Dealer Customer Service

Can you help me find a source for helping with a service issue. I cosigned for a preowned 2006 Mercedes in Dec. 2008…I noticed her tires were wearing badly in the front…When she took her car in on January 27, 2009 the dealer (Mercedes Laguna Niguel) said that it was caused by the alignment but that her year warranty was up. They are not taking responsibility for the tires or the alignment even though the alignment problem must have occurred within the one year warranty to have caused the wear to the tires. They also no longer carry the brand of Michilen (sp?) Tires that are on the car. My daughter said I can’t afford new tires after the first year (only 10,000 miles) and I am unemployed…The assistant service representative, John, said to my daugther, boy I wish I could help but I can’t because then I would be unemployed. Is there someone that can help us with this.

The tires should have been rotated at least once within the 10k miles, the standard is every 6-7k miles. The alignment issue would have come to light then. Also she should have noticed the car wandering to either side of the road. In short, she had plenty of time to address this before the warranty ran out, I don’t think there’s anything you can do in terms of them paying for anything.

If $ was really that tight, I certainly would not be driving a MB…

Oh if you cosigned in Dec 08 and took the car in sometime in Jan 09, then only 1 month elapsed, not one year, did you make a typo?

You do not have to go to MB to replace the tires. They will charge very high for the same product at tire chain. Make sure the tire chain performs alignments (some do fronts free with purchase).

Michelin tires are great tires in general but have a top tier price. I would suggest maybe asking for a less expensive brand like Kumho(quality Korean). Shop around for tires.

You may call MB and get customer care involved. No idea how they will respond but worth a try.

Service intervals are 10-15k miles typically on a MB. They may not even recommend rotations, I know BMW does not.

Even if the warranty was in effect, wheel alignment is not something that is normally covered by warranty.

On a brand-new car, dealers will often do an alignment during the first 2-3 months under the terms of the new car warranty, but once that new car is more than a few months old, wheel alignments are the responsibility of the car owner, not the vehicle manufacturer.

On a used car, wheel alignments are not the responsibility of the vehicle manufacturer.
And, despite the fact that this pre-owned MB likely cost more than many brand new cars, it is a used car.

Sorry for the bad news.

You can have the car aligned at lots of places. Get on the phone and check prices and make sure you give them the year, make, and model of the car. If the tires on the front are still legal, move them to the back and put the rear tires on the front. Perhaps this can keep her on the road for 5 or 10K miles or until a job is obtained.

Perhaps keeping an expensive car like a MB under the circumstances is just too much of an economic strain. Look at selling it and finding a car that is less expensive to operate.

yes, it was a typo…should be 2010…
We purchased the car when she had a good job but got layed off…She is still responsible for paying for the car…Can you actually say that you think a car with less than 10,000 miles would go through a pair of tires within a few months with an alignment issue??..I do agree she would have noticed the alignment being an issue.

The tires were rotated in August 2009 and the dealer didn’t say anything was wrong.

I stand corrected. I had a wacky teacher in High school who used to say “Mercedes Benz… Engineered like NO other car (sarcastically).”

OP: I hope everything works out with the car, I didn’t mean to sound so jaded in my earlier post. Take care.

I once went through a tire in less than 500 miles with an alignment issue. So yes, it is entirely possible to eat up a pair of tires in that time/mileage frame. One thing is for sure, you need an alignment and a set of tires. The car is useless without them. I doubt you’ll get the dealership to pay for either. IMHO, alignment issues are the responsibility of the owner since they can be caused by driving through pot holes etc and are not necessarily the result of some defect that would be covered under the warranty. Regardless, it is expired and so by the letter of the law, they’re off the hook.

So how do you recover? If it were mine, I would buy a set of junkyard tires. You might be surprised at the quality of tires you can buy at a junkyard. I’ve gotten practically brand new tires for a fraction of the cost of new when I was younger and pinching pennies. Then get an alignment and hope that they don’t find some bent/broken/worn out suspension component is at fault…

While I sympathise with the situation, it is not the dealer’s responsibility anymore. An alignment is considered maintenance and needs to be done periodically anyway unless there is something worn or broken. You really just need to find a way to have it aligned and replace the tires. It may be time to think about selling it for something more in line with current economic conditions. You also have to realize that by co-signing, you have all of the responsibilities of the owner but none of the authorities. You only put yourself in that position for people you love.

Alignment, tire rotations, and often a mechanical fault that contributes to premature tire wear are the responsibility of the car’s owner.
Faults could be worn or bent suspension components due to potholes, collisions, etc. and yes, tires can get chewed up very quickly if the alignment is off.

The car was 3 years old when she bought it so anything could have happened in that 3 years; or even after she bought it. One big pothole or curb strike can do it.

Your daughter owns a high end car that she bought used, the warranty is up, and there is no sense is looking for a freebie; which is something that many car owners want.
I do question your co-signing a note on a 3 year old Benz for your daughter. There surely must have been a few less pricy alternatives floating around.

This right here is something. At least a glimmer.

I am just trying to get information on tire wear and alignment…I do not appreciate a lecture on co-signing. How dare you.

ok gives good advice. He basically just paraphrased what the rest of us said. I think you took it a little bit too hard. Again, I hope everything works out for you. An alignment really isn’t that big of a deal to have done.

Sorry if you’re offended by my comments. (sounds like a politician, huh?)

You are the one asking the dealer to take “responsibility” for an issue that is considered normal maintenance and on a car that is out of warranty to boot.
Warranty would not cover an alignment or tires, unless the dealer just decided to do it out of the goodness of their heart.

A factory warranty would cover this if there were a known manufacturing defect but this would have appeared long ago.
You might ask the daughter if she’s hit any large potholes or curb markers but most people have a tendency to completely forget something like this happening.

He dares because you asked for advice.A car like a Mercedes is not something anyone needs, if you have to get a cosigner it is obvious that whoever is doing the financing believes you can’t afford it because they won’t sell it to you unless you have someone with deeper pockets to sign on. And they were right!

Ms. Ferguson

Have you read my above post from 1:56 PM?
I have given you the unvarnished truth about warranties vis-a-vis used cars.

Incidentally, I am curious about whether you or your daughter ever read the terms of the warranty that came with the car. I rather doubt that it mentions anything about wheel alignments, since that is something that is up to the owner of a used car, but if you find something to the contrary, I would certainly like to hear the details.

well bonnie, i have to take you to task for your response. this is about mechanical wear and tear. understanding what is “normal” and “acceptable” is what you are inquiring about. i am sorry that you are ‘sore’ about what others reply with. BUT, they are being unfailingly honest with their thoughts. Sorry!

I don’t mean to sound so crass but the gentleman they talked to in the service department is going to hear this “why should I have to pay” thing every day of the week.

OP, if you’re still following the thread you might try this. Go in and talk to the Used Car sales manager and ask if they could do a bit of good will tire/alignment for you. Keep it polite and don’t get irate if they refuse to do so. The worst that can happen is they will say no and you’ve wasted a few minutes of time.
If they say yes then you’re off the hook; temporarily.

Also, I have a strong feeling this car needs, and will probably need, some other things now and in the near future maintenance wise. What’s going to happen then? Benz maintenance ain’t cheap.