....how is MB Canada handling this? And the dealership? Curious to know if you've got a moment.
I'll hopefully find out tomorrow. Mercedes Oakville is my dealer.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:42 PM
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Stan, I saw your photos on your other thread, all the photos, and it's the most disgusting and unacceptable thing I've seen in my entire life! It's so unacceptable that a new car would be the only thing I'd accept. I LOVE Mercedes and would never defame them, but this is truly the worst automotive cosmetic defect in history. This will haunt Mercedes for a very long time and cost them dearly. I wish you and Mercedes luck with this one. Unreal...

Last edited by Count Laszlo; 01-06-2015 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by miketc View Post
Stan and Pittsburgh, what is the color of your MB-Tex? I was wondering if it is color related. Can't really tell with the white craps all over the fabric.
All black here as well.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:56 PM
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The only problem is that if this cold weather causes this to happen to a lot of cars and it proves to be a wide spread problem with the MBTes they can never start replacing customer cars....
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:56 PM
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MBTex cracking

I'm interested in ordering a w205 (in fact, I had already ordered a C400, but the dealer made a mistake, so I know have to wait for a C450). The problem here is certainly a concern, but I have another. I have a W204 with MBTex which is cracking on the driver's side left bottom seat bolster. I have had other Mercedes, along with 7 Audis which never had a problem, and I thought that MBTex was pretty much indestructible. However, my seat developed a two-three inch crack within a few months of the warranty expiring at only ~40,000 miles, so I am worried about ordering another. Have others experienced cracking with MBTex? Also, I ordered from a small dealer (as I have for my last four Mercedes) because I like the good service and knowledgeable salespeople, but they said that there was nothing they could do about it since I was out or warranty. However, should I order form a big metropolitan dealer with cheesy, dumb salespeople, but more clout with the factory? Have others experienced this isse with MBTex, or is this unheard of? Should I switch back to Audi or BMW if I don't want leather, or want better support? I'd be interested in the experience of others, let me know what you think.

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:59 PM
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omg. totally unacceptable. We all appreciate your documentation. This isn't just an "oopsies". This is seriously inexcusable. I don't care what the benefits of mb tex over leather or whatever arguments people have in general...you're right. a $55,000 car should be impeccable, NO MATTER WHAT. I don't give a sh** what excuse there is for a certain type of material over another.

It sickens me that you have to post pictures of your beautiful car with seats looking like that. I bet they don't show that in a brochure.

Last edited by djejglk; 01-06-2015 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bwoodbmw View Post
The only problem is that if this cold weather causes this to happen to a lot of cars and it proves to be a wide spread problem with the MBTes they can never start replacing customer cars....
Stan should get a new car since he's basically the initiator of the complaint that's getting the most attention. His case is truly extreme! Everyone else can get new seats. Not covers.

God only knows why kind of unhealthy, possibly cancerous toxins are in that chemical soup. I would NEVER want my children near that stuff. Or back in the car, even if cleaned. So bad...

This is as bad if not worse than the poisonous toys and milk that affected China and the US a few years ago.

I guarantee that crap oozing out of those seats isn't organic or safe at all.

Last edited by Count Laszlo; 01-06-2015 at 11:13 PM.
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