My new S450 is 12 months old. I paid $280,000. A few months after purchase, Mercedes Benz (MB) replaced one shock absorber. The car rattles. MB have had the car for 16 weeks during the past year. Two weeks ago they verbally offered a replacement or refund and then changed their mind. They have now told me that the car meets all vehicle specifications.
I wish to find a lawyer with appropriate experience to take my case against MBAustralia, a motor trimmer/repair shop to try and stop the rattle (which MB can’t achieve) and an acoustic expert to write a report about the excessive rattle.
I would really appreciate some guidance. I am astonished by the lack of integrity of MB Australia.
Another member recently posted their problem with an LDV.
They got a refund by carefully documenting the problems, but not all importers are as caring about their reputations or customers. Their synopsis of their Letter of Complaint should be instructive and helpful.
You can find a number of relevant topics on the Community using the Community search tool for ‘lemon cars’, and once again a link to the Choice advice page.
This older article is also worth a read.
The Community is not a place for individual legal or financial referrals. While you seek resolution be aware anything you do independently along the way can work against your interests. For example if an independent fixes it you would be unlikely to get compensation from MB because ‘it’ was under warranty and ‘un-approved’ work can void the warranty in an ambit situation.
Be sure to get everything in writing and only respond in writing after considering the +/- of what is or is not on the table.
They are not legal aid in every case. Most are Consumer Legal Advice centres, they don’t care what you earn.
They provide advice as to what steps are possible, they can help act on behalf of clients in some cases. They may be able to advise who are good legal professionals to help provide services.
Just because they are free does not mean they are any less competent in their duties. Many are providing support pro bono outside their normal legal businesses, and I certainly have used them before taking further action as it provides points to look out for.
Often, under ACL the need to be represented in Court would not be a requirement until action in a Civil and Administrative Tribunal had been unsuccessful. Often the first “formal steps” can be undertaken by the consumer, items such as letters of complaints and what to do in preparation can be found on CHOICE or at the ACCC site or again at Consumer Legal Advice centres. This can provide a substantial saving in costs over using a paid for service, but getting good advice is highly recommended in doing this.
It applies to products with values of greater than $100K. The test being it is a product or service commonly bought for personal, domestic/household use. The purchase of a vehicle for domestic use of value of greater than $100K would satisfy this test.
The $100K threshold only applies to goods and services for business use (unless it is a vehicle or trailer used for business purposes where there is no limit).
A business vehicle with value over $100K would also be covered by the Consumer Guarantee under the Australian Consumer Law.
If you search for “lawyers with consumer law expertise”, one will obtain names of lawyers which claim to have such expertise. If you engage a lawyer, ensure that they demonstrate they have proven experience and capability. This is something a good legal firm should be willing to and able to provide. Also ask for an estimate of fees should you decide to engage them. They should be able to provide estimates, with caveats, for various scenarios and each step from sending legal correspondence through to court action.
For the trailer, it needs to mainly transport goods. Most business trailers would satisfy this requirement, unless it is a custom trailer for a specific purpose (e.g. a trailer fitted out as a mobile office/laboratory). For business vehicles, there isn’t such a requirement.
Too late now but maybe next time . Check out a Lexus LS 500 . Same size as your Merc but the kicker is they care about customer service . They are extremely well made and Lexus strives for customer satisfaction . Another thing they are $200,000 . Much better value in my opinion .
I worked in the industry and Lexus have a good name . Check where your Merc was made you may get a shock .
I was able to get written permission to take the vehicle to a suspension specialist, this was not about a MB. Consumer Affairs were very helpful. John Cadogan has plenty to say about MB customer support, or lack of. Good luck, you will get justice in the end but it will be stressful.