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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Admins...

Feel free to move this thread if it doesn't belong here.

Just got back from the dealership today to discuss a recent repair issue on my Smart Car. I won't go into huge details here.

Here's the facts

  • The car has a scanguage and aftermarket cruise control installed on it
  • It has operated without problem for 47 000km
  • The traction control, brake and ABS light came on the other morning
  • I had it towed in
  • I tried to communicate to the dealer the issue, but they cut me short at understanding the 3 lights that were on.
  • They called and left a message saying "the problem is due to an aftermarket part being installed" and my warranty is now void
  • I called in and the service writer couldn't give me a concrete fact about anything other than "aftermarket part caused the problem. Your warranty is void"
  • I went in today to discuss the issue with their lead mechanic
Now before this thread gets into a discussion over "aftermarket parts" I'd like to state I understand that if a problem is caused by something that's aftermarket then it's not warrantable. I'm not arguing who's footing the bill here. I paid my bill gladly and did not argue.

What I found disturbing is the level of disinterest in understanding and/or resolving the issue. Also the CYA attitude they had.

As I said. No need to go into huge details. When talking to their lead mechanic they basically said they "scanned" the car for codes. He showed me all the codes and "stuff" that their scanners pulled up and explained what some of them meant. Other ones he knew very little about. He said they then disconnected the "aftermarket part" (In this case it was the scangauge I had connected) and then cleared the codes and took it for a drive. Everything appeared normal so that must be the problem.

I asked him if he plugged it back in again to see if the lights came back on. He explained that the light might not come back on again as it might be an intermittent problem. He also explained that if he plugged it back in again and it caused a malfunction with the car that he (or the dealer) would be held liable for any damages and MB would not warranty anything. He also explained if he plugged it back in again and the scangauge got damaged then he (or the dealer) would be responsible for the damages on the scangauge.

I asked him if he understood how the scangauge worked or how it affected the system. His response was, "we are not trained on that". I then questioned him more about what could cause these lights to pop up other than the scangauge. He had an idea, but didn't seem to really understand the fundamentals or at least be able to explain them to me.

So I asked....."So, I go home and the lights come on again? Then what?". He immediately went into a bit of a rant that "they would know if I plugged the scangauge back in because it causes a certain error that they have logged" and then proceeded to show me this fault code and said my warranty was void. I reassured him that I wasn't worried about warranty. I was trying to find out what the next step was if it was a legitimate problem with the car without the interference of the scangauge. He basically said "well, bring it back in". I asked him "why would I do that? The car has been here for 4 days. What have you done to ensure the problem is not something else besides the scangauge?"

He then went on to explain that it's most likely the scangauge because he's seen the problem before, but admitted they had done nothing but unplug the scangauge and clear the codes.

I then asked him "So, what if I came in here and asked you to resolve an issue with the scangauge? and I was willing to pay the bill". He stated that they don't work on aftermarket installations. "So, you don't want my business then??" He backtracked a little, but he went back into the "voided warranty/responsibility" argument.

So, I thank him for disconnecting the scangauge and clearing the codes and paid the bill. The car is still parked at the dealership and I'll probably go down to pick it up tomorrow so I'm not even sure if the problem is resolved.

I'm really skeptical now. It seems the service shop is more concerned with covering their own a$$ and covering MB's butt than actually servicing me and my issue. Their technical narrowmindedness really scares me. It's like they don't want to understand or touch anything that MB hasn't taught them about. That's not a mechanic, that's a robot parts replacer.

So now I'm really regretting purchasing an MB product.
 

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Well, first off, any car company would do that to you. So would any computer company, etc. People are generally lazy, and there is money savings in denying coverage.

Like working with any computer that might have pirate software installed, and the subsequent "fleas" you must reformat it back to factory setup before you can diagnose. If the problem does not occur at that time, then you cannot tell until it happens again, if it does.

That is not to let them off the hook. I could have had my SLK taken back under the lemon law (3 visits without resolution, I was on the 5th when I made them pick the car up at my home) because everytime I picked it up, 15 minutes of driving would result in the SRS failure again. When I argued why they did not drive it arround and see it come back on, they gave me BS story about insurance.

They are lazy, and obviously have too much business on their hands.

Sorry to hear about your problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As usual.... I persist. I just can't let go of service related issues.

Talked with the GM today. While he tended to agree that this was probably not a warrantable problem, he did agree that the service department didn't do all they could have to ensure the problem was correctly identified. We've set up an appointment on the 7th to go over the car and resolve the issue.

I did communicate to him that I felt like the dealership was very much on the side of MB and not the customer.

I'll keep you all posted on the 7th
 
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