Warranty dispute NOx sensors? 2012

heald

New member
I have 2012 sprinter that is still within the 7 year 70,000 miles or was when I brought into the dealer 2 weeks ago. The warranty for the 2012 long term California Emissions which Washington state where the van was purchased and is is part of says this

For 7 years or 70,000 miles,
whichever first occurs:
1. Where a warrantable condition exists on a long-term emission-related part, the vehicle warrantor will repair your vehicle at no cost to you including diagnosis, parts and labor. This is your LONG-TERM EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEM DEFECTS WARRANTY.

On the 2013 and the 2011 warranty it lists all the parts including the NOx sensors.

Well needless to say the dealership did not cover the nox sensor under warranty and I took all the way to corporate to review. I am frustrated and confused by the vagueness in my warranty and the specifics in the 2013 and 2011 warranties. Should I take the dealership to small claims court?
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
To reiterate :-
Best of luck with that!
At the mere delivery of a writ it will go into the hands of an MB attorney and the case will move to County Court and you will have to retain an attorney for yourself at your cost.
It might end up in mediation but MB attorneys have a habit of sitting on their hands and dragging the whole affair out.

Suggest before you leap into the fray read excerpts of Jarndyce versus Jarndyce in Bleak House (1852) by Charles Dickens. Good humanist experience in the Law and Anglo Saxon Tort then, as it is today!
Dennis
 

GSWatson

2013 144
I have a 2013 that just had the NOX and SCR replaced under the CA warranty, though I was in California at the time. It took MB almost a month to refund me, so I feel your pain.

Are you saying that the extended warranty doesn’t exist for 2012? That seems very strange. And when I go to the mbvans.usa sight and click on 2012, it sends me to the 2011 booklet. Tried three times...

https://assets.mbvans.com/Mercedes-...3.2001526762.1547094746-1745111411.1547094746


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

showkey

Active member
I will take the other side of small claims. If your claim meets the parameters and you feel right.......go for it. But show up with the documentation and be organized and precise.
In most locations they can NOT move the case up in the courts.
MB can NOT sent a high priced attorney to small claims. If they decide to show up they will send the “factory service rep.”

By the way if you read the forum.........your not the first to claim inconsistency in warranty administration. There are dozens of threads on the topic several with small claims actions..........with very positive results for the owner.
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
I will take the other side of small claims. If your claim meets the parameters and you feel right.......go for it. But show up with the documentation and be organized and precise.
In most locations they can NOT move the case up in the courts.
MB can NOT sent a high priced attorney to small claims. If they decide to show up they will send the “factory service rep.”

By the way if you read the forum.........your not the first to claim inconsistency in warranty administration. There are dozens of threads on the topic several with small claims actions..........with very positive results for the owner.
Having been involved in two acts of litigation as plaintiffs attorney (technical support witness) I have to state that my experiences show the reverse of what you state Mr Showkey. MB USA has a tried and proven attorney postures in place . Few outcomes are positive even on this forum.

Mr Heald if having read Jarndyce versus Jarndyce, I would seriously suggest you consult an attorney FAMILIAR with warranty clauses and breaches of contract preferably engaged in the motor vehicle business before jumping into that affray.
It will cost you about $250
Prudence errs an the side of caution!

None of us are attorneys at law on this forum or at least none has revealed that fact.
Best advise from someone with litigation EXPERIENCE WITH MB USA attorneys !
Proceed with caution .
Dennis
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
In the US, warranty issues are covered under Magnuson–Moss. Although this is no panacea, it is a very consumer-friendly law, and is largely aimed at the kinds of issues seen in the automotive industry. Most importantly, the law provides for recovery of legal fees if you win. This means that there is a small army of spec lawyers who will represent you for free, if you have a good case. You should start by calling one of them. If they hang up the phone, it probably means that the result will be as Dennis predicts. But they may well not hang up. I have had personal experience with this, and the outcome was excellent.

There is no doubt that the Mercedes lawyers will chew you up if you attempt to represent yourself in a regular court. But, I agree with Showkey that it is not so easy in most constituencies to get an eligible claim moved out of Small Claims. The realities of the legal world are grim, but hardly Dickensian. In this case the law is very much in your favor. Your rights are worthless unless you assert them.
 
Last edited:

showkey

Active member
Public opinion ( jury) and the courts ( judge) are not kind to the big corporate identities when they come up against the “little guy.”

Spent years in the legal system at a manufacture. First those ( local) attorneys hired to defend a Lemon law or warranty case are not hourly corporate employees. They are high priced hired guns that may run $250- $700 per hour ( more in a high profile injury case). So defending a warranty case worth $2000 Gets the economics test very early and often in the corporate evaluation. They ( corporate) put up a few walls and hoops........but settlement is ALWAYS the goal. Make it go away and stop spending money on outside council on case with very low exposure.......those other thread on the forum bare that out if your willing to do your home work.

I do find it amazing that inconsistency in warranty is so common on the forum. Corporate customer service usually really try to get consistent application.

There cases where corporate will fight for technical or image or presidents. Emissions especially diesel is not fit any of those reasons, especially in today’s climate. Not too mention NOX, EGR, DEF and DPF have a terrible track record and reputation. That in self attracts the “class action” litigation which gets expensive at multiple millions. Inconsistent warranty admin is a loser in the class action area for the manufacturers.

Op case if you thinking your van has the extended emissions warranty because it was originally sold in California and now it’s titled in a “non extended” area that technicality maybe a slam dunk for the manufacturer. You will lose on the technical merits and the “small guy” against the Corp giant will never play.
 
Last edited:

elemental

Dis member
I have 2012 sprinter that is still within the 7 year 70,000 miles or was when I brought into the dealer 2 weeks ago. The warranty for the 2012 long term California Emissions which Washington state where the van was purchased and is is part of says this
[...]
Well needless to say the dealership did not cover the nox sensor under warranty and I took all the way to corporate to review. I am frustrated and confused by the vagueness in my warranty and the specifics in the 2013 and 2011 warranties. Should I take the dealership to small claims court?
Trying to be exact, not pedantic; I am not a lawyer and I try to avoid legal battles as much as possible as the outcomes are generally uncertain. Please forgive me if you already know this and were just using shorthand when you said "take the dealership to small claims court." It is my understanding that the warranty for MB vehicles in the USA is the responsibility of the entity known as "Mercedes Benz USA", not the dealership. Dealerships are (generally) separate legal entities from the vehicle manufacturers.

Perhaps others with more specific knowledge could jump in here, but I think you should be taking MB USA to small claims court, not the dealership, and then only after communicating with MB USA about your needs. You mentioned "corporate review" but it wasn't clear to me whether that was review at the dealership or by MB USA. Before taking any legal action, I would request in writing a copy of your vehicle warranty from MB USA (by model year and VIN) even if you think you already have one so that you have in hand a legally traceable document; I believe that they would honor such a request. They have warranty information on-line for recent years (2016-2018) at https://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/mercedes-van-warranty-protection-plan. They don't keep all years on-line perhaps, but certainly have copies at the office.

My information about who warrants the vehicle comes from my 2017 MB Sprinter Warranty, which explicitly says:

"The following terms are referred to in this booklet as:
Vehicle Distributor / Vehicle Warrantor / Parts Distributor
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC 303 Perimeter Center North Atlanta, GA 30346"

The 2017 MB Sprinter Warranty goes on to say that:
"ANY AUTHORIZED VAN DEALER: Any authorized Van Dealer of the owner’s choice will perform warranty repairs or replacements. The vehicle should be delivered to an authorized Van Dealer during normal service hours. A reasonable time should be allowed after taking the vehicle to an authorized Van Dealer for performance of the repair."

So "authorized van dealers" can perform warranty repairs/replacements (and get reimbursed directly by MB USA), but the authorized van dealer is not the vehicle warrantor, MB USA is. When the authorized van dealer performs warranty work, the costs are covered by MB USA, not the dealer. I expect that the dealer is careful about what work they perform under warranty, as they will not be reimbursed by MB USA if they do work that MB USA doesn't cover under warranty.

I think it's possible that some of the varied outcomes from people seeking legal action may result from how the claim was made. If a dealership that is NOT responsible for a warranty is sued, the court may determine that the dealership is not responsible. This wouldn't mean that someone (like MB USA) isn't responsible, just that the dealership isn't. My understanding is that courts generally rule only on the issues at hand, and usually don't provide any guidance as to what should have been done to get the best results.

My interest in your experience is related to the fact that my 2017 has its 4th Check Engine Light illumination for the DPF system with about 12k miles on the odometer. The differential pressure sensor has been replaced twice (so I'm on the 3rd sensor). Either the quality of the sensors is low, or else there is something else wrong with the system that is being blamed on bad sensors but is more obscure. The codes that were present indicate that the performance of the system is questionable; it was suggested to me by one dealer that I wasn't driving the vehicle for long enough durations. However, three of the four times the light has illuminated I was in the middle of 60-75 MPH highway journeys over hundreds/thousands of miles, so the DPF regens had optimal conditions and performance should not have been a problem.

I'm getting ready to request a more thorough examination of the vehicle systems than the dealerships (I have been to two of them in my area) seem willing to do on their own. I'm going to contact MB USA first to see their perspective on the matter since ultimately they are on the hook.
 

showkey

Active member
Trying to be exact, not pedantic; I am not a lawyer and I try to avoid legal battles as much as possible as the outcomes are generally uncertain. Please forgive me if you already know this and were just using shorth

My interest in your experience is related to the fact that my 2017 has its 4th Check Engine Light illumination for the DPF system with about 12k miles on the odometer. The differential pressure sensor has been replaced twice (so I'm on the 3rd sensor). Either the quality of the sensors is low, or else there is something else wrong with the system that is being blamed on bad sensors but is more obscure. The codes that were present indicate that the performance of the system is questionable; it was suggested to me by one dealer that I wasn't driving the vehicle for long enough durations. However, three of the four times the light has illuminated I was in the middle of 60-75 MPH highway journeys over hundreds/thousands of miles, so the DPF regens had optimal conditions and performance should not have been a problem.

I'm getting ready to request a more thorough examination of the vehicle systems than the dealerships (I have been to two of them in my area) seem willing to do on their own. I'm going to contact MB USA first to see their perspective on the matter since ultimately they are on the hook.
The whole post as Very good info:
Your second to last paragraph alone...........in many states qualifies for Lemon law, mediation, buyback etc. multiple repairs, documented, low mileage, under warranty, newer vehilce.:thumbup:
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
I have 2012 sprinter that is still within the 7 year 70,000 miles or was when I brought into the dealer 2 weeks ago. The warranty for the 2012 long term California Emissions which Washington state where the van was purchased and is is part of says this

For 7 years or 70,000 miles,
whichever first occurs:
1. Where a warrantable condition exists on a long-term emission-related part, the vehicle warrantor will repair your vehicle at no cost to you including diagnosis, parts and labor. This is your LONG-TERM EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEM DEFECTS WARRANTY.

On the 2013 and the 2011 warranty it lists all the parts including the NOx sensors.

Well needless to say the dealership did not cover the nox sensor under warranty and I took all the way to corporate to review. I am frustrated and confused by the vagueness in my warranty and the specifics in the 2013 and 2011 warranties. Should I take the dealership to small claims court?
How much, exactly, are we talking about here? Couple hundred for parts and a sure fix vs. thousands of $$ and hours spent on litigation/mediation with absolutely uncertain outcomes?

Suggesting that one has to know you adversary's order of battle and carefully choose the terrain on which you wish to fight. IMHO, you are not on "good ground" and lack the resources, tactical & strategic advantages to win your case despite being on the side of the angels. It will be a battle of attrition. The 1000 pound gorilla almost always wins.....

Dennis references Jarndice at. al. & Dickens as a teaching point. Good reference but I'd say you may wish to consider the lessons of the Battle of the Greasy Grass or, maybe, Dien Bien Phu .....

Some days it is better to slink silently away and count one's blessings....

:popcorn:
 
Last edited:

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
How much, exactly, are we talking about here? Couple hundred for parts and a sure fix vs. thousands of $$ and hours spent on litigation/mediation with absolutely uncertain outcomes?

Suggesting that one has to know you adversary's order of battle and carefully choose the terrain on which you wish to fight. IMHO, you are not on "good ground" and lack the resources, tactical & strategic advantages to win your case despite being on the side of the angels. It will be a battle of attrition. The 1000 pound gorilla almost always wins.....

Dennis references Jarndice at. al. & Dickens as a teaching point. Good reference but I'd say you may wish to consider the lessons of the Battle of the Greasy Grass or, maybe, Dien Bien Phu .....

Some days it is better to slink silently away and count one's blessings....
I strongly disagree with this. If it were a narrow matter of personal cost-effectiveness, I might agree (although the playing field is not as one-sided as you suggest). But (at the risk of seeming melodramatic) I believe that there is a civic responsibility to stand one's ground in these matters. It is rather like paying ransoms to terrorists. From an individual perspective, it almost always make sense, but from a societal perspective it is an awful idea. Corporations are machines for making money--they are almost totally amoral. They will take as much advantage of their customers as conditions permit. This is not necessarily bad, as long as there is constant pushback from both regulators and consumers.

As for being on "good ground", do not underestimate the power of US consumer protection laws. We have come a LONG way since Dickens (partly to his credit). Magnuson–Moss and its siblings were written with full understanding of the disadvantage in which consumers find themselves when fighting large corporations. They were specifically designed to encourage the development of a spec-lawyer market, and they have been quite successful at this. It is easy to disparage "ambulance chasers", but when viewed in the light of consumer rights, one can see the upside.

As I said, you have rights, but they are worthless if not asserted.
 

GSWatson

2013 144
Let’s remember, before we start getting into lawyers and thousands of money ‘wasted,’ is that we are talking about Small Claims Court. This is exactly why these courts were established - to even out the playing field for individuals vs ? where small amounts are involved.

In the OP’s state of Washington, amounts only under $5k are allowed, and attorneys (and paralegals) are not permitted. Not sure who would represent MBUSA in this case.

I believe it’s worth a shot. And as Avanti said, rights are worthless unless they are exercised.

https://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/resources/?altMenu=smal&fa=newsinfo_jury.scc


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ENMeyer

Member
It seems to me, that it's a corporate policy for MB service centers to try and get out of warranty work.

I was told $x,xxx to fix an issue
I said "it says in my manual that this should be under warranty"
Service writer said "it's the WAY that it failed that tells us it's not under warranty"

Such BS from these MB dealers, sometimes.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
It seems to me, that it's a corporate policy for MB service centers to try and get out of warranty work.

I was told $x,xxx to fix an issue
I said "it says in my manual that this should be under warranty"
Service writer said "it's the WAY that it failed that tells us it's not under warranty"

Such BS from these MB dealers, sometimes.
It is ultimately MB corporate who allows or rejects a warranty claim.

A good dealer will work with Mercedes on your behalf to get them to cover marginal cases.

A bad dealer will not even contact them--preferring to take their more-profitable compensation from you.

A typical dealer will be good or bad depending on whether the consider you a "good" customer.

The latter issue is one of the few arguments for getting your routine service done at your dealer. Whether this is cost-effective depends on how much they charge (which varies widely).
 

4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
It is ultimately MB corporate who allows or rejects a warranty claim.

A good dealer will work with Mercedes on your behalf to get them to cover marginal cases.

A bad dealer will not even contact them--preferring to take their more-profitable compensation from you.

A typical dealer will be good or bad depending on whether the consider you a "good" customer.

The latter issue is one of the few arguments for getting your routine service done at your dealer. Whether this is cost-effective depends on how much they charge (which varies widely).
My experience with a totally different German manufacturer and dealer (BMW motorcycle) is that the dealers are in the catbird seat, and tend to think they can decide for the manufacturer. Once you force the issue to the manufacturer level, things happen.

But you best be prepared to go elsewhere for any future repairs.
 

ENMeyer

Member
It is ultimately MB corporate who allows or rejects a warranty claim.

A good dealer will work with Mercedes on your behalf to get them to cover marginal cases.

A bad dealer will not even contact them--preferring to take their more-profitable compensation from you.

A typical dealer will be good or bad depending on whether the consider you a "good" customer.

The latter issue is one of the few arguments for getting your routine service done at your dealer. Whether this is cost-effective depends on how much they charge (which varies widely).
I think that's how it went for my warranty issue. Local dealer tried to charge me $3300 for an emissions warranty item. We fought back and forth, they eventually did the work, tried to charge me $2000 for work that was very similar to the original warranty item, while also covering the emissions issue under warranty. I'm told this is "double dipping" - charging customer and MBZ for the same work.

You'd think that working with a Mercedes dealership would be a professional transaction, but it wasn't. If they are going to treat us poorly, might as well buy a Transit, eh? :thinking:
 

Old Crows

Calypso 2014 View Profile
Avanti. Not saying one should not stand up for or encourage consumer rights. Just saying that an individual has to measure the value of 'suiting up' and going to battle over what is a relatively small issue or amount of $$$. Pick your battles. It's a balance.

It also helps to get a consumer protection agency on your side and let them do the heavy lifting or stand in your corner. Very useful. Their effectiveness depends a lot upon the State you live in. PA and the east coast are pretty good. If you can get the Federales involved, even better. BUT, you have to know that it's sometimes going to be a long effort and at best, outcomes can not be predicted.
 

GSWatson

2013 144
OC, this is Small Claims Court. Mano a Mano. No attorneys, no outside counsel allowed. So it’s not a matter of ‘lawyering up.”


Cheers,
Greg
 

Top Bottom