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Lee Tran ASKED THE GUIDE

Mercedes-Benz S350 demo

I purchased a Mercedes Benz S350 demo in 2006 with 4000 km on it. I have kept it in immaculate condition, maintaining and servicing it when required and when lights on the dash signal to do so and I have had it serviced at a Mercedes Benz dealer throughout the life of the car. Last week, the car 'collapsed,' almost touching the ground. The dealer informed me that the suspension had leaked and needed replacing and that it would cost me just over $7000. I understand that the car is not under warranty but I do not believe that a 7-year-old car should have suspension problems, particularly a Mercedes Benz. Could you please advise me on what I should do and whether my beliefs about the suspension are correct?

Unfortunately all brands are subject to failures, even Mercedes-Benz, and while you should rightly expect better service from an expensive brand like Mercedes-Benz your car is seven years old. Problems with the air suspension on the S-class are not unusual. You could press your case for some form of compensation from Mercedes-Benz itself, not the dealer, and the company might come to the party for part of your costs. If that doesn't happen and you are left to repair the car at your own cost go to an independent mechanic who specializes in Mercedes-Benz and have them repair it. That way you should be able to make a substantial saving on the cost of the  repair. Many owners have their cars converted to regular suspension, which can be done for much less than repairing the air suspension.

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