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Mercedes Benz SLK class:

SLK200, SLK350, SLK280, SLK55 AMG, SLK200, SLK230K, SLK320, SLK32 AMG. (R171)

Bach writes:
I bought a slk230 2 years ago. During these 2 years conless things have gone wrong. One major issue that stills bugs me today is the brake lights. I took it in to have it fix a month after purchase. The dealer told me it was a burn out light bulb. That cost me $97 not including the 2 days to diagnose the problem. This wasn't part of the warrante. One day after pick up the light went out again. Took it back. This would happen for 3 more times. A year pass i took the car in again for the tail light agian, it would cost me $850 to replace the entire light unit because "it's a problem with all slks." Not cover under warrantee because I have 50013 miles on my odometer. When I complain to the service manager, he gave me a number to the regional rep for Mercedes. You guess it right... Never returned my calls. With this my entire family will end it's 35 years relationship with Mercedes!!!

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Andy writes:
My ownership experience Horrid. In the shop over 160 days in one year, sorry customer service and no help from MBUSA. My car started it series of shop visits at 500 miles. It has gotten to the point that the last time I took my vehicle to Premier Motorcars of Albuquerque NM they said thaey could not duplicate my concerns without evven ddriving it. . This 2003 SLK320 has been the worst car I have ever owned. I filed for the lemon law in April and I am still in battle with MBUSA. I have problems with the following;
Brake Lights
CD Changer
Dash Lights
Power windows
Heated Seats
and numerous electrical problems.
They once held my vehicle for 28 days, closed a repair order and opened another one just so the dates on the repair order would not be 30 consecutive days. Talk about a rip off. I now look at this $60k investment under my carport every morning as I have to catch a ride to work.

Elaine writes:
My 2002 SLK320 has been taken to the dealership for repair of the radio 6 times and the problem still persists. The radio starts to play after I turn the engine off and take the key out of the ignition. Other problems include (1) the ESP BAS light appeared on the dash, (2) the interior light came on while I was driving, (3) the automatic lock no longer locks, (4) the car alarm started ringing while I was putting groceries in the truck and also started ringing while parked in an enclosed residential garage. This is a piece of junk. The service reps are cocky. I had a Toyota Camry for 10 years and had no problems.

Rick writes:
On April 4th, 2000, I bought a 1999 Mercedes SLK230 from the Autobahn Dealership in Belmont, California. Two weeks after I bought the car, the vinyl inserts on the inside of the door fell off.

A couple months later, I noticed that one of the black screens that fit inside the front air dam had fallen off the front bumper. About one month after that, I had trouble with the convertible roof. It would open properly, but would stop halfway through the closing procedure. After several minutes of reattempting to close the top, it would finally close. I took my car to Modesto European. They immediately determined that THREE switches in the power top were defective. After three days of sitting at that dealership, the parts still hadn't arrived. I went down to the dealership and picked up my car. Two weeks after I picked up my car, the switches came in, and I scheduled an appointment. I took it to the shop in the morning, and the car was ready later that night. I bought a Mercedes because I wanted a car that would be very reliable, and last me for several years. EVERY time I took this car to the shop, I had to use my hard earned vacation time, and every time I had to go and pick it up, I had to use more of my vacation time!

About one month after I had the power top fixed, the in dash cup holder fell apart. Minor yes, but inconvenient, especially for a $45,000 car (not out the door).

In June 2000, while waxing my car, a clamp fell out from behind the driver's side parking lamp. As I continued to wax the car, I noticed that the factory installed ground effect skirt was falling off the car. None of its screws were holding it to the car. I made another appointment, using more vacation time and had these problems fixed. When I took it to the dealership for repair, the dealership didnt have the parts, so I had to take it home. I had to take it back after the parts did arrive.

On July 01 2001, I attempted to put the convertible top down again. Halfway through the opening sequence, the top froze. The roof stuck halfway through opening. After it did this a couple more times, I knew I had another bad switch. I made an appointment for the first available day, July 05, 2001. At 8:00am on July 05, 2001, I dropped the car off again. While it was at the dealership, I showed them a spot in the trunk where I was missing a piece of trim. After close inspection, it appears as though it had never been put on the car when the car was built. It was clean and painted where a screw should have been used to secure the moulding. If a screw had been installed, it would have displaced the paint inside the screwhole.

I received a call later that day from the dealership. The dealership told me that there was yet another bad switch in my power top. They didnt have the part, so they had to keep it over night again. I couldnt pick it up until a few days later, because of my work schedule, and my inability to get any time off.

During the first year and a half of owning my finely engineered German sports car, I have had the following problems:
1. Two vinyl door inserts fell off
2. Front air dam screen fell off
3. 3 switches for the convertible top defectiv
4. Ground effect side skirt coming off
5. Plastic trunk moulding never installed
6. Bracket for parking light fell off
7. Switch for power top defective again.
8. In dash cup holder fell apart.

On July 02, 2003 while driving my car home from a very difficult day at work, my car filled with smoke! There was smoke coming from under the dash, and through the vents. I had to put the windows down to see. This caused a very dangerous situation! I could have been injured or injured somebody else. I stopped as soon as I could to examine the problem. The fan that blows for the heater/air conditioner burned out! I had to park my car in the garage and wait 1 1/2 weeks to get my car BACK into the shop. That is the soonest Mercedes can work on it. My $50,000 car currently only has 38,487 miles on it.
Mercedes dealerships are the ONLY ones who have ever serviced my car. Out of desperation, I called Berberian European Motors in Stockton, California. I spoke with David Ayrton. I told him ALL the problems I had with my car. I told him that I wanted to get out of my car really bad, and that it had cost me way too much time, and inconvenience. He told me that he would try to get me into a slightly used car that they had on their lot. They had a used SLK320 2002 that had 900 miles on it. After I made an appointment to see him on my day off, I had to wait over one hour for him to show up. He was getting a tire fixed or something like that. Once he showed up, he offered to sell me that SLK320 at the same price that they were selling it for, with no kind of discount, even though he promised to try and work with me in an effort to get me out of my car. Then, he told me that the best he could give me for my $50,000 car that I bought just three years ago, was $21,000! A Mercedes depreciates $29,000 in the first three years???? I went to another dealership, Modesto European, and spoke with Manager Donald Lee. He told me the same thing, but was even less cordial. I told him and David from the other dealership that if Mercedes doesnt TRY to help me get into a different car, I wouldnt ever buy another Mercedes ever again. I also told them that my sister, who owns an infinity, and her husband, who owns a BMW 5 series are watching to see how I get treated. As a result, they will never own a Mercedes either. My sister is currently in the market for a new car.
I take very good car of all of my cars. I currently have five. None of my other cars including my 1996 Kia have EVER been to a shop except for routine maintenance like tires. I have had 3 Fords that have made it way into the 200,000 mile range with NO problems like Mercedes Benz. I am afraid to take my car on trips because of its track record! The only heads my car turns are the ones that say, "WHAT, YOUR CAR IS IN THE SHOP AGAIN!"

Peter writes:
Bought a brand new 2002 SLK32 AMG in Houston and within 1000 miles or so had the cam replaced to due engine clicking. Awful customer service! Anyone else experiencing this?

Mike writes:
I bought a new slk 230 (01) what a mistake. The alarm continued to go off constantly. The check engine light came on 22 times in 2 years. Ignition colis were replaced too often. The hard top leaked, and the windows didn't seal best experience with the car was the day I sold it.

RK writes:
Lots of problems with my SLK230 too. Dont really know where to go with it. Mercedes wont allow me to trade up to help me get out of my lemon--uh I mean Mercedes!

Naji writes:
I bought my SLK230 (Sports package) brand new in 1999. Needless to say, 2 weeks after having the car the light bulb indicator came on to inform me that the bulb was out...oh well, after going through the same crap for the next few years, they finally acknowledged that this was a known issue with all SLK's... Anyway, that was only one problem out of many that continued to occur... The car is currently at the dealership (3 days now) to replace the fried spark plug wires... oh well, this will be my last Benz ever... I'm selling this POS and getting a BMW... If nothing else, at least the BMW dealership is friendly and courteous, unlike the ******** at MBZ.

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Michelle writes:
I purchased a Slk 230(99). The roof leaks, the dash is peeling like a Canadian at the Florida beach. The alarm goes off, the check engine lights are always on and when you turn on the radio it tells you to "Wait." I cannot wait to sell this lemon. Why does it say "wait."

Richard writes:
Had lots of issues with the '99 230slk....light bulbs, door panels coming loose, both windows not working, engine problems, transmission...I am writing about the latter. Had the transmission looked at in May of was ratteling....Called the dealership...CALSTAR MOTORS IN GLENDALE, CA....Took the car in for a check up and it turned out the whole transmission needed to be replaced...THank God is was under warranty (it still only has 45k miles on it). They replaced it, but since then, a few times already, the trany gets suck on a gear and won't change, even if I floor the pedal and the car doesn't accelerate. It happened again last week. So I called the same dealer that did the transmission and told them about it. They told me to bring it in but they will have to charge me 200 dollars just to look at it b/c it's not under warranty anymore. I told them that their service paperwork says that transmission is covered for 24 months if the repair as done at the dealer. TOld me that not if the repair was done under warranty. WHAT KIND OF A FvCKED UP POLICY IS THIS. SO IF MERCEDES PAYS FOR IT AND IT GOES BAD OR THEY DID A PISS-POOR JOB, THEY JUST DON'T BACK UP THEIR WORK? IS THIS WHAT THEY ARE TELLING US BY THIS POLICY. I called Mercedes customer service and the guy told me the same thing, but he said he will submit my issue and they might approve the work to be done for free. I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVE TO GO TRHOUGH THIS JUST SO MERCEDES TO BACK UP ITS OWN WORK...UNREAL!!!
I will be in a market for a new car and I was really want the new SLK but after this, I think I'll look into the new BMW 3 COUPLE....

Robert Merkt writes:
I purchased a 2001 SLK320 3 Years ago for my wife with just over 16K miles on the car. I continued the warranty service with Mercedes Benz of Cincinnati. In the summer of 2004, I had my check engine light come on before I left the dealership lot after getting a "A" or "B" service. The immediately replaced the oxygen sensor and the light went out. I also asked if they would check the top and it wasn't releasing on the left side at the same time as the right. The top was worse than ever. Took it back for another adjustment. We didn't use the car as a convertible but a couple times and about the third time, the top starting hanging up on the left side. My wife was angry about it, but it was winter so everything got put on the back burner. When spring came, the top continued to hang up and I discovered that if you bang you hand on the left side as it is trying to unlatch, it worked. We did this and finally complained to the dealership, while they were agreeable to look into it, this continued on for two more trips, which was out of warranty. With periodic check engine lights, the top adjustments lasting about two or three reclines, I have totally lost confidence in the dealership service dept., especially after over filling the engine oil on a previous service. Another MB ASE looked at the car with the check engine light last spring and informed me that the computer had the history of error codes posted since the time of the oxygen sensor replacement. He cleared the codes, light went out but told me that the dealership is responsible for the top not working properly and I should contact them. I did so and they once again applied some more grease, the dealership said the cables may be stretched so I would be responsible for the cost. Last week, the car left my wife stranded when the engine wouldn't accelerate and we had a different non dealership MB mechanic look at it. This mechanic worked for MB for 15 years and has 27 years experience and came highly recommended by an SL owner I know. His hand held computer diagnostic revealed that the throttle plate, which is electronic, was defective, and upon discussion with the parts desk at MB of Cinti, that part rarely is replaced, especially on a car with 42K miles. The mechanic's opinion was that this part was defective for some time, especially in light of the poor gas mileage and past error codes. Further investigation revealed that the top needs a $35 striker plate on the left side which is why it top hangs. I feel that the dealership has taken a shortcut on every turn possible without any consideration to the time and agravation they have put myself and my wife through. We have all the paperwork supporting these statements. My wife wants to sell the car as she feels it is of poor quality and regrets our daughter taking her advice and buying a C320 as she cannot afford expensive repairs.
The current repairs cost $900 which is just half of what MB of Cincinnati would have charged for something that should have been repaired in during the warranty period. It took the mechanic less than 10 minutes and a phone call to determine the problem. I love most of your cars and would certainly consider buying another one.

But, if I want a new Benz, I will have to drive to the West Chester Ohio dealership for service. That is just too much time lost time. I don't think MB can afford this sort of publicity.

Gail Fitzpatrick writes:
I bought a pre-certified 2003 SLK230 8/22/06 at the Laguna Niguel, Ca Mercedes Benz dealer. It had only a little under 17,000 miles on it. On Oct. 28 I started experiencing problems where when I applied gas to the vechile it jump and the tire spun. I work by the Fletcher Jones Mercedez Benz dealer, so I brought it there to be looked at and problem fixed on Nov. 1st. THEY STILL HAVE THE CAR. I have been told that it was at least 2 or 3 different problems before I was told it was the transmission. Their reasons for holding my car so long is supposedly due to trying to repair things and it wasn't the problem, then I was going to get a new transmission, then I'm not, now they are going to "rebuild" the transmission, and they are waiting on parts. This is wrong. I am being penalized because it is under warranty still. I am very concerned that this problem has occured from only 18k miles on the car. I believe that this car has more damage to it than I was told about. I paid full price for the Kelly Blue book for a car in excellent condition. This car is NOT in excellent condition if it's in the shop for the past 2 weeks and I still don't know when I'm getting it back!

jason Amir writes:
Valentines day 2006. I walk into Crown Eurocars in St. Petersburg, FLorida and pay cash for a brand new SLK 350, the care my wife drooled over for the last year as a surprise valentines gift. This car has turned out to be the worst piece of junk we ever owned. In 10 months since it has been back in with numerous problems. The power steering makes a constant sound as if there was no fluid in it. Once the dealer had it for a month trying to fix this problem. No such luck. Has anyone had this power steering issue? If so, how did you solve it?

Dana writes:
I bought a brand new 2003 SLK-230 at Mercedes Benz of Tampa (approx. $45,000). I loved the car for about 2 months. Thereafter, the alarm kept going off, no matter where it was parked. Then the real fun began: rear brake light fixed 3 times; check engine light 3 times; radio stuck on 1 station & replaced 1 time; brake pads and rotors changed 1 time; air bag light 2 times; front headlamp 2 times; etc., etc. Car was in the shop a total of 18 times in 30 months. Demanded MB of Tampa take the car back or do SOMEthing to make me a satisfied customer. MB of Tampa told me, and I quote: "We've doing our part, which is only to fix the car." Took them to arbitration, and LOST on a technicality. Arbitraiton panel was a "good ole boys" network, and despite all of my receipts, etc., they refused to even give me a chance to tell my side of the story. Arbitration hearing last not even 10 minutes.
This car was my DREAM car, & it was the WORST experience and BIGGEST waste of $ I ever spent. I will NEVER, ever again own a Mercedes. The company simply does NOT stand behind their product.
P.S. According to a recent article in the local paper, a man in Florida purchased one of the few, rare $1 million MB concept cars, drove it 8 blocks, and the car broke down! MB refuses to do ANYthing for him, so now he is suing them. I hope he WINS.

Sandy writes:
I bought a used 01 SLK 230 less than 6 months ago, and it has been the worst car I ever owned. My father owns a used car dealership and can't even work on it. It is very difficult to repair because Mercedes wants it that way, and it has been an electrical nightmare. The pedal sensor is bad which is causing it to not accelerate from a stop or even just to passing gear, the a/c blower motor stays on even after you turn the car off until the battery dies, and I have spent over $800.00 so far looking for a short. I've had to have the dash re-dyed because it was peeling very very badly. I can't wait to get it fixed so I can sell it for whatever loss I have to take. I'll never buy another Mercedes and have avidly stopped some of my co-workers from doing so. I took it to Tafel Motors in Louisville, KY and paid them $100 an hour for labor to tell me there was nothing wrong with it when I took it in for the slow acceleration, now that it completely stopping going at all, a smaller repair center charged $350. to tell me what sensor it was, and wanted another $750 to install it. Tafel was terribly rude and very unhelpful, they won't even allow you to take to a mechanic, just a service writer that doesn't know anything about cars. The one good thing I can say is than I called Cincinnati Benz and they let me speak to an actual mechanic on the phone.

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Eric writes:
I have owned a Mercedes SLK320 for about 4 years already and have to say that I agree with most of the comments in this website.
At first I had an issue with the tail lights according to the dealer the housing assambly were defective, they replace it, after that was the defective rack & pinion assembly, they replace it, then the catalytic converter, also replace it, then the dashboard lights half of it burned out, since this is a convertible with a hard top now the when I drive more than 50 miles an hours, the wind starting to penetrate to the seal, neddless to say this car is only 4 years old with almost 30,000 miles, garage kept.
I am just wondering what happening with the quality of workmanship on this cars, I spent $47,000 USD to purchase this thinking in the quality and reliability of it.

I want to mention that I also own a couple of BMW's 740i (99) and 325i (95) convertible, a Porsche 911 (00), and a Range Rover (99) and I have not had near the experience, that I have been thru with the SLK320. (02) and I have treat them the same way no less.

I was lucky to purchase a 100K warranty, so most of this issues were covered by the warranty but my point is why such an expensive automobile has to have so many issues an such a short time.

I am very dissapointed how this was just to be a simbol of workmanship in the German enginneering has little by little loosing, not only my trust but others as well.

I will advice anyone that between MB and BMW go with the BMW by far don't even hesitate.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Mitchell writes:
I purchases a new SLK 350 from Euro Motor cars in Maryland, and started having problems with it within the first 3000 miles.
The oil sensor was faulty and then after being in the shop 8 days (no loaner) i got the cat back and the electronics which get the data from the sensor went bad. During this time, Mercedes is giving every excuse in the book ,and even tried to blame it on me for driving the car with out oil.
This is in the first two months of owning the car.
I even had to go to the parts department at HBL Mercedes in Vienna Virgina and buy two quarts of oil. The second time they had my car for 15 days.
So out of the first 10 weeks, my car has already at the dealership for 3 weeks.

Since then, the car was in the shop 12 times in 2 years.
The steering column had a part that went bad, Electronics module went bad twice.
Some electrical in the transmission went bad and wouldnt shift,

within weeks of having that fixed, the car would be cruising down the road and all the electronics would light up like a christmas tree, but the engine would now be off.
You had to coast off the road and wait for the engine to cool down.
I think this was the alternator, but I never did find out. Mercedes listed some obscure part.

The next time, All the electrical systems wouldnt turn on even thought the engine came on and the car would drive.
Then the Tire Pressure sensors were faulty.
The Check engine light was on constantly, often almost as soon as I picked the car up from the service dept.
then the SLK 350 turned completely off while driving and left me stranded and had to be towed in, because the Crank Shaft sensor became faulty.

1 out of 10 times, when the car was started, the electronics wouldnt come on, and you had to turn the car off and restart the car.

I finally traded this car for a considerable loss because of all I was doing nothing but driving back and forth to the Mercedes Dealer.

Donna writes:
I will never buy another mercedes benz. I own a slk320, my dream car, and it turns out that it's a nightmare, and the service I recieved from the Annapolis Service Center was also a nightmare. Buy a mercedes at your own risk.

hollis writes:
My 2001 Mecedes slk 320 had some type of electrical problem where the locks started locking and unlocking themselves, next my flood lights would not turn off. I was on my way to get it looked out when it started smoking like crazy. I tried to turn it off and it would not turn off. The smoke overwhelmed me so I got out of the car, right after the drivers side was in flames. My car is destroyed. I was so scared. I do not have insurance. I do not understand what happened. My car was fine one minute and up in flames the next. I am devistated, is there anything I can do?

LEWIS writes:

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