2003 E Class Comand/Nav Debacle

sovrensovren Member Posts: 17
edited March 2014 in Mercedes-Benz
Let's have a chat where we can share ideas about what we are being offered. and hopefully banding together to get the best offer possible.

Personally I don't think a discounted, end of model year 2003 car is good enough? Do you agree? I am pushing for a 2004. Anybody else trying? Has anyone gotten a 2004?


  • jeffk9jeffk9 Member Posts: 22
    Are you referring to the fact that you can not get nav on an '03 E320, even though they promised that you could when you bought the car ? If so, I am in this category !
  • sovrensovren Member Posts: 17
    Yes Jeffk9, that's exactly what I am talking about.

    Have they made you an offer yet? I have not received ANY correspondence yet from my dealer or direct from Mercedes.

    I am going to push HARD for a 2004. Giving me a end of model year, discounted, re-wired 2003 is not sufficient. Shouldn't cost them any more to give me an '04. It will make me a happy customer more likely to be a repeat buyer. Also it helps at resale time since the car will be worth a few grand more. Seems like a valid request for the hassle they have put me through. My car is almost 7 months old and I want my NAV system.

    Anybody think I'm off base here? Post your thoughts here.
  • jeffk9jeffk9 Member Posts: 22
    Sovren, I have asked MBZ to buy my car back twice. My main complaint has been small defects in workmanship,audio system problem, and teleaide problems. They have given me a token ammount of money for the inconvenience of bringing my car in four times. I am still not satisfied with this car. It is the third MBZ I have owned, and probbaly the worst built car I have owned.
  • sovrensovren Member Posts: 17
    I had problems with my last car a 2001 C320. They ended up buying it back and I replaced it with my 2003 E320. Now they have to buy this back. I got no luck. I do want a 2004. I feel all of us with these cars deserve it. Please post here so we have strength in numbers to negotiate getting a 2004!
  • irvnirvn Member Posts: 11
    I have a 2000 E430 with the COMAND system and the car has been problematic from the start. I would wait until 2005 or so when Nokia comes out with the COMAND II. I think MB's are better when you keep the options simple; no phone or NAV. I have both and have had nothing but electrical problems. I cannot say that I would buy another MB. . . .
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    The COMAND system leaves a LOT to be desired. I investigate, report and testify in lemon law cases and I've been involved in more than a few involving this MB Nav system.

    One CLK 430 had the system replaced 7 times (at $5,400 a copy) in just over a year. And at trial, MB won, because the jury couldn't feel sorry for a guy with a $70,000 car.

    It's a tough go for the client (car owner) and the attorney. You taken 8 people (in NEw Jersey, for instance) away from their $8 an hour jobs; they're losing two day's pay and have to sit in court for a MB owner....MB owners simply don't get the same justice as someone who owns a Chevy Cavalier or Ford Focus.

    Regardless of how the law reads, it's based on what the jury feels.
  • boo20boo20 Member Posts: 85
    Don't state lemom laws have wording to the effect that the defect has to affect safety or a significant operational characteristic of the car? Maybe the jury got it right after all.

    We could use fewer lawyers in Amercia.
  • bgetahunbgetahun Member Posts: 6
    If you had prepaid for the navigation, you can get a brand new car. I was told i could pay for it later with a coupon that brought it down to $1625, needless to say, the MB rep called me and said the dealerships were told not to sell any MB with NAV's on order in end of Jan or Feb. I am extremely pissed off that the sales rep and finance told me not to prepay. Now the MB rep says its up to the dealership. And you know that is going to be useless. I am going to fight it all the way. Its pathetic that a $60k car can not have NAV, you have $24 Camry's with it not to mention others. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know, i am still waiting for a call from the Dealership Manager.
  • bgetahunbgetahun Member Posts: 6
    Jeffk9, i have the same problem as you, the teleaide and srs system is going haywire. Power seats move by themselves and other crazy stuff. The dealer still has the car and not fixed it yet. I should never have bought on the first year, they always have a lot of issues. Love to get rid of this car. this plus the no Nav is really souring me on MB
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    there area actually 3 laws that overlap, with your state's lemon law being the most restrictive, the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Improvement Act extending time and mileage requirements and the Uniform Commerical Code, with its phrasing of "implied warranty of merchantibility" covering just about everything else.

    Those COMAND systems control a lot more than just the NAV system, and even if it were just a NAV system, if there was a problem, it would still be considered a product "defect".
  • jeffk9jeffk9 Member Posts: 22
    The more I think about it, do I want a first year nav system ? I'm just disgusted with the car, and with myself for buying the car. I had asked the dealer to get MB to take me out of it and I would take an S430. Of course, they never got back to me !Do I want to get deeper in and take another E or an S. Im to busy kicking myself for buying a first year car, I will never to that again, I hope
  • sovrensovren Member Posts: 17
    I sent my demand letter in today to the dealership requesting a 2004 to replace my 2003. I will keep you all posted. Anybody had any luck with this yet? If yes, please post your tactics for all to use. If you have ordered a replacement 2003, did they throw in any extras?

    I have yet to receive ANY correspondence regarding this issue from either Mercedes or the dealer. I have confirmed I am on the list for replacement, but no contact from anybody yet.
  • sovrensovren Member Posts: 17
    I just traded some e-mails with Donald at autospies.com. He is the one that first broke the news of the buyback.

    I asked him if he had any advice for bargaining for a 2004 instead of a 2003.

    His advice... Plain, simple and right on target:
    Insist you get a 2004. Tell them that's the only thing that will satisfy you.

    I'm going with that advice.
  • bgetahunbgetahun Member Posts: 6
    After numerous phone calls, i have been promised a 2004 E500, i have asked for the terms to be spelled out on paper. Do not waste your time talking to the dealership managers, call MB and get a rep to go through the process. Third MB rep that handled the mid-atlantic area dealers did all the talking and got it resolved between the dealer and MB. The dealer is paying $3000 and MB will make up diff on trade in and i pay for taxes again on new E500. I can live with that and so i agreed. Good luck.
  • sovrensovren Member Posts: 17
    Please keep us posted on your success. I am working with customer service in NJ. I hope to hear on my 2004 soon
  • bgetahunbgetahun Member Posts: 6
    Finally got a confirmation letter from the market manager of our region(washington dc). Was promised August but letter states September is arrival date, which is ok. As i said before, do not waste your time with dealers, get the wheels rolling with the MB regional rep. If you had anything written about nav or if you prepaid, you will get a new e500 without much struggle. Its the ones like me who trusted the dealer to make good on promises to retrofit it in when it becomes available that had to fight to get it resolved. MB rep forced dealer to fork over money to help with trade-in. I couldnt do it with all my phonecalls and letters.
  • mbnotformembnotforme Member Posts: 3
    Just learned MB CANNOT retrofit this car with the Nav system as initially claimed, AND WILL NOT READILY DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS ENGINEERING AND MARKETING FIASCO UNLESS ONE WAS FOOLISH ENOUGH TO PREPAY for nav( i.e. loan MB $2000) for a product with an unannounced delivery date. (Called paying for vaporware in my field.)
    Mislead about the availability of a Nav system on the E320,2003 even tho' my car is "pre-wired" for Command system. Dealer blames MB, "who has essentially told us new product adapters to jump in the lake.
     World class service?-No way! It's the is the worst I've seen and reminds me of the old Chrysler. And the service center is "not required" to tell me who the "PROPER PEOPLE" to whom they are forwarding my complaint are.
    Dealer David Michael (NJ)is unwilling to do anything about this. It's the "not my problem" phenomenon. ""IT'S MB'S fault"
     By the way MB 2003 is SLOOOW from 0-30mph.
    Said one MB salesperson, "it's not a performance car" I'll say!
  • sovrensovren Member Posts: 17
    Response was no way you're getting a 2004....and nobody else is either. This is a quote: "If they say they are or are getting anything "thrown in" they are lying!

    Real attitude. Makes me want to get the new car... put it right up for sale and get a different car. I'm getting sour on MB.
  • pvh3pvh3 Member Posts: 15
    I bought this car in Jan '03 after turning in a leased '98 SL500. Had a lot of problems w/the SL but I guess I didn't learn my lesson.

    The E has been in the shop at least 5 times for the same problem, i.e., the tele aid SOS malfunction comes on for no reason and the audio system (cd changer, radio and casette deck) go bonkers. Often, instead of hearing music, I just hear a crackling noise that sounds like static. I don't have the COMMAND/NAV system by the way. Just the premium sound system and I subscribe to teleaid.
    Is anyone else experiencing this?
  • bjrobertstxbjrobertstx Member Posts: 2
    I purchased my 2003 E320 in 11/03. Currently there are about 3200 miles on it. I subscribe to teleaid too. I have the premium sound system and the audio system (radio, cd, cassette) has gone out 3 times. On one of the occasions the system failed for 3 days and suddenly started working again. That only lasted for a couple of days. The audio failed to operate again in 2 separate instances. When the audio fails, the teleaid has difficulty in working too. The MB technician fixed the problem by resetting the fuse and flash audio gateway but the fix may not last. I am told MB is aware of this problem. Anyone with knowledge of MB plans for permanently addressing this problem?
  • benzownerbenzowner Member Posts: 20
    The reason why there are many electrical problems on cars today. Is that cars are still on 12V/14V systems. The new electronic devices require more power. Here is a good site to go to, it is in PDF so you will need acrobat reader.

  • pvh3pvh3 Member Posts: 15
    Hi. It sounds like we are having the same problem. (See my post prior to yours.) I have had the car in the shop 5 times already and it's going back for a 6th next week. They keep blaming it on the "gateway."

    MB released a fix on CD ROM 3 weeks ago that was supposed to fix this problem since it has shown up on cars all over the country. However, it was not successful on my car. So, this time around they are having a "corporate" technician come to the dealer and if he can't fix it, they are going to buy the car back. To tell the truth, I really wish they could just fix this problem because the car is fine otherwise.

    Please, keep me posted on your progress.
  • jeffk13jeffk13 Member Posts: 3
    My E320 has the same problems as yours. Car is going back to shop on Thurday. Same thing, tele-aide , audio gateway, things falling off car. I would like MBZ to buy back car.
  • louie23louie23 Member Posts: 2
    I took delivery of a loaded (with every option except distronic cruise) in mid April. We were told by sales department not to prepay for navi system and voice activation since they weren't available when car was ordered in late December. We listened to dealer, and now can't get any compensation. They say they are working with zone manager and will let us know around July 4th if anything can be done, whatever that means. I feel we're getting the old runaround. If those of us who did not prepay, but were assured we would get these options got together, perhaps we could some pressure on Mercedes. This is our fourth Mercedes and I am thoroughly disgusted with the company. When I called MBUSA and spoke to a rep I was told to go back to the dealer. Dealer says they just did what they were told to do-to say options would be coming in. Any other ideas with this, let me know.
  • bjrobertstxbjrobertstx Member Posts: 2
    I tell you- it is rather disconcerting for me to have to address problems on a new car. I wrote to MB, via their website, to ask about their strategies for addressing this audio problem. That was 2 days ago- and no response yet. I'll let you know what I hear from this concerning this matter (if I do).

    If I am to expect that this is going to be an ongoing and continual problem- I too would pursue a buy back.

    PVH- how you get the concession of a buy back---? because of the audio?
  • pvh3pvh3 Member Posts: 15
    My car went back to the shop today. The technican from MB corporate is supposed to be working on it. They called me this evening and told me that the lead technician from the dealer is taking the car home with him because he is having a hard time recreating the problem w/the audio system crackling and what not. Sheesh!

    Anyway, when I told the service manager that I was still having the problem w/the sound system and the teleaid, he said that if they couldn't fix it this time they would have no choice but to buy the car back.

    Oh, one other thing, a corporate rep called me today from the dealer and said that the fix they applied to fix the errant "tele aid SOS visit workship" problem was the WRONG ONE!!! There is no fix for that yet! Sheesh again.

    BMW/Lexus/Infinity/Jaguar here I come. Yes, I know you can have problems w/any car but this is my second experience w/a high-end MB and as you said, it is very, very disconcerting.
  • fowvayfowvay Member Posts: 29
    PVH3, I'd scratch BMW from your list of manufacturers that you'll shop after your MB experience. Their service is the absolute worst I've ever experienced. In fact, I am finished shopping the European marques due to poor relations with their customers.
  • thebackrowthebackrow Member Posts: 2
    Hey there,

    I just discovered this board two days ago...I see a lot of others are having pretty much the same problems I am with the new E. When I first got the E500 delivered (without nav at dealers advice) within the first week it sounded like cans were being dragged off the back of the car. Faulty parking brake. The audio also shuts on and off randomly, am/fm doesnt come in clear (tested on other cars in my area and its fine), the speaker just randomly blew out this weekend, air suspension just stopped working this weekend as well, the voice controls for the phone dont work properly, and others Ive tried to block out of my memory. The nav fiasco is angering me as well, I was told it could be retrofitted and now it cant. Mercedes is going to have a lot of 2003 e-class cars because it looks like they are going to have to buy back a lot of these. What geniuses thought of not putting the nav in this car, especially when low end cars can have them. I just called up the regional manager and left message, wondering what the best approach is to dealing with corporate Benz? Does anyone also know the threshold for the number of problems where they just buy it back? Thanks

  • pvh3pvh3 Member Posts: 15
    You may have a point there. I'm sort of leaning towards the Lexus SC430. It's not that Lexus cars don't have problems but I have heard nothing but good things about their level of customer satisfaction. MB seems to have the attitude that you should be honored that they allowed you to purchase one of their cars.
  • pvh3pvh3 Member Posts: 15
    There is a very good web site that runs down the lemon laws of each state. (Do a google search on lemon laws.) The only hard part is sifting through the legal mumbo-jumbo.

    I am so down on MB right now that I will probably just trade my EClass (w/disclosure, of course) to some dealer that has a car that he's desperate to deal on. After all, car sales are slow right about now.

    In the universe of big problems, having a luxury car that isn't quite right does not qualify as a major problem. But it sure is a disappointment. I will be letting MB know exactly how I feel, as if that would help.
  • rbwagrbwag Member Posts: 2
    I too have purchased an E500 in December. The dealer (who is terrific) gave me an internal MB memo on the retrofit issue and the discount for waiting 'til spring. As a result I purchased the car with the understanding that it will be installed sometime in the spring.

    Recently I heard from my sales person that the NAV cannot be retrofitted but not to worry. MB will make it attractive to get a 2004 simply for the price difference and some incentive discount. Cars will be available around November. I received a 2004 configurator and it contains a lot of new and/or bundled features to bring the price up while the base price remains the same.

    I really like my E500 and do want to have the new NAV system. I just hope the "deal" will not make me feel bad about it all.
  • mbnotformembnotforme Member Posts: 3
    Today's (7/22) Wall St Journal refers to the Nav debacle problem on pp D1,D4.

    MB has allegedly decided to buy back the car for those who prepaid, and provide a coupon for $3250 to those who had wanted the retrofit but failed to prepay.

    I wonder how long it will take my "dealer," David Michael, to alert me to the solution, since their previous "go fish" reponse in June.

    I only wish the coupon was towards purchase of the Audi A8. There's a car that performs, rather than the 320, which is dead on it's wheels as far as I'm concerned.

    MB, not for me-only a fool makes the same mistake twice.
  • boo20boo20 Member Posts: 85
    Boy if you think that MBs are unreliable just wait till you get your hands on that Audi. You would be better off buying a Kia.
  • davebarrydavebarry Member Posts: 1
    Hi, you wrote that you received a 2004 configurator. can you please explain what that is and how I can get more info on the 2004 E320 model and options?
  • bgetahunbgetahun Member Posts: 6
    Got a call from Dealer confirming options and arrival date, middle of Sept. I had bought the e5oo on March 25, did not prepay but was promised coupon price of $1600 for retro fit. I am just saying what worked for me, i fought with dealer without any luck, would not even return my calls at a certain point. The regional marketing rep was kind enough to listen, said no a couple of times, finanially negociated with dealer and promised me a 2004 E500 with NAV. I am paying for Nav at cost and paying sales tax again. I can live with that if it all goes well, got everything in writing and dealer confirms, so i have my fingers crossed. Do not accept no, ask for higher position person when you hit a wall, and good luck. I will keep all posted!! Also, my friend who is waiting for 2004 BMW 530 with NAV has been delayed from Sept to March delivery. Germans have issues with NAV, they need to look at Lexus's system, voice activation and slick!!!
  • footiefootie Member Posts: 636
    The 42 volt standard is there to INCREASE the power available to future cars. European and Domestic big3 car manufacturers want to add power to do stuff like 'instant start engines' ( i.e. what Toyota and Honda are already doing in the Prius and Civic hybrids ).

    I don't think it's likely that we'll be able to retrofit a future 42 volt system in a buggy 03 Mercedes, nor would it help a flakey electrical system designed for 12 volts get well.
  • rbwagrbwag Member Posts: 2
    A MB dealer can give you a pre-printed typed configurator. Options are a bit differently packaged but except for NAV and automatic trunk closer, everything is more or less in line with the 2003 options. Dealer does not have prices as yet but hears that prices will be about the same.
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