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Front Suspension Collapse

  #1  
Old 05-31-2014, 01:26 AM
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Default Front Suspension Collapse

Last weekend the left front suspension on my 1999 E300 collapsed when I het a minor bump at 65 mph on the New Jersey Turnpike. I heard a few loud thuds from the bottom of the car. In the rearview mirror I saw cars behind me wildly veering around. When I took the wheel off the next day I realized why the cars behind me were veering around so crazily: They were trying to avoid the spring and other parts that fell out! Of course the spring perch had failed. Hard to imagine this as German engineering!

MB has offered to pay half the cost of repair--but only for the left side of the car. I suppose I will have to wait for the right side to collapse before they contribute to actually finishing the job. This is a defective design. I galls me that I have to pay have of the "recall" and it's only for half the problem! I filed a report with the NHTSA.

Is there a better way to fix this than simply repeating the defect? And while they have the suspension apart should I have any of the suspension parts replaced?

I read somewhere on this forum that MB eliminated this problem in later models of the w21O? Can anybody tell me how they did it?
 
  #2  
Old 06-01-2014, 11:47 AM
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[QUOTE=ForcedInduction;166500]Nothing will happen. The car is WAY out of warranty. It lasted the warranty period, thus Mercedes has no obligation to even pay the half they offered.
Take what they are giving and be happy they gave it!

Thanks! The warranty is not the issue (I bet GM wishes the out-of-warranty defense would work for them!!). This is a product defect that is a danger to MB drivers and their passengers. It also endangers any traffic behind these Benzes when the suspension parts go bouncing down the highway. How about a spring hitting a windshield at 65 mph? How about a car dodging those parts crashing into another?

MB's approach is dumb for another reason. They will have a very serious problem when somebody is seriously injured or killed by a defect they have known about for many years. Imagine defending this record with a German accent in front of an American jury?

(Given this W210 problem and the company's bull-headed response I would be reluctant to get a W211)
 
  #3  
Old 06-02-2014, 11:42 PM
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If the Problem was caused by Rust ForcedInduction is right.

Does New Jersey have periodic Safety Inspections? If so you might blame the Inspectors.

Also it is not unknow for a Suspension Sring on any old Car to break.
 
  #4  
Old 06-03-2014, 08:53 AM
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Mercedes is paying for one perch and half the labor to install it, but not the other one or my rental car. They call this a "good will" gesture to "keep me in the brand." I'll take the money, of course, but their cavalier attitude toward safety does not instill much confidence in "the brand."

Actually this defect was never picked up and brought to my attention by the MB technicians, who used to be called mechanics. It was called to my attention by the dealer's remote body shop, with the strong suggestion to complain to MB. But no hint that the car was not safe to drive.

Spring and suspension failures are not something my friends and I have experienced in my decades of car ownership. A friend has 375k on his 1987 300D (W124) and is unaware of any such problem. A friend has at least 250k on his 1995 Chevy Tahoe but no suspension collapse yet.

This is the second time I have had a safety concern with a German car. The first involved our 1994 Audi S4 turbo quattro, by then at least 50,000 miles past its warranty. A connection on the fuel line leaked gasoline on the right front fender inside the engine compartment. The leaking fuel did not drop on the engine or exhaust but puddled on the ground. Owing to the nature of fuel line fixing it required lowering the engine, the tgransmission, the prop shaft and the rear differential, as I recall, to replace the one-piece fuel line at a dizzying price. The Audi dealer went to bat for us and Audi took care of the WHOLE job. THeir "gesture" certainly helped to keep us in the brand. That was our 2d Audi and we got two more after that.

I plan to stop in to the MB dealer's showroom and have a chat with the sales manager.
 
  #5  
Old 06-05-2014, 11:14 PM
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Once the Mercedes is fixed sell it and get a Japanese, US or ??? Car.
 
  #6  
Old 06-06-2014, 04:05 PM
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Well, the car is fixed now. It turns out when the company told me they'd pay for the parts they meant only a new coil spring, not the spring perch and related parts. But now the car has a slight starboard list. The left side of the car (measured in the rear) is 0.75 to 1.0 inches higher than the right. I have the impression that the car is now steering slightly to the right but that may just be a result of the crown on local roads. I was told that the car got a front-end alignment as part of the job. Should I be concerned about the car not being level??

P.S. to Diesel9112: I have no plans for a Japanese or Asian car, although maybe I should make an exception for Volvo.
 
  #7  
Old 06-07-2014, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
And you will be in exactly the same boat. Even more likely too since strut suspensions common to FWD cars are even more prone to wear/rust and spring/perch failure.

Plus, the Japanese do not have an iron ore industry and thus rely on scrap steel imported to them to make parts. That means you get variable material quality. The Germans have their own iron ore mines and make high quality steel.

Thats why its very common to see rusted out Toyotas while Mercedes can last 30+ years with basic care. Mercedes only had a rust issue recently because they experimented with water-based paints and it didn't work well. (Obviously any car will rust if its not washed frequently in winter)
Yes, but I figured the expectaitons of quality would be lower and the repairs might even be cheaper.
 
  #8  
Old 06-07-2014, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mcguirejw View Post
Well, the car is fixed now. It turns out when the company told me they'd pay for the parts they meant only a new coil spring, not the spring perch and related parts. But now the car has a slight starboard list. The left side of the car (measured in the rear) is 0.75 to 1.0 inches higher than the right. I have the impression that the car is now steering slightly to the right but that may just be a result of the crown on local roads. I was told that the car got a front-end alignment as part of the job. Should I be concerned about the car not being level??

P.S. to Diesel9112: I have no plans for a Japanese or Asian car, although maybe I should make an exception for Volvo.
I own a 1982 Volvo 244GL Diesel. If the Milage and the Engine matched at 148,000 Miles the Engine was worn out (It is a VW Engine sort of a 6 Cylinder Rabbit Engine). I rebuilt the Block with over sized Pistons (Brazil) and reused the Cylinder Head as is.
Also the

After the Engine Work the Volvo has been less work than the Mercedes has been but that is partly because it is a less complicated Car.
I have no idea how a Newer Volvo compares to a newer Mercedes but rust can get to any Car.
 
  #9  
Old 06-13-2014, 05:27 PM
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I certainly have had to keep after body rusting.
 
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