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Adonis
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Grand Prix Motors of Los Angeles Seeks Refund for $1.7 million Mercedes AMG
CLK-GTR Roadster; Luxury Car Died After First 'Test Drive' of 10 blocks;
Auto Dealership Represented by Fulbright & Jaworski.

LOS ANGELES, June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- When Los Angeles car dealer Mark
Johnston forked over $1.7 million to buy one of only five special Mercedes
Benz roadsters produced in the world, he could not have predicted the
ongoing struggle just to get the car to work. Indeed, he and his brother
couldn't get it to travel more than ten blocks. Frustrated with his failed
efforts to obtain customer satisfaction, Mr. Johnston has filed suit in Los
Angeles Superior Court seeking a full refund from the manufacturer and its
affiliates.

The defendants named in the suit are DaimlerChrysler AG, along with
Mercedes-Benz USA, Mercedes-AMG GmbH and H.W.A. GmbH. Mercedes-Benz USA and
Mercedes-AMG are subsidiaries of DaimlerChrysler; H.W.A. has been
affiliated with DaimlerChrysler in the design and production of rare
automobiles for many years.

Mr. Johnston's suit, brought by law firm Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.,
accuses the defendants of breaching their contractual and warranty
obligations to provide a defect-free car, in this case a Mercedes AMG
CLK-GTR Limited Edition Roadster, which Mr. Johnston intended to sell
through his dealership. The complaint also alleges negligent
misrepresentation and breach of the implied warranty of good faith and fair
dealing. Mr. Johnston seeks full reimbursement of the vehicle's purchase
price, along with the other costs incurred as a result of attempts to
repair it.


The silver AMG Roadster is a product of DaimlerChrysler's long
collaboration with H.W.A. and Mercedes-AMG, two German manufacturers of
racing and high-end performance vehicles. Only five of the AMG roadsters
were reportedly made; Mr. Johnston owns the only one in North America. The
AMG CLK-GTR is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most
expensive production car ever made. The two-door sports car is made of
carbon fiber monocoque with an integrated steel roll cage and front energy
absorbing crash box. The 6.9-liter engine has a 12-cylinder, 60 degree
V-motor, enabling the car to go from zero to 124 mph in 9.9 seconds and
reach a top speed of 198.4 mph.

Mr. Johnston and his brother Ernest own Grand Prix Motors, a car
dealership in the Mar Vista section of Los Angeles. The two former auto
mechanics have extensive experience working on Ferraris and other top
performing vehicles and are very knowledgeable about collectible cars.
Grand Prix contracted to purchase the Mercedes AMG in 2002 for the hefty
price tag of $1.7 million. Their intention was to sell the vehicle through
their dealership, as they had done with other rare and vintage automobiles.

"The car was absolutely gorgeous and we were excited about offering
what we thought was a true gem to our customer base," Mark Johnston
explained. "Unfortunately, the car turned out to be 'exotic' in the worst
possible way. When we took it off the lot in 2004 for its first customer
test drive, Ernie drove the car all of ten blocks with a prospective buyer
when the oil light came on. We've been trying to get it fixed ever since,
but the Mercedes folks have refused to stand behind the car as promised in
our contract."

According to the complaint, the roadster's transmission failed to shift
properly. Additionally, the hydraulic jack system failed and the windows
became unglued. In 2005, the defendants dispatched a technician from
Germany to examine the car in 2005; after dismantling it, the mechanic
returned to Germany with a number of parts that were never reinstalled. Mr.
Johnston asserts that the defendants later instructed Grand Prix to
transport the non-working car to a Mercedes facility in Lake Park, Florida,
which Grand Prix did at an additional cost of $10,000.

Although the Mercedes technicians determined that the car suffered an
oil-pressure related engine failure and needed a new engine, the defendants
were unwilling to make any repairs. The complaint asserts that the
defendants were aware that several of the other Mercedes AMG roadsters in
circulation had oil pressure-related problems.

"Mr. Johnston has exhausted himself trying to get Mercedes and the
other defendants to recognize their warranty obligations," said John
O'Malley, the Fulbright & Jaworski partner in Los Angeles who is
representing Grand Prix Motors. "You'd think you'd be able to drive a $1.7
million car more than 10 blocks."

"We continue to be dumbfounded by the unwillingness DaimlerChrysler,
Mercedes and the other defendants have shown in owning up to the problems
of their vehicle -- the other manufacturers we deal with would never
operate this way," explained Mr. Johnston. "It's unfortunate the defendants
have forced us to bring a lawsuit in order to have our contract honored. We
obviously cannot sell the car in its current condition, which right now
represents nearly $2 million of scrap metal."

Grand Prix Motors
Grand Prix Motors is an established car dealership and full service
repair center in Los Angeles. Originally a business serving the vintage,
restored collectible, and one-of-a-kind high-performance vehicle market
niche, Grand Prix now sells and services new cars as well. Owners Mark and
Ernie Johnston purchased the dealership in 1983; they previously worked in
the repair shop as certified Ferrari mechanics. The brothers also own Ojai
Ford, a new car dealership in Ventura County, California.
:rofl:
 

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It's a long way from the the car in question, but I had my C32 AMG's 45K service earlier this week (plus a DC recall notice). Since I had not been driving the car much since I purchased my new 4Runner, the battery was low. The car started okay, but you could tell it was down on cranking power. In any event, I had to have it towed to the dealership because the car's tranny would not shift out of first. When I picked up the car today, there were four brand new '06 Benzes on flatbeds in the parking lot, ALL having mysteriously quit on their drivers and left them stranded.

While waiting several hours for my car (recall parts not in stock for God's sake) listening to service reps describe problems with customers waiting for their cars, I was astounded at the number of cars whose power window motors had gone kaput. I thought this was more of a VAG problem (my wife's Audi had both front window motors go out within three months of one another), but I was told by one 80-something owner that I must be one of the fortunate few this has not happened to. My lease is up in February '07 and I can't wait. Our experiment with German cars will be officially over when I return the car and my wife finally decides which color she wants in the IS 350. At that point, we will be an all Toyota family (having previously owned 10 or 12 of them) consisting or two MKIVs, one 4Runner and one Lexus.

Ken.
 

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417 Posts
has the case been settled yet?
i don't see the problem from mercedes' end.
the car is fucked and they refuse to repair it.
i just don't get it.
:dunno:
 

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I have auto ADD.
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4,567 Posts
KenHenderson said:
It's a long way from the the car in question, but I had my C32 AMG's 45K service earlier this week (plus a DC recall notice). Since I had not been driving the car much since I purchased my new 4Runner, the battery was low. The car started okay, but you could tell it was down on cranking power. In any event, I had to have it towed to the dealership because the car's tranny would not shift out of first. When I picked up the car today, there were four brand new '06 Benzes on flatbeds in the parking lot, ALL having mysteriously quit on their drivers and left them stranded.

While waiting several hours for my car (recall parts not in stock for God's sake) listening to service reps describe problems with customers waiting for their cars, I was astounded at the number of cars whose power window motors had gone kaput. I thought this was more of a VAG problem (my wife's Audi had both front window motors go out within three months of one another), but I was told by one 80-something owner that I must be one of the fortunate few this has not happened to. My lease is up in February '07 and I can't wait. Our experiment with German cars will be officially over when I return the car and my wife finally decides which color she wants in the IS 350. At that point, we will be an all Toyota family (having previously owned 10 or 12 of them) consisting or two MKIVs, one 4Runner and one Lexus.

Ken.
Sounds like the Mercedes I know. After about 1990 their quality went downhill fast.

-Former dealership employee
 

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KenHenderson said:
It's a long way from the the car in question, but I had my C32 AMG's 45K service earlier this week (plus a DC recall notice). Since I had not been driving the car much since I purchased my new 4Runner, the battery was low. The car started okay, but you could tell it was down on cranking power. In any event, I had to have it towed to the dealership because the car's tranny would not shift out of first. When I picked up the car today, there were four brand new '06 Benzes on flatbeds in the parking lot, ALL having mysteriously quit on their drivers and left them stranded.

While waiting several hours for my car (recall parts not in stock for God's sake) listening to service reps describe problems with customers waiting for their cars, I was astounded at the number of cars whose power window motors had gone kaput. I thought this was more of a VAG problem (my wife's Audi had both front window motors go out within three months of one another), but I was told by one 80-something owner that I must be one of the fortunate few this has not happened to. My lease is up in February '07 and I can't wait. Our experiment with German cars will be officially over when I return the car and my wife finally decides which color she wants in the IS 350. At that point, we will be an all Toyota family (having previously owned 10 or 12 of them) consisting or two MKIVs, one 4Runner and one Lexus.

Ken.
Good for you. My C32 was a disaster. I sold it after owning it for a year. I've had two German cars since and never going back. Glad to see you learned your lesson after just having one. On Monday I got myself a brand new LS430. I don't know why I ever bought anything else.

Sam
 

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BPUKiller said:
Good for you. My C32 was a disaster. I sold it after owning it for a year. I've had two German cars since and never going back. Glad to see you learned your lesson after just having one. On Monday I got myself a brand new LS430. I don't know why I ever bought anything else.

Sam
You're right, Sam, and, being a performance junkie, the irony is I always wanted an AMG....long before the company was absorbed by Mercedes, but those cars were very, very pricey. I always thought that when AMG became a division of DC, the cars would be better and more reliable. Little did I know. Love the motor, brakes and stealthiness about it, but that's where it ends. The fit and finish on my wife's A4 2.8 Quattro is significantly better than the AMG.

We've checked out the IS 350s extensively and wifey is pretty excited about this car. She's driven the C32 about four times in the four years we've had it......doesn't care for it much. I recently drove an LS 430 with 197,000 miles for 1500 miles over three weeks. The owner has NEVER had to do anything to the car other than carry out scheduled maintenance. Great, pampering, quiet, good performing road car. You made a good deal getting one of these before the new LS 460s come out.

Ken.
 

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808Supraclub
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304 Posts
holy crap.. is that why i see so many Mercedes loaner cars running around town?!? That sucks.. remind me to never walk in a dealership.. EVER!!!! Although, my E46 M3 is pretty cool.. I did smoke my clutch and they fought me every bit of the way to replace it.. They have clauses for every freakin thing in the warranty.. :)
 

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Adonis
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511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MONTVALE, N.J. — Mercedes-Benz is recalling its 2005 and 2006 SLR McLaren because high underhood temperatures could damage the alternator and start a fire, the automaker said.

Mercedes spokesman Rob Moran told Inside Line that the recall covers 433 vehicles in the United States as well as an undisclosed number of cars sold globally.

"Customers will be notified by mail, and the repairs will be done free of charge," Moran said. He added that there were no reports of injury related to the problem. The automaker will repair the car by improving engine compartment cooling and by installing a new alternator and a modified engine control unit.

An alternator affected by the problem will not provide enough power for the car's electrical systems. The display will indicate the need to shut down features such as the air conditioning and the radio. If the Battery/Alternator Stop Vehicle icon appears, the driver should shut off the engine and have the vehicle towed to the dealership for repairs, the company said. Moran said the company will not disclose what it will cost to repair the SLR McLaren.

What this means to you: Have that SLR McLaren checked out before you head to the track or try any fancy maneuvers
I wonder who's SLR has caught fire, hopefully Paris Hilton's will while she's driving.
 

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Premium Member
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Yeah, Mercedes look very nice and drive well too, but the reliability just isn't there. That why I got my Mom back into a Lexus(SC430) when her 2nd E-Class lease was up last year.
 
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