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GL Class (X164) 2007-2012: GL320CDI, GL420CDI, GL450, GL550

Opinions, please

 
Old 05-31-2009, 09:48 AM
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Opinions, please

So I've posted a few things about the various problems my GL has had. The turbo hose came off a time or three, back when this beast was under MBUSA's microscopic warranty. Sure, it was something that eventually became a recall, as did a few other things that I didn't have any problems with, but that didn't change the fact my wife had to try and get herself, the kids and the dogs home in limp mode or be towed to Podunk and try to find a hotel when that hose did come off (and eventually reimbursment for either the hotel or a rental car, probably no mean feat).

No, that's not so much my beef. What's getting to me is the after-warranty stuff. Just over 60,000 miles and I've been fixing things at a rate I haven't ever had to do before, at costs that are at best mitigated by Schumacher - who, by the way, didn't even sell me the truck and are still trying to do what I think are decent moves regarding these repairs, by basically saying they'll only charge me 50%.

First, I had a strut leak. I don't go off-road in this truck (though I've really thought about it as I hate owning something like this and not going off-road). I really have never pounded the suspension, and the strut was in front where the weight really never changes, but there it was - a leak. I replaced that strut just in time to have the other front one blow up. Then was the 60,000 mile service, right before a trip to California and then up to Las Vegas right afterwards, the bill for which was quite a shocker. By the way, the tires I now have on the GL are harder to find than a decaffinated teenager. Never mind getting my hands on OEM tires or even the Toyota ones of the same size - these aren't even manufactured in this size any more and I had to have the one that was most worn replaced in Ontario on the Cali trip.

After getting home Monday and while preparing to leave on Tuesday, I had what seemed to be an interesting and nearly familiar (to readers here anyway) problem; I couldn't seem to accelerate. Sure, it'd go, even up to highway speeds, but it was like there was no throttle response past about half way. Like some kind of modified limp mode. After turning the car off and back on, the "Check Engine" light came on and I took it straight in to Sam again, hoping it was something they overlooked on the extensive 60,000 mile service. Seeing how it'd just done an ~800 mile round trip though, this was highly unlikely. More unlikely, however, was what the computer was telling them; every possible code that could cause the "Check Engine" light was coming up. Being a computer guy, I said, "Clear the codes and start the truck again, and if something's really wrong it'll come up. If it was some sort of transient, the computer should be fine. If they all come up again, the computer's broken and might need to be replaced." All the codes came up again almost immediately.

After loading up the RX330 for the trip to Las Vegas (thus depriving Nevada Jack the ability to oogle over my GL) and about an hour and a half out of town, Sam called and said they'd finally found a hairline crack in the fuse to the computer that ... er ... the one that ... one of the computers (I have forgotten which one). Whew! Replace the fuse, that's great, I'll be back Friday night. While in Vegas, I got another call; "We test drove it [of course, they're supposed to do that, right?] and the fuse blew again." Oh, crap, electrical shorts in the GL. I'm thinking nightmares of headliners dropping and carpet coming up, etc. etc.

The third call from Sam; "Call me back, I need authorization to do the repair." Well, okay, it wasn't the nightmare I thought it would be but still, it's the motor that controls the air flow in to the cabin which was bad, causing the short, killing the computer (why are those on the same fuse, by the way?) and crippling the car. That's the good. The bad is that the motor is expensive. And the ugly is that, thanks to modern German engineering, it's a nine hour job to replace the thing. From the sounds of it, they basically drop the engine, strip the paint, and rotate the tires before they can get to it. There may or may not be a chicken sacrifice involved.

End-all-be-all is, Schumacher is yet again taking half off the replacement cost, and I've just started to lose all confindence in this particular truck. How can I legitimately send my wife and kids out on I-10 to Los Angeles or 93 to Vegas or 40 to Albuquerque (or any of the back roads through the mountains or deserts of Arizona) in this car and feel confident they'll complete the trip unharmed? Had the strut blown on the freeway ... well, we've been over that. What if the cruddy motor had caught fire instead of blowing the fuse? What's the next part that is faulty or badly installed or is going to wear out before its time? How close am I going to come, again, to the cost of a car payment to Mercedes Benz Financial in a single repair? Add the maintenance in trying to keep this investment moving down the road - which is a questionable proposition now anyway - and it's way beyond a payment. And forget trying to trade in or re-sell this thing; anyone investigating it will say "lemon" and move on.

I guess I would like to have opinions from fellow GL enthusiasts, those who may or may not still love the truck as much as I do, as to what my next move should be. I'm not sure what I want. Other than to have confidence in the vehicle I have invested in.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. My rants do tend to go long. Something of a storyteller, I guess.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by StevethePilot View Post
So I've posted a few things about the various problems my GL has had. The turbo hose came off a time or three, back when this beast was under MBUSA's microscopic warranty. Sure, it was something that eventually became a recall, as did a few other things that I didn't have any problems with, but that didn't change the fact my wife had to try and get herself, the kids and the dogs home in limp mode or be towed to Podunk and try to find a hotel when that hose did come off (and eventually reimbursment for either the hotel or a rental car, probably no mean feat).

No, that's not so much my beef. What's getting to me is the after-warranty stuff. Just over 60,000 miles and I've been fixing things at a rate I haven't ever had to do before, at costs that are at best mitigated by Schumacher - who, by the way, didn't even sell me the truck and are still trying to do what I think are decent moves regarding these repairs, by basically saying they'll only charge me 50%.

First, I had a strut leak. I don't go off-road in this truck (though I've really thought about it as I hate owning something like this and not going off-road). I really have never pounded the suspension, and the strut was in front where the weight really never changes, but there it was - a leak. I replaced that strut just in time to have the other front one blow up. Then was the 60,000 mile service, right before a trip to California and then up to Las Vegas right afterwards, the bill for which was quite a shocker. By the way, the tires I now have on the GL are harder to find than a decaffinated teenager. Never mind getting my hands on OEM tires or even the Toyota ones of the same size - these aren't even manufactured in this size any more and I had to have the one that was most worn replaced in Ontario on the Cali trip.

After getting home Monday and while preparing to leave on Tuesday, I had what seemed to be an interesting and nearly familiar (to readers here anyway) problem; I couldn't seem to accelerate. Sure, it'd go, even up to highway speeds, but it was like there was no throttle response past about half way. Like some kind of modified limp mode. After turning the car off and back on, the "Check Engine" light came on and I took it straight in to Sam again, hoping it was something they overlooked on the extensive 60,000 mile service. Seeing how it'd just done an ~800 mile round trip though, this was highly unlikely. More unlikely, however, was what the computer was telling them; every possible code that could cause the "Check Engine" light was coming up. Being a computer guy, I said, "Clear the codes and start the truck again, and if something's really wrong it'll come up. If it was some sort of transient, the computer should be fine. If they all come up again, the computer's broken and might need to be replaced." All the codes came up again almost immediately.

After loading up the RX330 for the trip to Las Vegas (thus depriving Nevada Jack the ability to oogle over my GL) and about an hour and a half out of town, Sam called and said they'd finally found a hairline crack in the fuse to the computer that ... er ... the one that ... one of the computers (I have forgotten which one). Whew! Replace the fuse, that's great, I'll be back Friday night. While in Vegas, I got another call; "We test drove it [of course, they're supposed to do that, right?] and the fuse blew again." Oh, crap, electrical shorts in the GL. I'm thinking nightmares of headliners dropping and carpet coming up, etc. etc.

The third call from Sam; "Call me back, I need authorization to do the repair." Well, okay, it wasn't the nightmare I thought it would be but still, it's the motor that controls the air flow in to the cabin which was bad, causing the short, killing the computer (why are those on the same fuse, by the way?) and crippling the car. That's the good. The bad is that the motor is expensive. And the ugly is that, thanks to modern German engineering, it's a nine hour job to replace the thing. From the sounds of it, they basically drop the engine, strip the paint, and rotate the tires before they can get to it. There may or may not be a chicken sacrifice involved.

End-all-be-all is, Schumacher is yet again taking half off the replacement cost, and I've just started to lose all confindence in this particular truck. How can I legitimately send my wife and kids out on I-10 to Los Angeles or 93 to Vegas or 40 to Albuquerque (or any of the back roads through the mountains or deserts of Arizona) in this car and feel confident they'll complete the trip unharmed? Had the strut blown on the freeway ... well, we've been over that. What if the cruddy motor had caught fire instead of blowing the fuse? What's the next part that is faulty or badly installed or is going to wear out before its time? How close am I going to come, again, to the cost of a car payment to Mercedes Benz Financial in a single repair? Add the maintenance in trying to keep this investment moving down the road - which is a questionable proposition now anyway - and it's way beyond a payment. And forget trying to trade in or re-sell this thing; anyone investigating it will say "lemon" and move on.

I guess I would like to have opinions from fellow GL enthusiasts, those who may or may not still love the truck as much as I do, as to what my next move should be. I'm not sure what I want. Other than to have confidence in the vehicle I have invested in.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. My rants do tend to go long. Something of a storyteller, I guess.
Steve, PM me you VIN number. I might be able to help you sell this car -- a couple of weeks ago I talked to a guy who was looking for 2007 CDI. I need to pull up the manufacturer date and options on you car (which I can do via the VIN number).

Alex
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:52 PM
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I sympathize with you. If it were your car and you were the one driving it, it wouldn't be so bad. I have always felt like my wife needed to be in a low mileage dependable vehicle; whereas, I run mine well up into 200K+ miles. I know that if I were having the same problems as you, it would be gone in a heartbeat, or I would buy her a new one and drive it myself.

I was never an extended warranty kind of guy until we started buying vehicles that had advanced electrical and high tech gear that may not last as long as the vehicle. Now, I don't think I want to drive any car beyond it's warranty, due to the high cost of repairs on items other than the drive train.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by scottybdiving View Post
I was never an extended warranty kind of guy until we started buying vehicles that had advanced electrical and high tech gear that may not last as long as the vehicle. Now, I don't think I want to drive any car beyond it's warranty, due to the high cost of repairs on items other than the drive train.
That, and how easy it is for them to say, "Oh, that's not covered because [insert BS reason that's expensive and difficult to argue with here, and besides you don't get your car back until somebody pays up]."

Yeah?

STP
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:07 AM
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STP,

Thanks for sharing.... I've been looking for a CDI and plan to use it for a very long time I know I should do more research... but is this something typical w/ GL in general? Or more on the CDI? Or is it just your car (in a harsh word, I usually call "half-lemon")?

If you don't mind, please send me your VIN... just in case you sell this to a dealer and I come across it, I would not touch your car. No offense... but like you said, seeing your problems, I wouldn't dare to send my wife and daughter w/ that car.

Thanks much.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:09 AM
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Originally Posted by zoink View Post
STP,

Thanks for sharing.... I've been looking for a CDI and plan to use it for a very long time I know I should do more research... but is this something typical w/ GL in general? Or more on the CDI? Or is it just your car (in a harsh word, I usually call "half-lemon")?

If you don't mind, please send me your VIN... just in case you sell this to a dealer and I come across it, I would not touch your car. No offense... but like you said, seeing your problems, I wouldn't dare to send my wife and daughter w/ that car.

Thanks much.
I think it's not typical. (Says he with only 20K miles on his)
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:39 AM
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Another Viewpoint

My 07 CDI has 33,000 miles and has none of the significant problems that have been listed here.
My previous BMW X-5 was a disaster, with multiple problems in and out of warranty.
I will consider, however, purchasing extended warranty protection, since I plan on keeping it for several more years.
I think, in STP's case, his car is leaning toward Lemon Status...
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:43 AM
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Zoink (and I do get the Scooby Doo reference),

I think you'd find that if you're not looking at a 2007 model year or early-build 2008's, you're not going to see these kinds of troubles. I truly believe that this is a half-lemon, that this was a very early production vehicle (no matter when they finally released it). The truck was used as an LPGA courtesy car, which leads me to believe as well that it may have been rushed out for use in order to promote the new model and the (pretty damned amazing compared to what we're used to in the U.S.) diesel.

I can't ... I don't know what I plan to do with the vehicle. I absolutely adore the way it drives, I know it's going to tow like a clydesdale, it's got a very European feel and it's true that once you've owned a European or Japanese car you compare everything else to it, usually poorly. I'll defend the model. It's this one ... this goddamned car that's got me hot and bothered.

Sorry for the language.

Oh, and the COMAND. Come on, this isn't 1999. Stupid COMAND. If they can put the good one in the S-class, why not the GL? Argh.

Or should I say ... "jinkies!"
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:35 PM
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Damn... I've been looking for '07 since it's cheaper + some members here claim he got better mileage than '08...

From some '07 GL's (not only 320's), I've seen most of them got the air suspension repaired/replaced... if I'm not mistaken, it was a recall.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by zoink View Post
From some '07 GL's (not only 320's), I've seen most of them got the air suspension repaired/replaced... if I'm not mistaken, it was a recall.
Do you have further info on that? Because I never got a suspension recall notice on mine.

STP
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:55 PM
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It was just a pump problem and applied to specified VIN numbers only.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
It was just a pump problem and applied to specified VIN numbers only.
Thank you, Kent!
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:57 PM
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I'm not 100% sure... on one of the GL I looked at, from the carfax, I saw a "suspension repair/replacement"... and I linked it to the VMI I received from the dealer, the date was the same as the following service campaign (I think a recall... or is it voluntary recall? ):

2008080001 - 164-251 "Compressor"... which I guess refers to air suspension.

And the same item occurs in at least 5 of 7 GL's I looked at. And all of them got it done... so my guess it should be some type of free repair (or a recall).
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
It was just a pump problem and applied to specified VIN numbers only.
Ahhh... you replied quicker than me... Thanks for clarifying this.
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by StevethePilot View Post

Oh, and the COMAND. Come on, this isn't 1999. Stupid COMAND. If they can put the good one in the S-class, why not the GL? Argh.

Or should I say ... "jinkies!"
My biggest gripe with the GL too. Driving the GL after day to day use in my C350 with the newer Command system is painful.

Anywho, hope you get your situation all worked out. I've got no helpful advice really.
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:46 PM
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There is a really simple solution to the COMAND - NAV interface issues on the '07 - '08 GLs. It is called G-A-R-M-I-N! I know it isn't as 'elegant' as if Mercedes had done it right the first time, but it is a VERY functional way to go!
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Fourdiesel View Post
There is a really simple solution to the COMAND - NAV interface issues on the '07 - '08 GLs. It is called G-A-R-M-I-N! I know it isn't as 'elegant' as if Mercedes had done it right the first time, but it is a VERY functional way to go!
Nah I don't even use the Nav very often, just the overall interface/screen size/controls are so dated.

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cjh. View Post
Nah I don't even use the Nav very often, just the overall interface/screen size/controls are so dated.

Speaking of dated... who puts rear DVD screens in a 60K+ car that still uses headphone jacks? My 2005 Acura MDX used wireless headphones
jeez
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Fourdiesel View Post
There is a really simple solution to the COMAND - NAV interface issues on the '07 - '08 GLs. It is called G-A-R-M-I-N! I know it isn't as 'elegant' as if Mercedes had done it right the first time, but it is a VERY functional way to go!
We have a Garmin Nuvi that we bought 3 or 4 years ago. We used it the other week while we were in Seattle in our rental car. I hooked it up & put it on the dash. Hubby says "I can't believe how small the display is." One thing about the COMAND NAV, it is a nice size display. I do perfer the touch-screen of the Nuvi.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:03 PM
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Hey! I just bought a garmin today. Nuvi 550. Needed a big battery for our family summer trip to Lugano/Milano/Zurich.

anyway Steve, beware of "grass is greener" stiuations, that end up in "out of the frying pan..." situations. Although I'm as freaked out as you are about the strut, at least you have a new one, right? and the turbo hose? no issues there anymore... I had an Accord that was the worst, steaming chunk of automotive poop I had ever owned. It, by coincidence, wound up in the hands of someone that works in the same company as my wife. Guess what? After I unloaded it, it was perfect. I had fixed everything! I don't know, if I could not take advantage of the diesel price as low as it is in Canada, I would look at the big Kia Burrago or whatever it is called. My guess, however, that you are spoilt and shopping in a different snack bracket (after the GL, it would be tough for me, too) and ALL of those cars come with thir own, special issues. beware, dude.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Brocktoon View Post
anyway Steve, beware of "grass is greener" stiuations, that end up in "out of the frying pan..." situations.
Brock,

Mazeltof on the new acquisition, I know I use mine regularly - especially in the loaner car I've had since last Tuesday from Schumacher. It's really as simple as this; my ownership experience has become one in which I am highly disappointed. I'm spending more on repairs than I am on payments, and between the two one hell of a lot more than I would on ownership of, say, a 2007 Land Cruiser or LX470, either of which I can have much greater confidence in. I'd even be happy with another GL, one that wasn't (probably) a preproduction car built to less-than-exacting specifications.

STP
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by flexdmc View Post
Speaking of dated... who puts rear DVD screens in a 60K+ car that still uses headphone jacks? My 2005 Acura MDX used wireless headphones
jeez
Wah wah wah... Where are my wireless headphones? This is the most common complaint about the GL...

Who actually likes wireless headphones?

People who don't like to replace batteries or charge headsets because the kids leave them on.

People who don't like to settle fights because one of the kids headsets died mid-trip.

People who like to have LOTS of entertainment options... See my previous post https://mbworld.org/forums/2328715-post2.html

Originally Posted by StevethePilot View Post
Brock,

Mazeltof on the new acquisition, I know I use mine regularly - especially in the loaner car I've had since last Tuesday from Schumacher. It's really as simple as this; my ownership experience has become one in which I am highly disappointed. I'm spending more on repairs than I am on payments, and between the two one hell of a lot more than I would on ownership of, say, a 2007 Land Cruiser or LX470, either of which I can have much greater confidence in. I'd even be happy with another GL, one that wasn't (probably) a preproduction car built to less-than-exacting specifications.

STP
Steve, I am sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble with your GL... I think you are right about the pre- or early-production... If I recall, they started building the GL Diesel in December 2007 and yours is was built in December 2007... Not only first year model, but first month model... May be even first week model...

None the less, it sucks you are having so much trouble... I can't say that I have been trouble free, but all of mine have been ticky tacky minor annoyances... Not leave you stranded types of issues. Mine was built in May 2007 so they had 5 months practice to get it right. I did however place my order for it in December 2007 (the day the pricing showed up to the dealer)

I am not sure what I would do if I were in your shoes, but you might start with some calls to MB USA... Even though it is out of warranty, you can at the very least let them know that you are very active online and you are likely scaring a lot of people away... Maybe they would be willing to do something for you in the hopes that you might gush over how well MB USA took care of you to every online forum you participate on!
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:17 AM
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Steve, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I think I would take the approach suggested above to contact MBUSA. Sometimes it's entirely dependent on who's ear you get as to what a company would be willing to do for you. That said you may want to consider what you want from them before you start down that road. You could try to petition for an extended warranty on their dime or heavily discounted, however if you've lost faith in the car I don't know if this will help. It would only mitigate future out of pocket expense. You could also see if they would provide a "favorable" deal on either a CPO or new GL, but either of those could end up with you having a significant out of pocket expense that you would never have expected when you bought your current GL. There is no reason that any car in this day and age should have such a poor track record at 60K miles and potentially leave your family stranded. You asked what others would do - if it were me I would look to see if MB could put me into another GL while mitigating the impact to my pocket. Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:55 AM
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GL320 CDI - Obsidian Black
I'm so scarred I might even reject my new car on Friday.....


Last edited by [email protected]; 06-03-2009 at 11:56 AM. Reason: fix
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:47 PM
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1989 Toyota Tercel EZ - dyno'd @ 70whp/77wtq
+1 on calling MBUSA. You'll never know what kind of luck you'll be having

My E55 was about 1 month after the original warranty expired... My SRS light went off... my extended warranty unfortunately doesn't cover SRS. The problem itself was typical for E55, parts were only <$100 but labor was the killer (6-7 hours). I sent an email to MBUSA via their website... in less than a week, I got a call from my SA saying that MBUSA would give cover the cost as a good gesture.

My advice to you is to approach MBUSA w/ good attitude. State the facts and give reasonable demands. If you're a long time MB owner like me (I've owned 4 AMG's so far plus some other non-AMG's), mention it.... Not sure it'll help, but it may tickle their feeling of your loyalty.

Either way, it doesn't hurt to try... Good luck!
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