Broken Merc Engine Mounts?

QUESTION

Hi John,

I have a problem with my four-year-old C 220 Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes-Benz dealer says the C Class's engine and transmission mounts have gone - with only 70,000km on the clock. The quote is $ 1900. I believe it should be a warranty issue. What do you think?

Poverty-pack Mercedes-Benzes aren't good value; yawn factor - infinity

Poverty-pack Mercedes-Benzes aren't good value; yawn factor - infinity

Regards,

Trish

ANSWER

Hi Trish,

The issue here isn't how long the factory warranty is. (In the case of Mercedes-Benz that's three years or 100,000km - whichever comes first. In other words, a year less than Lexus.) The real issue is: what's the acceptable, reasonable life of the component(s) that failed.

In the case of engine and transmission mounts, these should basically last for the life of the vehicle - failure after just 70,000km is entirely unreasonable. It's almost certainly Mercedes-Benz's problem. Mounts aren't affected by time, just distance. And you're under 100,000km so it's pretty clear Benz expects them to last more than 100,000km. Therefore it's unreasonable for them to fail earlier.

Engineering excellence does not include engine mount failure at 70,000km in normal driving

Engineering excellence does not include engine mount failure at 70,000km in normal driving

Subject to the car not having been damaged - for example in a crash, in which case it's an insurance issue - then those mounts should be very durable indeed. Mercedes-Benz and the dealer should be ashamed of themselves for even suggesting you pay for it. In my view that's disgraceful. Apart from anything else, Mercedes-Benz has always (somewhat overstated) it's position on 'engineering excellence'. This doesn't seem to be an example of that.

Tell them there's no way you're footing the bill, because it's entirely their responsibility.

If they give you a problem, call me on air on Radio 2UE in Sydney to discuss the next move. The best time to do this - for maximum audience engagement - is 3-4pm Sundays with Tim Webster. The open line number is 13 13 32.

Dealerships need to stop doing this kind of thing to customers. Part of it is: extreme snob value. Most Mercedes-Benz dealers look down their snouts at you if you own a Benz that cost less than $100k. Almost like they're doing you a favour letting you drive behind the three-pointed star. And they charge like you own an S Class for service.

Factory warranty is one thing, but your rights as a consumer are more closely linked to the reasonable service life of the parts that failed

Factory warranty is one thing, but your rights as a consumer are more closely linked to the reasonable service life of the parts that failed

Charging $1900 to replace those mounts is outrageous in itself. An independent mechanic would do it for much less. So, no matter how this goes, don't give the job to the dealer.

Finally Trish: a C220 - what were you thinking? Mercedes-Benzes aren't good value unless you spend more than $100k. Please buy a Japanese car next time - it'll be better value, better build and be loaded, dollar-for-dollar, with much more standard equipment than a poverty-pack C Class. Buy yourself a (better built) fully loaded Mazda3 and a round-the-world holiday instead.

Selling these literally cheap Mercedes-Benzes in Australia is a kind of widespread con. They're trying to convince you a poverty-pack Mercedes-Benz is somehow special. It isn't.

Best of luck. Don't take 'no' for an answer.

Call me on air if they don't support you as they should.

JC