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Howdy people,

 

This is my first post so be gentle!

 

I have a 2002 Mercedes Vito with 140,000 miles. I am the second owner after purchasing it in January 2004. The vehicle has full service history via Mercedes Benz Trained independant garage with reciepts to prove

 

My problem is rust - lots of it. This is a well known Mercedes problem so when it happened to me I contacted Mercedes Germany and was instructed to visit my local dealer for inspection

 

The inspection was completed and a "Esculab claim" (complete with detailed pictures) forwarded to Mercedes. Whilst there the guy carrying out the inspection told me that mine was "One of the worst he`d came across" and that there was "clear evidence of paint defects on EVERY panel" which necessitated a full respray - at a cost of £3500!

 

Mercedes Germany rejected the claim as did the Mercedes UK rep who the dealer spoke with regarding my case. They both turned the claim down with no offer of any kind even for a partial repair despite the report and pictures.

 

I also own a 2002 VW Golf and 2001 Peugeot 306 with similar miles and neither has any rust despite being used on the same roads, being parked in the same place - does this mean that a crappy french hatchback has superior bodywork to a supposedly premium brand German workhorse?

 

Question is where do I take my case now - do I need to engage the services of a solicitor?

 

Thanks in advance:)

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Six years old, I dont think you will get much joy now. You try consulting a solicitor to see what they say, but would not hold out much hope. probably cost more in fees than the van is worth.

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I think you are a bit late in your claim, if there was a corrosion warranty these rarely last past 6 years and only the Japanese seem have the confidence in their quality to offer this sort of warranty.

 

If it is the van they really wont be interested.

 

Ring the first owner shown in the log book and ask him about anti-corrosion warranty, it's usually transferable if there is one.

 

A no win no fee solicitor might be a good idea, if they turn it down then you know you have no chance as they only take on cases they know will win and make them money.

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Six years old, I dont think you will get much joy now. You try consulting a solicitor to see what they say, but would not hold out much hope. probably cost more in fees than the van is worth.

 

It is six years old - but has been properly cared for and has never been damaged - surely modern bodywork should last longer than this before looking like it has been washed with acid? My VW of the same age/condition sports ZERO rust - even around the stone chips!

 

My case is not unique - Mercedes of this era are well known now for bad bodywork - even top of the range £60,000 models are not exempt

 

I am determined to pursue this issue - why should Mercedes be allowed to turn their back on their shoddy products because they cut corners in the first place

 

I have decieded to forward a strongly worded letter complete with pictures and a report by a competant bodyshop to Daimler Chrysler UK first and see where that leads

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It certainly should last a lot longer than 6 years. I wonder why the servicing agent or MoT station hasn't brought this to your attention before.

My 10 year old English made car has no rust.

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I think you are a bit late in your claim, if there was a corrosion warranty these rarely last past 6 years and only the Japanese seem have the confidence in their quality to offer this sort of warranty.

 

If it is the van they really wont be interested.

 

Ring the first owner shown in the log book and ask him about anti-corrosion warranty, it's usually transferable if there is one.

 

A no win no fee solicitor might be a good idea, if they turn it down then you know you have no chance as they only take on cases they know will win and make them money.

 

The dealer I spoke with openly stated that repairs can be carried out on vehicles up to eight years old with manufacturer defects - so I am well inside that time frame

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It certainly should last a lot longer than 6 years. I wonder why the servicing agent or MoT station hasn't brought this to your attention before.

My 10 year old English made car has no rust.

 

Precisely

 

The rust (besides the usual stone chips etc) only became noticable in the last 9 months, and progressively more aggressive/noticable in the last 6 months. I have been in contact with Mercedes regarding this issue for the past 3 months

 

Once I get beyond 5 posts I will include some pictures - they are not pretty

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You are within the 6 years covered by the soga so you could try invoking that on the not of merchantable quality condition.

 

Pardon my ignorance but what is a "soga"

 

Where can I find more info regarding "Not of merchantable quality condition"

 

Could my vehicle also fall into the category of "Not fit for purpose" due to the sub standard bodywork

 

I`m just trying to include all the potential angles in my letter

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'Sale of Goods Act' but you would have to change your tack from the manufacturer to the seller.

 

Sale of Goods Act Quick Facts - BERR

 

Do you think your photos will be enough to convince a court:

 

If your claim under the Sale of Goods Act ends up in court, you may have to prove that the fault was present when you bought the item and not, for example, something that was the result of normal wear and tear.

 

What is an inherent fault?

A fault present at the time of purchase. Examples are:

• an error in design so that a product is manufactured incorrectly

• an error in manufacturing where a faulty component was inserted.

The "fault" may not become apparent immediately but it was there at the time of sale and so the product was not of satisfactory standard.

Edited by Conniff
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'Sale of Goods Act' but you would have to change your tack from the manufacturer to the seller.

 

Sale of Goods Act Quick Facts - BERR

 

Do you think your photos will be enough to convince a court:

 

Opinions?

 

Photobucket4.jpg

 

Photobucket5.jpg

 

Photobucket2.jpg

 

Photobucket3.jpg

 

Photobucket6.jpg

 

Photobucket7.jpg

 

My personal favourite:

 

Photobucket8.jpg

 

My VW, same age - ZERO rust

 

Photobucket1.jpg

 

This is a selection, there are lots more if anyone feels they would help

Edited by energysolutions
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My pleasure es - keep us informed of how it goes please.

 

I should mention that if it is on finance then the finance company will be jointly liable.

 

Sorry, no finance although I may have to sell a kidney to finance a respray if things dont go my way!

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I would have expect Merc to electostatically dip their cars like Rover used to do, if they do then they missed this one.

That is not good - did the examiner give a written report backing this up as well as verbally telling you it is the worse he had seen.

 

What version do you have, is it the car or van?

 

If things don't go your way, you wouldn't take it to the dealer for a respray but to a smaller independent bodyshop who do just as good a job (sometimes better) than dealers do.

 

It might be a good idea to pop into a bodyshop somewhere local and get a rough price for the job without telling them what the dealer has quoted.

Edited by Conniff
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I would expect Merc to electostatically dip their cars like Rover used to do.

That is not good - did the examiner give a written report backing this up as well as verbally telling you it is the worse he had seen.

 

What version do you have, is it the car or van?

 

Is that the same as "Galvanising"

 

If so Mercedes did not do this and it has been suggested that this is where their problems eminated from

 

Another theory is that as the vans were built in Spain the quailty of the bodywork/paint is poor and also Mercedes had to change from 2K to water based paint due to H+S reasons and the water based paint is not up to the job

 

My van (MK1 112CDI Vito) is proof that something is not as it should be..............

 

I havent got the report but pretty sure I can get it as everyone I have met/dealt with regarding this issue has been most helpful, would it be prudent to also get a second opinion from another MB approved bodyshop?

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I would have expect Merc to electostatically dip their cars like Rover used to do, if they do then they missed this one.

That is not good - did the examiner give a written report backing this up as well as verbally telling you it is the worse he had seen.

 

What version do you have, is it the car or van?

 

If things don't go your way, you wouldn't take it to the dealer for a respray but to a smaller independent bodyshop who do just as good a job (sometimes better) than dealers do.

 

It might be a good idea to pop into a bodyshop somewhere local and get a rough price for the job without telling them what the dealer has quoted.

 

If things dont go my way I will have no option but to pay for it myself as it will have to be addressed soon

 

I have a couple of friends in the trade and have already spoke with one of them but it will still cost quite a bit for something that I strongly feel I should not have to do

 

I have a friend that does signage who owes me a favour - We have decieded that if Mercedes doesnt offer some assistance I will get the vehicle sign written saying "BUY A MERCEDES AND GET RUSTY BODYWORK FOR FREE" before parking it at the dealership and informing the local rags

 

At least it may stop others from this rusty fate...............

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Is that the same as "Galvanising" - very similar but without the metal coating.

 

If so Mercedes did not do this and it has been suggested that this is where their problems eminated from

 

Another theory is that as the vans were built in Spain the quailty of the bodywork/paint is poor and also Mercedes had to change from 2K to water based paint due to H+S reasons and the water based paint is not up to the job - All european states now use water based, celulose is not allowed any longer.

 

My van (MK1 112CDI Vito) is proof that something is not as it should be.............. I think that it is expected that a van would have been abused more than a car.

 

I havent got the report but pretty sure I can get it as everyone I have met/dealt with regarding this issue has been most helpful, would it be prudent to also get a second opinion from another MB approved bodyshop? Yes, definately get as much paperwork and backup reports as possible.

 

I was thinking that you might need more than one quote submitted if you were to go after the seller, and you would probably like an idea of how much it is going to cost you if you have to pay for it. That's why I suggested that you pop into a local bodyshop and get a rough idea of how much it is going to cost.

 

A shame about having no finance as they would have split it down the middle and that would have made any claim a lot more acceptable to them.

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If things dont go my way I will have no option but to pay for it myself as it will have to be addressed soon

 

I have a couple of friends in the trade and have already spoke with one of them but it will still cost quite a bit for something that I strongly feel I should not have to do

 

I have a friend that does signage who owes me a favour - We have decieded that if Mercedes doesnt offer some assistance I will get the vehicle sign written saying "BUY A MERCEDES AND GET RUSTY BODYWORK FOR FREE" before parking it at the dealership and informing the local rags

 

At least it may stop others from this rusty fate...............

 

I saw someone do that not so long ago with something and he got redress.

 

If you want to keep the cost down, it is the labour that will be the bulk of the price so you could remove bumpers and do a lot of work that they don't have to do.

 

But we haven't got that far yet, lets get that claim into the seller and see what he comes up with first of all.

 

If the seller is the same as the dealer that has been serviceing it and gave you your the report then I would get the paperwork before I let on that I would be asking them to pay for it.

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Regarding the point:

 

I think that it is expected that a van would have been abused more than a car.

The van is a workhorse, yes, but it is inaccurate to say it has been abused - I have drove it for 70,000 miles on the same roads and it has been maintained/looked after in exactly the same manner as the car, probably better as it has been at the garage for minor problems on various occasions.

 

Most of my rust issues are in daft places where rust due to damage would be difficult ie along the metal strip the bonnet rests on or behind the door strips

 

The fact that Mercedes refuses any responsibility despite growing evidence to the contrary shows arrogance on their part

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Strange isn't it - when most cars rusted to buggery in no time, Merc's lasted forever....

Now most cars don't rust like they used to & Merc's are built to the same standards as 1970's BL & Fiat cars!

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Strange isn't it - when most cars rusted to buggery in no time, Merc's lasted forever....

Now most cars don't rust like they used to & Merc's are built to the same standards as 1970's BL & Fiat cars!

 

That is so true

 

Supposedly Fiat enlisted the help of Saab to cure their problematic bodywork - and cure it they did

 

Perhaps someone should forward Saabs number to Mercedes?

 

I have heard it said that Mercedes built between 1998 - 2004 were built by penny pinching accountants and not engineers - the results now are plain to see.................

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The van is a workhorse, yes, but it is inaccurate to say it has been abused - I have drove it for 70,000 miles on the same roads and it has been maintained/looked after in exactly the same manner as the car, probably better as it has been at the garage for minor problems on various occasions.

 

 

 

 

That was in general and not a direct reference to your van es.

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I hate to say this, but I do understand the decision taken by Mercedes. None of the pictures you have shown is corrosion that has started from the "inside" of the metal. All of the pictures show corrosion that has started from the outside. What you show has been started from penetration of the paintwork by moisture that has worked it's way inwards. This would have been initiated by tiny chips or scratches. Top coats are waterproof, primer coats are not.

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