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View Full Version : Broke Down - 2012 3.0 Liter Turbo - Need Advice


SteveLeBard
03-22-2017, 11:49 PM
I have a 2012 Sprinter 3500 w/3.0 Liter Turbo Engine. It's a Winnebago View that I purchased a few months ago with 9,000 miles on it. I bought it from a Winnebago dealer in Iowa and drove it back to California. The dealer told me that they changed the oil (at 9,000) and Mercedes records show that the previous owner changed the oil at 6600 miles.
Last weekend we took a 600 mile round trip to San Diego. I decided to change the oil before our trip - purchased the oil and filter from Mercedes - while under the rig I noticed that there was oil on one of the cross bars - just a few drops. We took our trip and I kept a close eye on the oil - it never went down. Today I went down to Oxnard Mercedes (100 miles from home) thinking that I could get it repaired under the 5 year 100,000 mile engine warranty. The Service Advisor gave me and estimate of $2394.65 to repair a turbo leak. The mechanic said that the leak was from a broken bolt on the turbo beam (oil gallery/oil tube). I was shocked at the repair cost - told him that the main reason I bought the Mercedes diesel was because of the engine's reputation and that I'm a disabled veteran and can not afford a $2400 repair. Then I called Mercedes and they said that they would look at the situation and get back to me within 24 hours. I could use some advice on what way to go from here. The vehicle has 13,000 miles on it and has had 3 oil changes. Other that this problem the vehicle is in immaculate condition.

ecowhale
03-23-2017, 12:55 AM
The warranty seems to be transferable; double check on the official site (http://mercedes-benz.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/86/~/if-i-sell-my-mercedes-benz-certified-pre-owned-vehicle,-can-i-transfer-the).

The vehicle had to have been purchased by the original owner no later than the day and month in 2012 you first contacted Mercedes about the problem this year. If it's under warranty based on all that, then you should insist coverage at no cost to you.

Did the dealer you bought it from make you sign anything stating there is no warranty from the dealer? If not, you may be able to make the dealer pay if it's out of warranty.

Check the big hoses going to and from the bottom of the radiator. Any leak there? If so, you just need new hoses and hose clamps as those are associated with the Turbo.

SteveLeBard
03-23-2017, 01:01 AM
The Oxnard Mercedes dealer isn't denying that the engine is under warranty. They're saying that the turbo is not covered under the engine warranty.

I do not remember signing anything from the Winnebago dealer in Iowa stating that there was no warranty. In fact, he told me that the Mercedes Sprinter portion of the motor home was still under warranty. I haven't crossed that bridge yet and I don't think I have anything in writing from him.

sailquik
03-23-2017, 01:25 AM
Steve,
You might point out to the Oxnard Mercedes Benz dealer that the turbo charger is the main
component of the OM-642 3.0 liter induction system, and without it the emissions would
go way out of specification.
Check your Operator's Manual and Maintenance Manual for the specific engine components that
are covered under the 100,000 mile emissions systems warranty.
Smart to get the Mercedes Benz Customer Assistance group involved, and you may want to ask
them who the California area Sprinter Rep is and get them involved as well.
With ~ 15k miles, it would seem MB would replace the turbocharger as a failed bolt (very strange,
have them identify it and send us a photo if you can) should not destroy the turbo.
The number of oil changes is not a factor as long as the correct specification oil
was used.
Hope this helps,
Roger

SteveLeBard
03-23-2017, 01:32 AM
Thanks Roger

glas1700
03-23-2017, 01:47 AM
Not only is the turbocharger covered under the Federal emission warranty for 5 years, it's covered under both the short term (5 years, 100K miles) and long term (7 years, 70K miles) California emission warranties. The dealer should honor one of these warranties.

SteveLeBard
03-23-2017, 02:02 AM
Looking at my Sprinter Service and Warranty Information booklet it states B.What's Covered - In vehicles equipped with a Diesel engine, only the following engine parts and components are covered by the Diesel Engine Limited Warranty: cylinder block and all internal parts, cylinder head assemblies, core plugs, fuel injection pump & injectors, gaskets and seals for listed components, intake and exhaust manifold, oil pan, oil pump, timing gear drive belts and/or chains and cover, turbocharger housing and internal parts, valve covers, water pump and housing.

FFred
03-23-2017, 05:14 PM
The MB site seems to say that ONLY if you purchase from the 1st owner , not from a dealer is the warranty transferable.

Perhaps that's why the Camping World sales contract is so massive.

We purchased a 2016 Sprinter MH 6000miles in 2016 believing the warranty would transfer.

Sent the card in before Christmas with no reply from MB yet.

SteveLeBard
03-24-2017, 09:26 PM
Finally got a call back from the Oxnard Mercedes Benz Dealer. Mercedes Customer Care told me I would have an answer in 24 hours - turned out to be 48 hours and a couple of additional calls to Mercedes and the dealer to get them to call me back.
The dealer told me Mercedes is willing to cove $1,000 of the repair. I told the dealer that my warranty book states that the Turbocharger is covered under the engine warranty and the California Emmissions warranty. He said the turbocharger didn't fail the bolt holding it down failed and that's not covered. I told him that I was calling Mercedes Customer Care back. Bull****!

Rob S
03-24-2017, 10:37 PM
So if the cylinder head came off the block, due to bolt failure, are they saying that would not be covered????

EndOfTheEarthVans
03-24-2017, 11:27 PM
Sounds like really low miles to be having any kind of problem and not have it covered. If you're under the 5 years and the problem is turbo related, one would be reasonable in thinking it would be covered.

My initial thoughts are: if they offered to pay half, they are accepting at least some level of responsibility, and they should pay the whole thing. There is no half-way warranty. Get it in writing.

All your oil related info kinda clouds your story... they're not pointing to any problems with the oil? or are they?

Maybe try a different dealer for a second opinion?

And a last thought, would Winnebago customer service be of any aid in something like this? Maybe advocating for you through the right channels?

I don't like how they've handled you so far. Keep us updated.



Edit to add: Just saw you puchased from a Winne dealer... most dealers will offer some type of warranty for a situation like this even above and beyond the MB warranty... although it can be short lived. It's kind of a reputation saving tactic. Sometimes they'll gift you a repair. Call your original dealer and let them know what's going on.

lindenengineering
03-25-2017, 02:43 AM
Finally got a call back from the Oxnard Mercedes Benz Dealer. Mercedes Customer Care told me I would have an answer in 24 hours - turned out to be 48 hours and a couple of additional calls to Mercedes and the dealer to get them to call me back.
The dealer told me Mercedes is willing to cove $1,000 of the repair. I told the dealer that my warranty book states that the Turbocharger is covered under the engine warranty and the California Emmissions warranty. He said the turbocharger didn't fail the bolt holding it down failed and that's not covered. I told him that I was calling Mercedes Customer Care back. Bull****!

Steve
Here is a bit of advise from a past zone technical rep who dealt with dealer decisions and customer conflict .
On the face of it the fault you are describing is a bit strange not to be covered by the warranty but in any case your course of procedure from now on & henceforth is to do the following.

I get them to take some photos of the area of fault/failure and have them send to your cell phone as supporting evidence that support & suggest the failure is NOT part of the warranty (For information the turbo sits on a pedestal that is bolted to the cylinder block which in turn allows oil flow through two internal drillings to feed the base of the turbo held on & sealed by two torq screws.)

If they won't let you take photographs and/or be shown the area of failure be suspicious and demand further explanation of the cause and nature of the failure which should be in Tech notes on the R/O...

If you cannot get any relief on the warranty the DEMAND ALL the displaced parts are returned to you!
This is important because it allows you to leave and fight another day with MB and the Zone rep for further adjudication of your case for warranty relief !

Remember parts displaced are YOUR Parts until they are purchased by the dealer representing MB under the warranty terms when ownership of those defective parts became the property of MB by virtue of settling the warranty ! .
Obviously be polite but firm & business like on your demands and you have rights as a customer remember!

As shop owner I often take photos & mini videos in this electronic age to support my findings during diagnosis inspection and make it open for the customer to verify and approve the repair task in hand . Its part of good customer service and accounting.
All of you using us the repair trade whether @ dealer or Independent level should ask for this photo/ video service as part of doing business !
Of course its what us good Pro guys have always done for years !
All the best and let us know how you get on.
Dennis
Shop Owner

SteveLeBard
03-27-2017, 09:22 PM
No oil related issue. I was merely illustrating that the vehicle has been very well maintained - I baby this thing.

I contacted the Mercedes Customer Assistance Center in New Jersey again this morning and explained my position that this issue should be covered under multiple Mercedes Benz warranties including Mercedes Benz Diesel Engine Warranty and Emissions' Warranties. The guy basically told me that he wasn't a mechanic and all he had to go by was what the dealer was telling him and that they couldn't find a code that would work to get it fixed under warranty.
I called the Winnebago dealer that I purchased the vehicle from. He had an old phone number from a Mercedes National Accounts Manager that I could try - said he could be of more help if it was a Winnebago related issue.

SteveLeBard
03-27-2017, 09:50 PM
Dennis,
I have the vehicle. The Mercedes technician showed me where the broken bolt was I can take a picture of that area - will need to remove air cleaner.
I did get the Mercedes Dealer/Service Department to send me over a parts list. There are 17 part numbers, most of them are bolts, screws, gaskets and o-rings. The expensive parts are a support brace for turbocharger 642-096-17-45, seal ring 642-094-00-51 and 000-094-0051 compensati**.

Quoting you "For information the turbo sits on a pedestal that is bolted to the cylinder block which in turn allows oil flow through two internal drillings to feed the base of the turbo held on & sealed by two torq screws."
Is the support brace P/N 642-096-17-45 the "pedestal"? Does oil flow/channel through the "two torq screws"? Or are the "internal drillings" separate? What I'm getting at is if this bolt/screw/torq can be drilled out (dealer i.d. for failure = Turbo Beam (OIL GALLERY/OIL TUBE) BOLT BROKEN).

lindenengineering
03-27-2017, 10:15 PM
Dennis,
I have the vehicle. The Mercedes technician showed me where the broken bolt was I can take a picture of that area - will need to remove air cleaner.
I did get the Mercedes Dealer/Service Department to send me over a parts list. There are 17 part numbers, most of them are bolts, screws, gaskets and o-rings. The expensive parts are a support brace for turbocharger 642-096-17-45, seal ring 642-094-00-51 and 000-094-0051 compensati**.

Quoting you "For information the turbo sits on a pedestal that is bolted to the cylinder block which in turn allows oil flow through two internal drillings to feed the base of the turbo held on & sealed by two torq screws."
Is the support brace P/N 642-096-17-45 the "pedestal"? Does oil flow/channel through the "two torq screws"? Or are the "internal drillings" separate? What I'm getting at is if this bolt/screw/torq can be drilled out (dealer i.d. for failure = Turbo Beam (OIL GALLERY/OIL TUBE) BOLT BROKEN).

Interesting!
OK
The pedestal is 642-096-17-15 as I mentioned (brace).
Seal ring 642-094-00-51 is the green O ring turbo outlet air flow to silencer tube.
OK a consumable!~
Same as 000-094-0051 a compensator ring turbo inlet inlet air hose connection.

Now for me as a warranty adjudicator/ Zone Rep my mind flags up!!!!!????? QUESTIONS ???
What about the gasket sealing the turbo to the pedestal to the turbo base???
Part number 642-143-008-017 ??
My techs would be calling for a gasket by that part number if doing the job of re-seating the turbo!
Plus 2 off screw A 910-143-008-017! they are to hold the thing down!
Any mention of labor to repair thread or chase out the threaded holes etc?

I would be asking more questions before approve or reject warranty repair.
Dennis

showkey
03-27-2017, 11:39 PM
No oil related issue. I was merely illustrating that the vehicle has been very well maintained - I baby this thing.

I contacted the Mercedes Customer Assistance Center in New Jersey again this morning and explained my position that this issue should be covered under multiple Mercedes Benz warranties including Mercedes Benz Diesel Engine Warranty and Emissions' Warranties. The guy basically told me that he wasn't a mechanic and all he had to go by was what the dealer was telling him and that they couldn't find a code that would work to get it fixed under warranty.
I called the Winnebago dealer that I purchased the vehicle from. He had an old phone number from a Mercedes National Accounts Manager that I could try - said he could be of more help if it was a Winnebago related issue.

Since the dealer can't be trusted or is lacking the skills or knowledge to determine what failed and why.
Ask ( demand) customer to have local MB rep or better yet a field engineer ( or both) to look at in person.......while your standing there. Demand an explaination, ask tough questions.

Next time you call get past the clerk and talk to supervisor

What's amazing that MB dealers consistently go out of their way to find reasons not to warranty major failures on vehicles that are clearly under warranty. Most other manufactures make their own decisions on warranty and do not use the weasel words like "thats what the dealer says".

You should be taking detailed notes of time, dates, who you talked to, writing everything down in detail. Request MB send you a letter or email denying warranty with a reasons they are not covering the repairs . Your going to need facts and details if you going to the next levels.

If I was the MB rep I would not want to walk into court ( small claims or any other court) or mediation and try to explain why an engine oil leak is not covered under the drive train warranty. Then say our reason is we could not find a code of this warranty repair so we don't cover it.

SteveLeBard
03-28-2017, 03:22 AM
Dennis,
Here's the parts list I was given (all parts are quantity one unless otherwise noted). Labor was quoted at $1995 without any description whatsoever.
001-990-31-07 (qty 2) fitted bolt
642-096-17-45 support
642-142-32-80 multi-hole
10081 (qty 4) parts wash
642-142-07-81 gasket
014-997-64-45 (qty 2) o-ring
000000-000276 (qty 3) screw
910143-008017 (qty 4) screw
000-990-68-03-64 (qty 14) screw
000-990-67-03 (qty 3) screw
642-142-04-81 gasket
642-094-00-51 seal ring
219-492-00-80 flange gas
000-094-00-51 compensati
203-490-06-41 clamp
642-142-31-80 multi-hole
642-142-06-81 gasket
note: the descriptions and exactly as shown on the paperwork - some words were cut short/off.
In order for me to escalate this issue higher up I need to understand how this broken bolt is causing an oil leak.

Thanks for your help

SteveLeBard
03-28-2017, 03:43 AM
Showkey,
Thanks for your reply - it is helpful. My next step will probably be to write a detailed letter to Christian Treiber, VP of Customer Services in Atlanta. But first I need to do my homework so that I know what I'm talking about.

showkey
03-28-2017, 01:11 PM
Excellent idea...........if going to argue at any level, be prepared.

I too, think the dealer does not understand the why on the bolt.
The other thing is..........did the dealer break the bolt while trying to fix the leak.......like .....give that bolt an extra turn to be sure it's tight......and oh crap it broke !!
If it been broke for a while the end of the bolt will be rusty. If it's a fresh break, it will not be rusty. These are general statements. A cracked bolt might have some rust and finally break. If an over tightening break the threads and bolt will be stretched. I assume they do not have both ends of the broken bolt ?

Did they ( dealer) give any indication someone had worked on the truck prior?

Example of a stretched bolt:
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploads7/broken_bolt1142260544.jpg

Example of a fresh break:

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/attachments/f38/115371d1408884988-ot-what-broke-bolt-whats-good-fix-broken-bolt-2.jpg

lindenengineering
03-28-2017, 02:28 PM
Dennis,
Here's the parts list I was given (all parts are quantity one unless otherwise noted). Labor was quoted at $1995 without any description whatsoever.
001-990-31-07 (qty 2) fitted bolt
642-096-17-45 support
642-142-32-80 multi-hole
10081 (qty 4) parts wash
642-142-07-81 gasket
014-997-64-45 (qty 2) o-ring
000000-000276 (qty 3) screw
910143-008017 (qty 4) screw
000-990-68-03-64 (qty 14) screw
000-990-67-03 (qty 3) screw
642-142-04-81 gasket
642-094-00-51 seal ring
219-492-00-80 flange gas
000-094-00-51 compensati
203-490-06-41 clamp
642-142-31-80 multi-hole
642-142-06-81 gasket
note: the descriptions and exactly as shown on the paperwork - some words were cut short/off.
In order for me to escalate this issue higher up I need to understand how this broken bolt is causing an oil leak.

Thanks for your help

OK
I have revised the parts list.
From what you have stated the turbo got took out, the pedestal was changed and so were the exhaust manifolds gaskets.
For all this the labor is about right!
Some of this is a bear of a job!

Now I suspect the root cause of the problems was rough handling of the RV when it was chassis cab.
I bet the rig was forked up with exhaust taking the brunt of the weight.
The turbo bolt failure was the end result.
Dennis

avanti
03-28-2017, 02:46 PM
Now I suspect the root cause of the problems was rough handling of the RV when it was chassis cab.
I bet the rig was forked up with exhaust taking the brunt of the weight.
The turbo bolt failure was the end result.
Dennis

This very real possibility demonstrates one of the hidden traps in the RV world: getting stuck in the middle between the chassis OEM and the upfitter on warranty issues. I have experienced this personally (although fortunately only on minor items), and it can be almost impossible to resolve. In general, US warranty laws are very consumer-friendly, but this appears to be a major gap. And, it doesn't seem to help to deal with a Mercedes-certified"MasterUpfitter". I once naively assumed that preventing such buck-passing was the main purpose of this program. Silly me.

Bobnoxious
03-28-2017, 03:02 PM
Don't be shy about elevating your issue up the executive chain until resolution.

SteveLeBard
03-28-2017, 04:13 PM
I just noticed that the "Mercedes Benz of Oxnard Estimate Sheet" states under comments "TURBO LEAKING".

SteveLeBard
03-28-2017, 04:15 PM
Dennis,
Just to be clear, no repairs have been done yet on my vehicle.
Thanks Steve

Bobnoxious
03-28-2017, 07:28 PM
The bolt(s) is an essential appurtenance to the operation of the turbocharger and should be covered. Keep respectfully pestering them!

lindenengineering
03-28-2017, 07:45 PM
Dennis,
Just to be clear, no repairs have been done yet on my vehicle.
Thanks Steve

Good!
Then a closer inspection is needed to establish the root case of failure and special attention given to rough and careless handling of the rig when it was in production.
That means get it lifted up and take a look up upon the underside .
Dennis

Bobnoxious
03-29-2017, 01:29 AM
Steve, I have been a member of this forum for a couple of years and witness to numerous issues similar to your plight. This is the classic David and Goliath encounter, you of course being David.

Your plight disturbs my chi, my mojo and feel compelled to share my course of action if I was confronted with similar circumstances.

First, I would acquire a full understanding of my adversary. In this case Mercedes-Benz and understand its strengths and attack its weaknesses. I believe a potential weakness is MB commitment to preserving the image, real or imagined, of quality and excellence. Social media, such as Twitter, Will allow you, "David" with an excellent forum to publicly plead your grievance to an enormous audience.

For example, check out this screenshot. What is that, 630,000 followers? I'm still kind of new to Twitter but with just one push of the button a tweet goes to 630,000 people? Wow! I wonder how long MB would tolerate a constant drip of negative tweets about their product? Similar to Chinese water torture, except in this case, Twitter torture a constant stream of Tweet, tweet, tweet... I surely can't be the first to think of this?

Employ unconventional tactics against an unconventional adversary.

Ed463
03-29-2017, 02:20 AM
I agree with Bob, I avoid social media like the plague but have used it to great success against a large corporation in the past.
One caveat. It could backfire. These corporations hate setting precidents and could decide to take the short term pain by blocking your claim.
I always like to go straight to the top. The CEO or if not make do with the customer service director. These individuals HATE having to deal with their customers:idunno: they always make it very difficult to contact them but it's worth the effort.
They will very quickly pass this pain downwards to their underlings who will then jump through hoops to get rid of you:bounce:

Bobnoxious
03-29-2017, 02:26 AM
Yes, I agree, there is always the risk of unexpected/Unintended consequences. What the hell do you got to lose?

Bobnoxious
03-29-2017, 02:28 AM
I agree with Bob, I avoid social media like the plague but have used it to great success against a large corporation in the past.
One caveat. It could backfire. These corporations hate setting precidents and could decide to take the short term pain by blocking your claim.
I always like to go straight to the top. The CEO or if not make do with the customer service director. These individuals HATE having to deal with their customers:idunno: they always make it very difficult to contact them but it's worth the effort.
They will very quickly pass this pain downwards to their underlings who will then jump through hoops to get rid of you:bounce:

Ed, you clearly have an accurate understanding of bureaucracies.

Ed463
03-29-2017, 03:39 AM
Bob,
I have an unfortunate and intimate knowledge of egotistical sociopaths who tend to control corporate bureaucracies :lol:

Bobnoxious
03-29-2017, 03:47 AM
I have an unfortunate and intimate knowledge of sociopaths who tend to control corporate bureaucracies :lol:

Then there are narcissists!

SteveLeBard
03-29-2017, 04:30 AM
Twitter is definately in my bag. I really didn't expect this kind of treatment from Mercedes-Benz. But I'm a U.S. MARINE (disabled Vietnam Veteran) and surrender in not in my vocabulary.

ptheland
03-29-2017, 05:46 AM
Bob has the right idea, although I'd probably start on a smaller scale. Save the Twitter sized venues in case things go completely south. I might start with a local news station's consumer reporter. They love stories like this - a broken part that most everyone thinks should be repaired under a warranty. Then if that fails, you can take to Twitter with a link to the sympathetic story complete with video.

Or if you like working the bureaucracy, go past the dealer and escalate the situation to a Mercedes representative. It could be that the dealer is reluctant to make your case with Mercedes for some reason completely unrelated to you (anything from bad customer reviews to insufficient payments for warranty work to a drop in vehicle allocations from the factory).

PS - I'd definitely drop the "can't afford the repair" argument. You just spent somewhere between 10 and 40 times the repair buying the rig. The average person on the street will think you just bought a Mercedes Benz motorhome. That's pretty high up on the conspicuous consumption scale. They'll think that if you can afford the rig, you can afford the repairs. That's not a good way to generate sympathy for your position with the general public. Instead, stick to the line that $2500 to replace a broken bolt is outrageous. The guy on the street will eat that up all day.

Ed463
03-29-2017, 07:50 AM
Twitter is definately in my bag. I really didn't expect this kind of treatment from Mercedes-Benz. But I'm a U.S. MARINE (disabled Vietnam Veteran) and surrender in not in my vocabulary.
Somehow convey that to them (subtlety/politely) that you have more perseverance/time than they will ever have. They (higher management)still have to keep their superiors happy with meaningless reports/targets every single day. So trying to deal with you every single day will quickly deteriorate their resolve to fight:lol: The more open questions you ask the more likely they are to back themselves into a corner.
Hence why I like to bring pressure to bare on them from above. CEO.

I'm, personally, not a big fan of media / press. That can actually increase their resolve to defeat you publicly, hence my previous comments. But I'm not the best to comment on North America dynamics.

The big question to me is, how has a bolt just snapped? Are you 100% sure no one has touched said bolt? I don't get how it could snap on it's own.
Any doubt on this and I'd take the offer and run.

avanti
03-29-2017, 01:47 PM
Somehow convey that to them (subtlety/politely) that you have more perseverance/time than they will ever have.

If your primary goal is to vent your frustration, then social media can't be beat. But it really can cut either way.

If your primary goal is to get your van fixed under warranty, then I think that the most effective way to achieve the above-quoted goal is most likely a good old-fashioned Small Claims Court demand letter. At minimum, this will signal your resolve, which might well do the trick. And if not, there is a good chance that they will decide that it isn't cost-effective to send their expensive lawyer to you hearing. In that case, the judge will decide based only on your side of the story. And, in the worst case, you will get a fair hearing at minimal cost.

There are many great "how-to's" on the Net about Small Claims Court. You do not need a lawyer.

Aqua Puttana
03-29-2017, 02:46 PM
... You do not need a lawyer.
I think that I learned something about pleading the case with the other side not showing up.

In my contractor damage small claims the other side was absent. I thought that meant I was ok. The judge began grilling me like he represented the other party. I answered quite a few questions until in frustration I said, "How can you say that? The other side isn't even here." Immediately the gavel came down with the case found in my favor.

My take is that it may be necessary to actually point out that the other side has no representation. The questioning may continue until that fact is on official record.

Good luck.

vic

Added:
Or, being a bit cynical, maybe it was just that the judge personally knew the contractor?

SteveLeBard
03-29-2017, 03:11 PM
Question - In my "Sprinter Service and Warranty Information" booklet that came with the vehicle it has a section on "Federal Emission Warranty - Diesel - Heavy Duty Vehicle". My understanding is that my vehicle is considered a Medium Duty Diesel Vehicle.
Are there Mercedes-Benz Sprinters that are classified as Heavy Duty under Federal regulations? In my booklet I do not find anything under a Federal Emission Warranty for Medium Duty Diesels.

SteveLeBard
03-29-2017, 04:09 PM
Somehow convey that to them (subtlety/politely) that you have more perseverance/time than they will ever have. They (higher management)still have to keep their superiors happy with meaningless reports/targets every single day. So trying to deal with you every single day will quickly deteriorate their resolve to fight:lol: The more open questions you ask the more likely they are to back themselves into a corner.
Hence why I like to bring pressure to bare on them from above. CEO.

I'm, personally, not a big fan of media / press. That can actually increase their resolve to defeat you publicly, hence my previous comments. But I'm not the best to comment on North America dynamics.

The big question to me is, how has a bolt just snapped? Are you 100% sure no one has touched said bolt? I don't get how it could snap on it's own.
Any doubt on this and I'd take the offer and run.
No idea how the bolt broke. Not sure what you mean by take the offer and run??? I tried to see if I could find where the bolt was with a mirror and flashlight. I've looked on-line at parts diagrams and from what I can tell the bolt is hidden below the turbocharger. From what I have gathered so far a hexalobular bolt, that secures the turbocharger mounting beam, failed causing an oil leak (oil needed to cool the turbocharger). Said mounting beam is an integral part of the turbocharger providing oil cooling via the beams internal oil gallery i.e., the bolt fails, the beam fails, the turbocharger fails, emissions compromised. (I'm using you guys as a sounding board - still schooling myself - please correct me if I am wrong.)

I emailed the Oxnard Mercedes-Benz dealer yesterday and asked "The Mercedes-Benz Estimate Sheet for my 2012 Mercedes Sprinter 3500 w/13,156 miles VIN WDAPF4CC9C9507153 dated March 22, 2017 shows total labor at $1,925.00. Please provide me with a detailed description of the labor/service that will be performed per this estimate."
His response:
Labor:
Turbo Beam Leaking Oil
R&R Engine Air Filter Housing
R&R Turbo Mounting Beam
R&R Turbo Mounting Brackets
R&R Turbo Diverter Plumbing
Replace Broken Bolt
Replace all seals and gaskets

SteveLeBard
03-29-2017, 04:33 PM
I sent this email to Mercedes In N.J. yesterday:
I first contacted the Mercedes Customer Assistance Center at 877-762-8267 on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 concerning Mercedes-Benz of Oxnard and their refusal to cover an engine repair under warranty.
I am in the process of contacting Mr. Christian Treiber, Mercedes-Benz Vice President of Customer Services.
Please provide me with a detailed call log/history of my calls to you and any return calls from you starting on or before March 22, 2017 and continuing to the present. Please include your notes from these calls including all notes from xxxxx.
Thank you,

The Mercedes-Benz customer service representative that I have been dealing with called me this morning to let me know that he could send me a call history but not any notes - their notes are for internal use only. I asked to have a Mercedes-Benz Field Technical Representative look at my vehicle to determine why this particular bolt broke and he said that the dealer had already determined the problem and sent the info to Mercedes-Benz and it was determined that the repair would not be covered under warranty. I am going to follow up with an email back to him asking him to explain in more detail why a Field Technical Specialist cannot be dispatched to determine the cause of this failure. I did politely argue with him on numerous points to no avail.

Mercedes-Benz response email:
Dear Mr. LeBard,
As per our conversation, please find the call history between yourself and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (MBUSA) below:
3/22/17 inbound call to MBUSA 2:26pm EST
3/23/17 inbound call to MBUSA 11:38am EST
3/23/17 outbound call from MBUSA 11:57am EST
3/24/17 inbound call to MBUSA 3:20pm EST
3/27/17 inbound call to MBUSA 11:58 am EST
3/27/17 outbound call from MBUSA 12:18pm EST
3/29/17 outbound call from MBUSA 11:28am EST
As discussed during these conversations, after review by Mercedes-Benz of Oxnard and MBUSA, the repairs to the oil leak on your 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are not covered under warranty. As a gesture of goodwill, MBUSA will agree to provide a discount of $1000 towards the total parts and labor for the recommended repairs. Should you choose to accept the offer, please contact Mercedes-Benz of Oxnard to authorize the repairs.
Sincerely,

Bobnoxious
03-29-2017, 04:37 PM
Twitter is definately in my bag. I really didn't expect this kind of treatment from Mercedes-Benz. But I'm a U.S. MARINE (disabled Vietnam Veteran) and surrender in not in my vocabulary.

Thank you so much Steve for your military service!

Bobnoxious
03-29-2017, 04:52 PM
As a gesture of goodwill, MBUSA will agree to provide a discount of $1000 towards the total parts and labor for the recommended repairs. Should you choose to accept the offer, please contact Mercedes-Benz of Oxnard to authorize the repairs.
Sincerely,

A tough decision? Maybe counter with $1,500-2,000.? Depends one your circumstances, time and money.

How many ways can a bolt fail? Defects during manufacturing, over torqued, corrosion, thermal/mechanical stress?

Bobnoxious
03-29-2017, 04:54 PM
What an awesome forum and member's contributions of thoughts, ideas and strategies.

SteveLeBard
03-29-2017, 04:56 PM
Sent this email just now to Mercedes-Benz N.J.

Thank you for your call this morning. We discussed having a Mercedes Field Technical Specialist inspect my vehicle to help better determine why this bolt broke causing a turbocharger oil leak. I would think that this would be valuable information for both myself and Mercedes-Benz quality control.

Again, I am requesting that a Mercedes-Benz Field Technical Specialist inspect my vehicle to help us determine the cause of this failure. As I elaborated in our telephone conservation this morning, if this critical bolt can break for no apparent reason, then any bolt on this vehicle can snap at any time, and at a cost of $2,400.00 for repair, on a vehicle with 13,156 miles...this unfortunate situation it is becoming more and more nonsensical.
Please reconsider my request to have a Mercedes Field Technical Specialist inspect my vehicle.
Thank you,

Bobnoxious
03-29-2017, 06:08 PM
Excellent!

nctrailseeker
03-29-2017, 10:48 PM
Steve, I have been a member of this forum for a couple of years and witness to numerous issues similar to your plight. This is the classic David and Goliath encounter, you of course being David.

Your plight disturbs my chi, my mojo and feel compelled to share my course of action if I was confronted with similar circumstances.

First, I would acquire a full understanding of my adversary. In this case Mercedes-Benz and understand its strengths and attack its weaknesses. I believe a potential weakness is MB commitment to preserving the image, real or imagined, of quality and excellence. Social media, such as Twitter, Will allow you, "David" with an excellent forum to publicly plead your grievance to an enormous audience.

For example, check out this screenshot. What is that, 630,000 followers? I'm still kind of new to Twitter but with just one push of the button a tweet goes to 630,000 people? Wow! I wonder how long MB would tolerate a constant drip of negative tweets about their product? Similar to Chinese water torture, except in this case, Twitter torture a constant stream of Tweet, tweet, tweet... I surely can't be the first to think of this?

Employ unconventional tactics against an unconventional adversary.


Check the Hendrick Mercedes Facebook, complaints and you'll see the longest negative write-up about their service dept. That got nearly 2800 views over one weekend. Piss them off, but got me no where. But can you imagine the people who went elsewhere after learning of their poor costumer service?

Let me make this part clear. Hendrick Mercedes is not the enemy. Their glorified parts changers are the problem. I still have great friends and service in both the parts & sales dept.

SteveLeBard
03-29-2017, 11:46 PM
nctrailseeker - I couldn't find complaints for Hendrick Mercedes Facebook. Do you have a link.

You might find this interesting - my 5 year (on-going) fight for the American flag in California - google search "Steve LeBard American flag". My latest maneuver was to run for California State Assembly - i didn't win (got 18,000+ votes) but I made a deal with the guy that did to write California Assembly Bill 866 "American Flag and Caltrans"(current 2017). My story has been on Fox News multiple times, the O'Reilly Factor, the Weekly Standard multiple times, Front page of the Los Angeles Times, front page of the Santa Barbara NewsPress, Radio talk shows across the nation, etc...

nctrailseeker
03-30-2017, 01:04 AM
Look under reviews. Go back Dec. 12, 2016. & continue to scroll down to see all the negative about the service dept. And then scroll to June of 2015 and you will see someone basically copies my review. There are quiet a few negatives on the service dept & service advisor at Hendrick Mercedes of Charlotte, but they're still working there.
I actually was unable to find my review after posting to this forum, so I will copy & paste what I originally posted to their FB.

================================================== ====================

My vehicle was undeniably, severely damaged while in Hendrick Mercedes (Independence Blvd.) care.


In late September, I took my Sprinter in for a loss of power problem which caused the van to go into LHM. The Sprinter adviser, Jonathan Fortier, called me within an hour to tell me I had a bad turbo. Knowing my van and enough about mechanical things, I knew this was a deeper issue than a bad turbo. I knew the turbo was fine.


Fast forward & after 2 turbo changes with known good turbos, same fault codes & troubles, I installed a new, out of the box turbo from Garrett at a whopping $1700.
Upon start-up, and within a mile or two, same LMH & codes. This time I knew it wasn't the turbo for sure. ...and to fast forward again, in the end, it was an EGR & clogged EGR cooler. I battled it for nearly 1200 miles as the problem would come and go.


SOooo after 4 times of improperly diagnosing my Sprinter, and robbing me each time, I offered them one more time to troubleshoot the issue. After much research, I printed a list of things requesting them to check...Things that other 2008 Sprinter owners found to cause them the same issue....none of which they ever would check.


This time, they severely damaged the brand new turbo rendering it useless junk. Only 1200 miles and they destroyed it. And then had the nerve to tell me it wasn't their fault. So I take a vehicle in for problems, & pick it up at their shop with damage & it's not their fault? REALLY??


I brought my vehicle in for turbo issues & left with turbo damage.
If I brought you a car with bad brakes and left only to have the motor blow....not your problem. But if I were to leave and the wheels fall off, then would that not be a cause to loom at you for fault?


Were you not hired to troubleshoot the turbo? How could it come into your shop without damage, and leave with damage, and not be your fault?? All in all, these guys cost me over $3500 in wasted money that never solved the problem.

Mercedes USA will hear about this.


For the 5th time of telling these guys at Hendrick the problems were not "a bad turbo, as they insisted, but rather, something else causing the turbo codes, it was in fact not even the problem. After the lack of knowledge these guys have, I proceeded to have my Sprinter looked at by another Mercedes dealership.


Telling the other technicians some of the ridiculous things the Hendrick tech stated, we all got a chuckle at their stupidity.


The service manager there (Tim Calo) Only wants to beat around the bush and deny any fault.
Well Mr. Calo: Don't worry, I will never return to your incompetent mechanics, un-intelligible service advisers, or your disrespectful self. Mr. Calo you lack all Integrity, a Commitment to Customer Satisfaction, and Accountability at all Levels.
Thanks to you Mr Calo, Hendrick motors has lost my future business in vehicle purchases as well and I will be sure to steer everyone I know away from any Hendrick dealership.


Mercedes of South Charlotte will get my word to every Sprinter owner I run across....and as you guys know me, that will be quiet a few.

TooMuchHair
03-30-2017, 01:56 AM
Good!
Then a closer inspection is needed to establish the root case of failure and special attention given to rough and careless handling of the rig when it was in production.
That means get it lifted up and take a look up upon the underside .
Dennis

Dennis, does the chassis/cab have the same (or similar) flexible section in the exhaust?
I'm not suggesting rough handling couldn't have been the cause of his broken bolt, but agreeing with you that there should be some visual evidence.
If that evidence looks anything like it was caused by a fork lift.....Hammer time with Winnebago! Most likely anything less conclusive will be argued as a speed bump etc..
Sound like a nightmare, good luck! :cheers:

lindenengineering
03-30-2017, 05:04 AM
Dennis, does the chassis/cab have the same (or similar) flexible section in the exhaust?
I'm not suggesting rough handling couldn't have been the cause of his broken bolt, but agreeing with you that there should be some visual evidence.
If that evidence looks anything like it was caused by a fork lift.....Hammer time with Winnebago! Most likely anything less conclusive will be argued as a speed bump etc..
Sound like a nightmare, good luck! :cheers:

Yes it has the same flex section.
Faults as these require a Sherlock Holmes touch Careful precise investigation!

I have come across this many times before with coach chassis delivered to body builders on flat bed trailers!
The rig gets forked or strap lifted off by Beavis and Buttheads in the plant. Some are even dropped by careless handling or you can often hear "Le crunch" as lifting forks are carelessly applied to areas where they shouldn't have been placed. I can assure you in some cases you wouldn't buy a vehicle if you could or was treated before you bought it!:frown:
Dennis

SteveLeBard
03-30-2017, 10:33 PM
Dennis,
I'm trying to understand all of this. How does the turbocharger attach to the mounting beam? Is that with the two bolts? Does the mounting beams internal oil gallery cool the turbocharger with engine oil? Could emissions be compromised if the mounting beam/turbocharger was not functioning properly due to the oil leak from the broken bolt?
Thanks for the help.
Steve

Shawn G
03-30-2017, 11:09 PM
Steve

Here is a bit of advise from a past zone technical rep who dealt with dealer decisions and customer conflict .

On the face of it the fault you are describing is a bit strange not to be covered by the warranty but in any case your course of procedure from now on & henceforth is to do the following.



I get them to take some photos of the area of fault/failure and have them send to your cell phone as supporting evidence that support & suggest the failure is NOT part of the warranty (For information the turbo sits on a pedestal that is bolted to the cylinder block which in turn allows oil flow through two internal drillings to feed the base of the turbo held on & sealed by two torq screws.)



If they won't let you take photographs and/or be shown the area of failure be suspicious and demand further explanation of the cause and nature of the failure which should be in Tech notes on the R/O...



If you cannot get any relief on the warranty the DEMAND ALL the displaced parts are returned to you!

This is important because it allows you to leave and fight another day with MB and the Zone rep for further adjudication of your case for warranty relief !



Remember parts displaced are YOUR Parts until they are purchased by the dealer representing MB under the warranty terms when ownership of those defective parts became the property of MB by virtue of settling the warranty ! .

Obviously be polite but firm & business like on your demands and you have rights as a customer remember!



As shop owner I often take photos & mini videos in this electronic age to support my findings during diagnosis inspection and make it open for the customer to verify and approve the repair task in hand . Its part of good customer service and accounting.

All of you using us the repair trade whether @ dealer or Independent level should ask for this photo/ video service as part of doing business !

Of course its what us good Pro guys have always done for years !

All the best and let us know how you get on.

Dennis

Shop Owner



Dennis where is your shop located? Your response gained you a customer if local to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Geriakt
03-30-2017, 11:58 PM
Ask President Trump to Tweet out MB does not stand behind their products and don't believe in proper customer service. It would be fixed in 10 minutes.

lindenengineering
03-31-2017, 01:24 AM
Dennis where is your shop located? Your response gained you a customer if local to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Shawn
Hi
I/We are in Golden Colorado.
On Rogers St.
Tel: 7203441877
Cheers Dennis
www.lindenengineering.com

SteveLeBard
03-31-2017, 07:51 PM
Thanks to Dennis from Linden Engineering, BobNoxious, ED463, Ecowhale, Sailquik, Glas1700, Rob S, FFred, EndOfTheEarthVans, Showkey, Avanti, Ptheland, AquaPuttana, TooMuchHair, Geriakt, ShawnG, and everyone else that contributed knowledge, experience and insight to this post. I came here knowing very little about how turbocharged diesel engines work and the inter-workings of Mercedes-Benz. You have helped me tremendously and I know feel much more confident and ready to proceed with a sound case challenging Mercedes-Benz in their not honoring my warranty claim.
Semper Fi,
Steve

SteveLeBard
05-25-2017, 04:52 AM
I fought like hell for about a month with Mercedes-Benz and after my last letter I received an apologetic phone call from Mercedes in N.J. Telling me my case was never closed - we are going to fix your Sprinter under warranty.
And the last letter I sent that did the trick (hope this helps someone in the future).
Dear Mr. Aaron Muller,

I have filed a compliant with the California Air Resources Board.

The California Air Resources Board contacted me on Friday, April 21, 2017 with the latest update stating "someone from MBUSA will contact you to ask questions about how the bolts got broken to determine whether MBUSA will cover this repair."

As you are well aware (and it is well documented), I have pleaded with Mercedes-Benz on numerous occasions to have a Mercedes-Benz Field Technical Specialist inspect my vehicle to help better determine why the bolt broke causing a turbocharger oil leak. I think that this would be valuable information for both myself and Mercedes-Benz quality control. I have made this request in a letter dated April 1, 2017, to Mr. Dietmar Exler the CEO of Mercedes-Benz.

I first took my Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to Mercedes-Benz of Oxnard on March 22, 2017 complaining of a slight oil leak in the area of the rear main seal. The technician found oil leaking around the transmission bell housing, removed engine air filter housing and noticed one of the two turbo beam (oil gallery/oil tube) bolt broken.

I originally found this oil leak by chance when visually inspecting the underneath of the vehicle and noticed some drops of oil in the vicinity of the rear of the engine. The only knowledge I have that a bolt is broken was because the Oxnard Mercedes-Benz technician told me so. He had to remove parts from the vehicle in order to find the broken bolt.

I trust that you will inform the appropriate MBUSA personnel that the California Air Resources Board referenced above "someone from MBUSA will contact you to ask questions about how the bolts got broken to determine whether MBUSA will cover this repair".

I have not been able to use my vehicle for over a month now because of this turbocharger oil leak. I would appreciate your help in getting my vehicle repaired under warranty, as it should be, as soon as possible.

Thank you,
Steve LeBard