Mercedes CLK55

Compare Car Models

Research top Car Models recommendations on ConsumerAffairs

Compare Companies

Consumer Complaints and Reviews


I recently purchased a new CLK 55 AMG Mercedes Benz. Having driven Mercedes for the past 18 years, I have been loyal to the superior quality and reliability of Mercedes automobiles. However, this time was a serious mistake.

When I first drove the car home, I discovered that the wheel alignment from the factory was seriously out of spec. Trim pieces on the car were carelessly installed so that moisture was trapped behind lens covers on the lighted rear view mirror turn indicators. The dealer made the necessary repairs. Shortly thereafter, the driver side headrest failed in the full up position.

Upon returning home after the headrest repair a check engine oil warning appeared. Upon checking the oil with the computer system no discrepancy could be found so the dealer said it was "probably O.K. to drive the car". Believe it or not, Mercedes did not equip the engine with a dipstick so that the oil could be manually checked to verify the engine oil level in the event of a computer glitch.

Soon thereafter, the passenger seat side bolsters failed, on a Saturday. The following day, before the bolster failure could even be reported to the dealership, the passenger side headrest failed in the full up position while the passenger seat was tilted forward to allow backseat access. Unfortunately, that failure caused the headrest to be lodged against the windshield so that the passenger seat was stuck in its tilted forward position. Another trip to the dealership resulted in correction of the headrest, however the side bolster could not be repaired because numerous parts had failed and some were on backorder.

I was also informed at that time that the dealership had taken the liberty to order other parts that would be needed to comply with a recall for a fan harness problem that I had not been notified of. Next, while waiting for the seat parts to come in, the engine oil-warning problem returned. This time the computer gave a different indication each time the oil was checked. Since this failure occurred on a Sunday, and the previous alarm had been dismissed as a glitch, my husband drove the car about 120 miles without being able to physically verify if the engine oil level was acceptable. By now, the car had only a little more than 5K miles on it, and it had not yet had an oil change, or physical engine oil level check.

I was so disturbed about the reckless irresponsibility of driving a car whose engine may be low on oil that I told the dealer to send a tow truck to pick it up so that they could physically check the oil rather than my risking driving the car and possible burning up the engine, obviously not a covered warranty item. About a week later I got the time to drive the 140-mile round trip to pick up the car from the dealer. The oil sensor had been replaced, but the passenger seat was still unrepaired due to the backordered parts. When my husband and I got in the car, the horn began honking by itself.

Once again, we drove home without the car while another problem had to be repaired. By this time, we calculated the trips that we had made to the dealer for repairs and realized that 15% of the miles on the car were for repairs, all of which were not yet completed. Because our new car had so many problems we contacted an attorney about pursuing the "Lemon Law". We were informed by two different law firms that Mercedes had the worst reputation for honorably dealing with consumers to correct problems, and therefore it was probably not worth the effort or sacrifice of our time to fight them.

The dealer from whom we bought the car also informed us that Mercedes was not the same company that we had grown to respect and trust in the past. That being said, we spent the next 2 weeks in misery trying to decide what to do about this lousy brand-new car, that we now wouldn't even drive because every time we got in it something else failed. Finally, we decided to take the huge depreciation hit and bail out of this piece of crap before many others hit the used market for the same reason. We traded it in on another car - this time not a Mercedes Benz. And, ironically, on the trip to trade it in the driver seat side bolsters failed too!

Obviously, I have great remorse and disgust for buying the car. I have considered what people will be getting when they buy these on the used market and I am sorry that the public will probably not be adequately warned. I cannot help but think that eventually Mercedes should be forced to reconcile the shortcomings of their new cars with consumers.

Mercedes CLK55 Company Profile

Company Name:
Mercedes Benz