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On Thursday August 11th I bought the CPO 2002 C230 Coupe from Lewbar Imports in West Springfield, MA. The salesman who I worked with was Michael DeVilles. The car was sold with no conditions such as broken or damaged parts. It was purchased with the understanding CPO meant the car was a “like new used car.” Mercedes-Benz on a national level at the least encourages the sale of these cars as a like experience as a new Mercedes-Benz. The sale was quick but I initially thought good. I later learned that reconditioning process and quality checks were to be gone over and were not. I believe this is because the car was not reconditioned and checks where not made. The car’s condition was horrible and has made me reconsider staying with Mercedes-Benz vehicles instead of BMW vehicles, but faith and prior experience solely has keep me on board with Mercedes-Benz. This was my first vehicle purchase and is in turn keeping me on a tight budget simply to own. I regret the entire experience and purchase of the car from Lewbar Imports. I must say I like the car more and more as things are fixed but it is taking a lot of time and my patience is fading. Coming from a family who drives Mercedes-Benz (a C320, ML350, & SL500) I love the vehicles and have enjoyed them very much without exception until this one.
I found this car on MBUSA.com’s CPO search section. As an Indianapolis resident I flew with my father to Hartford, CT. where a man from Lewbar Imports picked us up and took us to the dealer. We got a warm welcome and run down through the sale of the car. Michael and company were very friendly and helpful with getting us taken care of and on our way. Michael even gave me a paperweight and towel for my car which I thought was quite nice.
As soon as we began our journey back to Indianapolis and got on the road we noticed the steering wheel was off some 15 degree’s from center so that it was cocked to drive straight. I felt ok with it as it could be fixed in Indianapolis under warranty work. From there it only went down hill. Now having been in to the shop here in Indianapolis 3 times and over 20 days of loaner cars as they sort out problems not addressed when the car was “being certified” in MA. The list of problems and any kind of explanation is as follows as taken off the combined 16 pages of work from the dealers receipt here in Indianapolis.

*Headlamp Washers not working at all.
Pushed button to find nothing happening.
*Steering Wheel off to the left 15 degrees
This was found to be that the alignment was WAY off and 1700$ was done to fix this problem which Lewbar agreed to paying I believe on August 18th however didn’t pay until September 7th which I think was extremely rude to the Indianapolis dealer, World Wide Motors. The front left wheel and back right wheel were very far off the acceptable measurement as I was shown in the shop. Along with finding all of these suspension problems when the car was on the rack they found a crack in the front bumper extending from a broken out fog lamp (listed below) up to the next molding.
*The right front fog lamp was cracked out and left front fog lamp was broken loose
In line with the front left wheel being messed up, some scuffs underneath and the crack in the bumper everyone there agreed that it was all connected in some kind of small collision such as a curb or poor road condition. When I wasn’t sure how the cracked light had happened I checked the photo sent to me before I went to buy the car and to my surprise it was cracked in the picture. Lewbar Imports took care of this when they paid for the suspension work.
*Behind the Left front wheel well the molding is dented
It’s not extremely noticeable until brought to attention as it was at the shop here. I thought that something was out of line and that’s why things weren’t lining up as it didn’t even occur to me there was a dent.
*The Glove Box latch didn’t work properly
The latch’s spring had gone so I had to manually push the latch down to get it to hold closed
*The Drivers seat was loose and moved as a old strait chair might
*The CD Changer skipped
The changer skipped a lot and has been adjusted so that it is working much better but may still need more work. It has a problem with less than perfect CD’s that the other 3 Mercedes-Benz’s we have play without any sort of problem.
*The Trim around the Shifter was loose and moved down when touched
*Panoramic roof was loud opening and closing and at speeds 45mph+ buzzed
The buzz sounded like a huge bumble bee and got louder with speed so until fixed the roof wasn’t pleasurable at all to have open
*The Drivers power headrest didn’t work at all
No response from the button.
*A loud popping noise from the dash when the car turned on
Sounded like something breaking in the dash
*No roof closing crank included for emergency closing of panoramic roof
*The right vent in the middle of the dash did move horizontally.
Vent only directed air up and down
*Cup holder jammed and didn’t open or close right
*Door sill “Mercedes-Benz” metal warped and coming up at edges
*Remote Key Fobs quit working all together
Replaced rear window and other parts to fix
*Thud from front of car on bumps that sounded like loose parts
Stabilizer links were worn out
*The deck over the trunk area of hatch falls down when latches release
*Parking break doesn’t always clear when released
*Comand system GPS location not always accurate
Off over 30 miles from location
* Cloth has stains that look like water on the back and seat of the drivers seat.
* Waited over 6 weeks to get the CD Navi discs. Lewbar couldn’t get them back from
the previous owner any sooner is what I was told by them


I have no doubt there will be more problems and I blame them on poor service and lack of “reconditioning” of the car. Kevin Smith here in Indianapolis assured me warranty would take care of me which for the most part it is. As far as the cracked bumper and dent behind the wheel I was told by Andy at Lewbar Imports that it would be taken care of. I also called MBUSA and asked if that is something they should take care of by nature of the situation and both people I talked to agreed that a CPO vehicle should not contain any large dents or cracks, period, no acceptations. When first World Wide Motors here in Indianapolis gave me a quote on the repairs it was nearly $2000 of work to replace the bumper and fix it. When Andy at Lewbar said that was a lot of money I offered to get another quote from a local shop just to fix the crack and work instead of replace. So I did that and got a quote for $1080. After I called several times Andy finally told me that the dealership didn’t think they were going to take care of the problem because they “sold it for a good price, they hadn’t made any money on it, and they had already paid for one problem they couldn’t pay for the others. It wasn’t their problem.” This is a horrible way of taking care of a customer. I at this point having been waiting patiently for nearly 2 months I got a little more upset. I was curious if like the fog light that was cracked out if the crack in the bumper would be in the picture as well. Sure enough when I checked it was.
I suppose there are 2 ways of looking at this. I bought and took the car off the lot and thus everything is my responsibility. The other way to look at it is the way I feel and people from World Wide Motors, MBUSA and friends feel. The car was a CPO which is suppose to mean, I was told, a used car in new condition. The MBUSA website has on it these following things about CPO cars:


A Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz is so much more than a "used" car. It is a pre-owned vehicle built by a company famous for its engineering triumphs, its racing heritage, and its commitment to luxury, quality, reliability and safety.
The Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned Program represents all the virtues you expect from Mercedes-Benz, including exceptional service from your Certified Pre-Owned Authorized Mercedes-Benz Dealer.”


Identifiable Structural Damage




Exterior

141Dings, Dents, & Scratches
142Examine Paint
143Examine & Clean Chrome
144Glass & Mirror Housing
145Grille
146Lamp Lenses
147Badges
148Trim & Moldings
149Wipers
150Bumpers
151Door Edges, Frames
152Wash & Wax

All of these things say the car should be better than it is. It made me believe that buying from Mercedes Benz directly was the thing to do. I could have gone through classifieds, Ebay, or Auto Trader, but I choose Mercedes-Benz. I choose to buy from the company who has standards, standards which were not upheld though.
If it is questioned that I drove it off the lot the answer is that I flew in to get the car. My father and I flew in from Indianapolis to Hartford and were in a bit of a rush to get on the road. I should not have had to look over this car anyway. It is a CPO car that is sold the way it is. I don’t need to get on my knees to look over the car. I don’t need to even worry. I need to know its right and know I can drive it off without any problem or question of the car. It may be the last Mercedes Benz vehicle I buy if I can’t trust Mercedes Benz to make things right. My family has a SL, ML, and another C and all of them will likely follow my lead if I’m left out on my own with this problem.
I do not have another $1000 to spend on this car. It was my first car I paid for myself. Coming from a 1986 190e this was my dream to buy this car but it quickly enough turned to a nightmare. I had a hard time getting all the money together but I did. I am living on $250 a month after I pay my rent, utilities, school loan and car payment. It’s not like I can just pay from the bumper myself.
Lewbar Imports messed up and they need to fix this problem. That is all there is to it. I have been patient and kind but am tired of wondering and begging everyday. I have called and emailed I would seriously guess 75 to 100 times and got 4 emails back, I have never been called back and I’m tired of this. This whole thing has made me wish so many times I hadn’t bought this car. I should have shopped at a good dealership such as World Wide Motors who takes car of people as if they were royalty. If this is the type of service Mercedes Benz wants to associate with I’m done with Mercedes Benz, but I don’t believe it is, which is why I’ve written this letter. This is a weakness in the company of brand I love and it needs to be addressed. I love Mercedes Benz and this is a hard situation for me to so upset at part of something I love.
 
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