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Registered 2005 SLK350
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Discussion Starter #1
I just took delivery of my new-to-me 2005 SLK350 last Monday (it's a beauty). It was shipped to me (in Wisconsin) from a dealer in South Carolina (at this point I'll keep their name out of the post).

When I started it up for the 1st time, I got the "ESP Malfunctioning" error message. I called the dealer I bought it from immediately to let them know of the issue and I got a semi-cool response stating the car did not have that error message when they loaded it on the trailer.

I just got the word from the repair shop that it is a steering angle sensor (a common ailment for this issue) and the estimated cost will be $580 to fix it. I have sent a message to the dealership asking them to pay for the repair, since it arrived to me with the issue. I haven't heard back from them yet. In my back and forth messages discussing the issue with them so far, they have never offered to pay for repair, but almost every message has stated the car didn't have the issue when it left the dealership. Although they haven't said "it's not our problem", I have a feeling that's where it's going to end up.

Am I wrong to ask them to reimburse me for the repair? I admit I bought the car with no warranty, but my expectation was I would be receiving a car that didn't require immediate service. I guess I'm just trying to do a little level setting. Thanks for your input....

 

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Administrator Founding Member since 2006
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103,161 Posts
Get a lawyer friend to draft a letter to them.
Then see what they do :D :D

as Judge Milian says on the people's court....No warranty? have a nice day...As is
 

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Sorry to hear about your problem... Ask to speak to the manager there and or the owner.. Also send them a register letter..


jnc1948 NC
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Sorry to hear about your problem... Ask to speak to the manager there and or the owner.. Also send them a register letter..


jnc1948 NC
Thanks. Yeah, I already have a letter ready to send to the General Manager, but I want to hold tight until I hear back from the Sales Manager. I have also researched and found the name of the owner, so I'm ready to go there as well.

Who knows, maybe the Sales Manager will surprise me and say, "Hey, you're right...we should pay for that."...or then again, maybe not. Thanks for the input.
 

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Is this a serious issue or a necessary repair? If not, I'd forget it. As for the dealer, if he doesn't respond, forget it. Moral - out of sight out of mind!
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Is this a serious issue or a necessary repair? If not, I'd forget it. As for the dealer, if he doesn't respond, forget it. Moral - out of sight out of mind!
Definitely a necessary repair. Everyone can feel free to chime in about the importance of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), but in addition to that being out, it also disables the cruise control....which I absolutely need.
 

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Definitely a necessary repair. Everyone can feel free to chime in about the importance of the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), but in addition to that being out, it also disables the cruise control....which I absolutely need.
There's a lot of info out on the net about this problem. The part is a couple of hundred bucks:


You can probably fix it yourself. The dealers are expensive.:crying:
 

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Premium Member
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I think you are right to ask them to pay for the fix. I also might try for a compromise solution, 50/50??. However, without a written warranty, your case is technically not that strong, ....IMHO. I am not sure if you are covered by any State consumer protection laws. We have some Provincial consumer protection laws , but they pretty much apply to just new stuff, once you cross over into the used world you are mostly in 'Buyer Beware' territory, unless you have a written contract that says otherwise. On the upside, your car looks just great. Good Luck!
 

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Registered-sold my '55
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Tough call...was there any paperwork or document in terms of the contract, coming from a dealer I thought there might have been? Did they send you anything prior to buying the vehicle indicating what condition it was in? Is the dealer part of any Dealers Association? Are they Licensed? perhaps start shouting and hollering in that direction also.....if this was private deal I would say you were SOL. I guess any Dealers warranty would be for 30 days on engine and tranny only? What does Mercedes say in relation to how this part fails? Can it fail simply sitting on a transport truck or does it fail during driving? I am not a mechanic but does the code read out tell you a date when it failed? If it does and it shows it failed before you took delivery you have the dealer bang to rights...or he is a lying sack....anyway best of luck.
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK32 AMG
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5,507 Posts
At this point I would "stick to your priniples". Don't bother with the sale manager. Next step is to the manager and the, if next to the owner. May want to find the previous owner to see if the problem exists when they sold or traded it. If this were to be true, they would really have a problem.

Write down everything....time, date, who you talked to etc.

Instead of 50/50 which I would not agree to, tell them you will take it to the dealer of their choice and they can pay the bill or the amount already quoted.

And if someone tells you, " I can't help you, let me let you speak to ........" Your response should be that you will talk to the new person....after the person you are talking to explains the situation to them. For some reason that occasionally makes a decision easier for them.

They have to talk more and you less.
 

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Registered 2009 SLK200
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5,197 Posts
Trouble is electrics can go
And come up within moments of owning a car . :frown:

And you may have abs . Srs . Engine management light come on a week's later .

Without warranty especially over here uk land .
You have not a leg to stand on .

On some bmw if you have the tracking done incorectly it can put the steering angle sensor light on amongst other makes to including mercs .

Just a thought ......
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
So let's look at this a different way...


Let's say I lived in South Carolina and I visited this dealership in person. I took the car for a test drive, everything worked fine and I decided to buy it. I went in, did all of the paperwork, made payment and they handed me the keys. When I went out to start the car to take it home (still on the lot), I get an "ESP Malfunction" error. What do you think the dealer's reaction would be? I would think from a customer service standpoint they would take care of the issue. I guess I'm not sure....


While I realize this scenario is a little different than mine, it is essentially the same. I made payment, and the first time I started the car, the issue was there. One difference is I have no way of knowing the car wasn't loaded on the trailer with the issue already there. The dealership is part of an auto group that owns many different dealerships, so I don't think that was the case, but I guess I'll never know.


Still waiting to hear back from them....
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
There's a lot of info out on the net about this problem. The part is a couple of hundred bucks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1dLdLqDu1g

You can probably fix it yourself. The dealers are expensive.:crying:
Thanks for the information. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not much of a DIY kind of guy. The funny thing is, my dad was a mechanic and tried for years to teach me how to work on cars. I know the basics, but I still prefer to leave it up to someone who knows what they are doing.
 

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Registered 2009 SLK350
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96 Posts
Trouble is electrics can go
And come up within moments of owning a car . :frown:

And you may have abs . Srs . Engine management light come on a week's later .

Without warranty especially over here uk land .
You have not a leg to stand on .
That's not true ! Here in the uk, if bought from a dealer, you would be covered by consumer protection laws and they would have to fix the problem.
 

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Registered 2009 SLK200
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5,197 Posts
That's not true ! Here in the uk, if bought from a dealer, you would be covered by consumer protection laws and they would have to fix the problem.
That maybe the case
But most people who buy cars and a majority are from afar and when you counter in dropping off car to them .
Leaving car for ex amount of days .
Getting it picked up with a mate .
Then issue reappears .
They then ask you to drop off car again .
You have to arrange a pick from mate .
Petrol costs
Time off .

Most people then give up and have it repaired local and know its gonna be done right.

It all depnds on how much the repair bills is and if its worth the long drive and hassle of back on forth with issue .

If the faults is £500.00 plus .....then yes go for it and sue Etc

If a few hundred get it done local .

Least you know its done .:grin:
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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850 Posts
No one` seems to have brought up the idea of a shipping problem? How was the car shipped? Who arranged the shipping? Was this problem caused by incorrect loading?


Gordon
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK200K
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1,138 Posts
Coincidentally, there is a similar happening which I am following with great interest on a French Forum. (non-MB)

Car purchased sight-unseen. other than loads of photos.... and when it finally arrives .. loads of pieces are missing and there are all sorts of things wrong...

Here in France an Expert is available to assess the situation. The fees are covered by most general house insurance policies.. and the Report gives something solid to throw at the Seller... If the Expert judges that the item was not in the same condition as described in the advert .. the Seller will be dealt with "swiftly and with style" (that's the rough translation).

Sometimes, even the threat of going to the Expert is enough to make folk see sense and put matters right... :grin::grin::grin:

Do you have something similar where you live... ???
 

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Registered 2005 SLK350
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68 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
No one` seems to have brought up the idea of a shipping problem? How was the car shipped? Who arranged the shipping? Was this problem caused by incorrect loading?


Gordon
Gordon...funny you should mention that. I just heard back from the dealership a couple of minutes ago and they have told me that they feel the issue must have happened in shipping and I should contact the shipping company if I want reimbursement.

To be honest, the dealership took care of all of the shipping details. Even though I paid for shipping as part of my purchase price, they contacted the shipping company and arranged for the pickup and delivery. I had no conact with them at all. They said this was a company they use all of the time, so I have to assume they knew what they were doing.

I'm pretty confident I will never get anything out of the shipping company, even though I'm going to try. I think it will be difficult to prove to them that a steering angle sensor went bad because of how they shipped it.

My next step is to contact the CEO of the automotive group. I find it hard to believe I spent nearly $19,000 with a company and they are quibbling over $580.
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK200K
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1,138 Posts
To be honest, the dealership took care of all of the shipping details. Even though I paid for shipping as part of my purchase price, they contacted the shipping company and arranged for the pickup and delivery. I had no conact with them at all. They said this was a company they use all of the time, so I have to assume they knew what they were doing.
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IMO you should go for the jugular... Write to the CEO and explain the whole sorry mess.. The Dealership sold the car and organised the Shipping!!!! How can they now throw it all back onto you to follow-up ???

They should definitely be taking matters up with the Shipper themselves, if that is who they really feel is to blame... BUT in the meantime they should be sorting out your problems NOW...
(send all correspondence recorded-delivery so they can't wriggle on that one.)

I am wondering if a Name and Shame item in the local Press would do any good ??? >:D>:D>:D
 

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Premium Member 2006 SLK350
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6,816 Posts
...was the shipping insured?? And if they held the contract with the shipper, then they are the only ones that can make a claim.

I'm not up on the steering angle sensor...but what about the master reset (battery disconnect for 30mins...)?
 
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