So having waited all day for a call that never came I drove down to Mercedes Benz of Boston to speak with the Dealer Principle (Andy Ferrier)myself.
Oddly he was not aware of the issues I have been experiencing.
Once the service manager had explained to him the whole chain of events, I think he got it.
So Andy explained that there was a process he had to follow with Mercedes Benz UK. At this stage we are potentially looking at getting the vehicle exchanged although not with a C Class.
Clearly this is going to take a few days so Andy stated that he accepted my rejection of the vehicle and the grounds for doing it but that I should retain use of the vehicle in the meantime whilst he follows due process to sort this.
Right now I am happy to let him do that. I would rather we found a solution amicably.
So on Andys request I have confirmed our meeting in writing and sent a letter to both Andy and Mercedes Benz UK. Here is a copy of that letter:
6th August 2012
Mercedes Benz UK Ltd
Formal Rejection of Mercedes Benz Car C350 CDI Estate – XXXXXXX
Dear Sir or Madam
This letter serves formal notice of my rejection of the above plated Mercedes Benz C350 CDI Estate car as defined under the Sale of Goods Act on the grounds of not providing Satisfactory Quality.
Since taking delivery of this vehicle from new, it has been plagued by a number of squeaks and rattles from various parts of the vehicle although the majority have been concentrated around the centre console, dashboard area and seatbelt mechanisms.
The car has been returned to the dealer which in this case is Mercedes Benz of Boston on a number of occasions where each time they have either failed to fix the problem of simply created a new set of squeaks and rattles somewhere else.
On a number of occasions I have expressed my disappointment to both the Boston service team and Listers head office in Lincoln and in each case, I have been told to return the vehicle to the dealer for them to look at it again.
The time scales have been exaggerated at the same time by the difficult nature of identifying the location of said rattles. As many of them have proven to be dependent on the ambient temperature a number of test drives with the dealer staff have resulted in the rattles not being observers and thus no clue as to where to start. Likewise test runs have needed to be aborted due to inclement weather as the noise of raindrops on the windscreen has drowned out the rattles.
All this has compounded to a position where on the 9th of July, the vehicle was given to the dealership for a period of Two weeks. This gave the dealer time to do extended test drives thus being able to observe all the rattles and then having time to fix them.
Upon collecting the vehicle after it had been with the dealer for 2 weeks, I was somewhat disappointed (to put it mildly) that rattles were still present from behind the dashboard and from the driver’s seatbelt directly next to my right ear.
On the 24th of July I telephoned Mercedes Benz UK customer service with the hope that perhaps the manufacturer of the vehicle could do something. My concerns were “noted” and then I received a follow up call an hour or so later from Darren on the customer services team of Listers based in Lincoln.
Again I was asked to return the vehicle to the dealer so that they could have another go at fixing it.
At this stage I made it very clear that if the problems were not resolved, I would be looking to reject the car as I have given the supplying dealer ample opportunity to rectify the problems.
The car was delivered back to the dealers on the 1st of August and I collected it on the afternoon of Friday the 3rd of August.
It still rattles and squeaks!
So as of today I have visited the supplying dealer in Boston and formally rejected the vehicle as is my right under the sale of goods act as the vehicle is clearly not of satisfactory quality and even though the supplying dealer has attempted to rectify this on several occasions, they have failed.
At a meeting today at the Mercedes Benz of Boston showroom where I met with the Dealer Principle (Andy Ferrier) and the Service Manager (Dave Allerton) Andy has explained that there is now a process he needs to follow which he will do.
So right now I am prepared to let Andy and his team attempt to “put things right” here.
I believe that no matter what work is carried out on my vehicle, it will always suffer from quality issues which have so far manifested themselves as squeaks and rattles but have also included rust around the front brake callipers and steaming up instrument binnacles.
Indeed I believe that this quality problem extends to the current C Class range in general.
Whilst my vehicle was in for 2 weeks in July, the loan car was a C220 CDI Coupe (FY61 ANR) which whilst the same age as my car, had actually done 15,000 miles. This vehicle had many more squeaks and rattles than my car ever had and from speaking with other owners of 2012 model year C Class cars, it seems I am not alone and that to my untrained eye is down to compromises being made on the quality of plastics and materials being used in the manufacturing process.
As such I am not prepared to accept another C Class Mercedes Benz as a replacement for fear that such a vehicle will suffer from the same problems. Whilst an E Class is a possible solution, I will need to weigh this up against such a vehicle having higher running costs (fuel, insurance and service) and being physically bigger.
So I am now waiting to see what Andy Ferrier and his team come up with as a solution to this problem. To date I have been more than impressed with the service and the respect shown to both me and my vehicle by the team at Mercedes Benz in Boston only let down by the vehicle supplied by Mercedes Benz themselves. I would rather not find myself in a position where I am demanding a full refund and having to go car shopping again but this outcome is now firmly in Andy’s hands
So to summarise
After months of trying to fix build quality issues on my new C Class Estate, the dealer has failed. The vehicle has now spent close to a month off the road in the possession of the dealer.
I believe this is down to the use of sub-standard and poor quality materials used during manufacturer but clearly the car is NOT of satisfactory quality so after giving the supplying dealer ample opportunity to rectify the problem I am left with no option than to reject the vehicle as is my statutory right under the sale of goods act.
At this stage I am prepared to let Andy Ferrier see what he can do regarding a replacement vehicle but reserve the right to demand a full and prompt refund if something suitable cannot be agreed.
So I am now looking to Mercedes Benz UK and Mercedes Benz of Boston to “put things right” whatever that may look like. I have been disappointed by the quality of the vehicle supplied but am hoping that this is limited to the C Class only and that a solution can be found that can restore my faith and confidence in the Mercedes brand