why won’t Mercedes repair my car under warranty?

If your car has developed a fault, or for consumer advice, turn to Honest John by emailing [email protected]

Long harm of the flaw

In September 2018 I bought a 3,500-mile 2017 Mercedes-AMG GTC Convertible from GVE London for £122,000. It had many serious snags, for which I eventually organised repairs after the car spent a great deal of time going back to GVE without ever being fixed. This took seven months, during most of which my car was in GVE, Mercedes Shrewsbury or RSC Body Centre, which carried out most of the repairs. I ordered parts via Mercedes and eventually got GVE to pay for the remedial work. When RSC had finished, the owner called me to say they were concerned about water ingress in the footwells; its electrical hub was completely submerged. The car has been with Mercedes since last November, but it will not cover the repairs under warranty. Its report also says it is beyond repair and should be written off. My solicitor says my contract is with GVE and that it should take the car back and refund my money. It was sold to me in “As new condition with no faults recorded.” Is there anything I can do? AKM

GVE London is not a Mercedes-Benz franchised dealership. I obtained AKM’s permission to check the Vehicle Information Number (VIN) with Mercedes-Benz UK to establish if this was a genuine UK market car, an independent import, or whether parts had been ordered to match the VIN that would indicate it had been crashed and rebuilt. The latter would explain MB-UK’s reluctance to become involved and would shift liability entirely to the dealer which sold the car. Mercedes confirmed that it was a genuine UK car and they have no record of parts being ordered to repair it after an accident, but still would not cover it under warranty. Unfortunately, your solicitor was correct – you have to pursue the supplying dealer. 

Private inequity

I received my annual AA renewal notice, a staggering £308.61 for my wife and I for its Roadside, Relay and Home Start services. I called to query this and was quickly offered a discount to £222.20. They stated this was the lowest they could go. I said it was unacceptable given that last year I paid £164 and I would go elsewhere. I was then told to wait while they considered if anything further could be done, and, hey presto, I was offered £185.17, which I accepted. I pay by direct debit, so if I hadn’t taken action I would have paid £308.61; an increase of £123.44 over the previous year. I suggest that anyone renewing their AA membership should negotiate hard. Remember, they are no longer mutual but owned by investors. Nothing wrong with that, but their very aggressive pricing does the AA’s reputation no good. Why can’t they just offer a fair renewal price in the first place and save us the hassle of negotiating every year? CC

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