Clarification of Answer by
01 Nov 2002 12:38 PST
Ok, first, the list of recalls and technical bulletins are available
You can access the fulltext of all recalls and bulletins for a single
car for an annual fee of $24.95. ($39.90 for two cars.)
If you feel you have a safety issue, you may want want to fill out the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's online complaint form
This data is reviewed, and if a significant number of owners have an
issue legitimately related to safety, a report is created and sent to
the manufacturer. If there are a large number of people involved, it
can lead to a recall -- the NHTSA is the driving force behind most
vehicle recalls. They may also be able to tell you how many other
people have filed similar complaints.
As this is apparently a common problem, I think I now also know how to
answer my clarification request: The actual wire insulation is
degrading, and causing engine problems.
This thread provides many useful links to a similar problem with
1993-1995 C280 models, which may be related:
Because this is a common problem and there is no mention of official
coverage from MBUSA, I think it is safe to assume that they have not
officially acknowledged the problem -- in my experience these kinds of
things pop up very quickly on these message boards. Due to its
frequency, Mercedes is certainly aware of the issue, but has
apparently declined to take a unified stance on it. This comment
pretty sums up the problem, which I can't say is uncommon for any
"As far as the automaker.....there is no way in hell that anything
will be published by them officially, putting them on the hook for
millions of dollars in repairs and bad press."
I assume that you have this problem, and are faced with wanting MBUSA
to cover the repair charges. This does appear to be possible with some
wrangling on the case-by-case basis you mention via a decision to
cover it under "goodwill" -- an allotment of money given to each
dealer to apply at their discretion. Because it is at the dealer's
discretion, it may pay to try different dealers until you find one
willing to cover it. It sounds like they are more likely to provide
such coverage if the car has relatively low miles.
And probably the best thread on the issue, with lots of tips for
getting this covered under the "goodwill" program:
Note that these threads mentions that there was a wiring harness
"95-0223 Safety Recall - Wiring Harness Chafing/Shorting
95V031000 Wire Harness Protecter Installation"
but I don't believe that this particular recall applies to your
specific model. You may want to ask MBUSA about this, if you haven't
already, as it is apparently based on VIN number.