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Old 18th August 2015, 11:28   #1
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Default Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

This topic mostly pertains to the dawdling service Mercedes-Benz India finds is sufficient to keep its thousands of customers happy.

Note: My dealer is T&T Motors which, to be fair, has at least been polite enough to keep me updated. Read on to find out what I really think of them.

I bought a '15 E250 CDI in the month of July and was quite happy with it until it had an accident some 10 days after delivery. The long and short is that the bumper had a few cracks, the hood was dented and the radiator leaking. I had it towed (which was free) by the Mercedes helpline guys who were very efficient. It's really quite reassuring that at least their roadside service is par excellence, with two people reaching your vehicle to keep you and it safe till the tow truck arrives. Brilliant. If only I could say the same for the experience that followed.

The incident happened on August 1 which was a Saturday. I went to the workshop with all the necessary documentation for my zero-dep. insurance claim on August 4 and was made to wait some 2.5 hours in the middle of a business day as my car stood outside with no coolant (which had started leaking at the accident and was totally when the tow truck arrived), being driven in and out of a driveway to make space for other cars. I was assured by the workshop manager that they will expedite the process as much as possible (but they denied me a loaner).

Fast forward to a week later. *Finally* these guys get 'round to working on the case, do the initial inspection of the vehicle and call in insurance. Another four days go by with nary a minute of work in sight and then they bring me an estimate. You can see the entire thing in the following post but essentially they decide to charge me some 9 lakh rupees for a new hood, bumper and radiator. The headlight had a few scratches so a new one was recommended (2.5 lakhs!). Now while we all know that parts for these German luxury cars are obnoxiously expensive, it's ridiculous to want to change an intercooler that isn't even damaged for example. I go to the workshop again to see what was up and instruct them to just change what is absolutely essential - a scratch here and there doesn't bother me or warrant an entirely new part in my opinion, even if insurance is covering it.

+ another week. This brings us to the present. The work on the car is complete and the thing is still lying at the workshop in totally roadworthy condition while the people at T&T continue to delay and procrastinate. I'm told that I can't get my car back for another couple of days, optimistically.

Without wishing to rant any further, I'd just like to point out the absolute dissatisfaction I face with this brand, workshop and process in general. It appears lethargy is the name of the game here because where in heck does it take this long to fix a 55+ lakh rupee car? Tata, Volkswagen, Toyota and even Skoda with it's infamous A.S.S. (we have cars from each of these brands) don't take anywhere near this long to repair. Granted, insurance can be problematic but based on what the workshop manager is telling me, they move fairly quickly. The entire process shouldn't take more than a week for them but it takes 3x as long for no reason or rhyme.

Benz's are amazing, beautiful machines. Don't ever buy one in India.
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Old 18th August 2015, 15:37   #2
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Damn, that really doesn't look like an accident whose repair bill will run up 9 big ones. Unfortunately, if you buy a premium car in India, you have to be prepared to get ripped off while it's in warranty (i.e. forced to visit the authorised dealership). The major services are expensive enough, but the bill amounts can be shocking when stuff goes wrong (mechanical failure, accidental damage etc.).

Tip 1: If they want to replace a part and the insurance company is approving it, let them proceed. You don't want it to affect your warranty coverage in the longer term.

Tip 2: For such an expensive car, it's a must to opt for zero-dep insurance - related thread (0% Depreciation Insurance - It really worked for me!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stigissimo View Post
The entire process shouldn't take more than a week for them but it takes 3x as long for no reason or rhyme.
Why not try Patel Auto? T&T's monopoly seems to have gone to their head.
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Old 18th August 2015, 15:46   #3
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Tip 2: For such an expensive car, it's a must to opt for zero-dep insurance - related thread (0% Depreciation Insurance - It really worked for me!).
He already has zero dep insurance as per his post
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Old 18th August 2015, 16:24   #4
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

9 lakhs?? Leaking radiator, damaged bumper and slightly damaged hood all sounds like a small job though being an import I expected it to be in the region of 3 lakhs but 9?? Damm! That's a lot of money for such simple accident work.

It is sad to see how impractical it is to own such cars in our country

Last edited by IshaanIan : 18th August 2015 at 16:25.
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Old 18th August 2015, 16:46   #5
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Wow, that's an insane estimate!

Did you rear end a truck?

Could you share some more pictures of the damage if you have them?

Are your aircon condenser and intercooler damaged at all?
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Old 18th August 2015, 16:57   #6
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Wow, that's an insane estimate!

Did you rear end a truck?

Could you share some more pictures of the damage if you have them?

Are your aircon condenser and intercooler damaged at all?
As per the OP, he hit an auto-rickshaw - as written here.

The intercooler replacement has been mentioned for no reason at all (again, going by his post in this thread). Even if everything is covered under warranty, why replace an OE component that's working perfectly?
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Old 18th August 2015, 19:22   #7
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Very very sorry to hear this - both the accident to a brand new car and the shabby response and attitude from T&T. Possibly T&T feel that the customer is captive and the insurer is footing the bill so let's lay it on boys. I think the Indian market is so small in Mercedes' larger scheme of things that they (Mercedes) assess they can live with such service to a customer. Last year I was within a hair's breadth of buying an E class to replace our Skoda Laura. As an act of sensibleness I spoke to 4 business associates on their experience with Mercedes - 3 had an E class and one had the ML250 - all are customers of T&T. All are at the top of the house of their respective companies. All said avoid the E-class (this was the earlier model with 4 headlights, not the newer one you bought) like the plague and cursed Mercedes and promised never ever to buy another. The one who drove the ML250 said he was okay with the car but suggested I stay away from Mercedes' A.S.S. Net net we went for an XC60 Volvo. The way they are exploiting & spoiling a great brand would make a first class case study for MBA courses!
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Old 18th August 2015, 20:50   #8
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Damn, that really doesn't look like an accident whose repair bill will run up 9 big ones. Unfortunately, if you buy a premium car in India, you have to be prepared to get ripped off while it's in warranty (i.e. forced to visit the authorised dealership). The major services are expensive enough, but the bill amounts can be shocking when stuff goes wrong (mechanical failure, accidental damage etc.).

Tip 1: If they want to replace a part and the insurance company is approving it, let them proceed. You don't want it to affect your warranty coverage in the longer term.

Tip 2: For such an expensive car, it's a must to opt for zero-dep insurance - related thread (0% Depreciation Insurance - It really worked for me!).



Why not try Patel Auto? T&T's monopoly seems to have gone to their head.
1. I was tempted to let them change everything they wanted but that would entail an even longer wait, which seems both unnecessary and impractical. They claim the headlight (which has just a few scratches) could potentially have tiny cracks through which moisture may seep in and damage components. Again, it's very hard to tell what is required and what's there for the heck of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Wow, that's an insane estimate!

Did you rear end a truck?

Could you share some more pictures of the damage if you have them?

Are your aircon condenser and intercooler damaged at all?
Update on this matter. Wrote them a stinker and they issued an explanation. It goes as follows:
Their initial estimate (this) is generated based on what they think needs changing. It's based on an entirely perfunctory check and involves no dismantling. At a later stage, they take the damaged portion of the car apart in front of an insurance surveyor and proceed to analyze what actually needs work. Insurance then decides what needs to be changed and they do the work accordingly. The reason for such an exorbitantly high repair estimate is that they want a worst case analysis so they don't accidentally underquote the repair cost to the insurance company.
In simple terms, these are the parts that might need to be changed. The ones that actually, finally do get changed will show up on a bill that I'll get when I take delivery. Apologies for the confusion. I'll keep you guys updated once I get the car back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Very very sorry to hear this - both the accident to a brand new car and the shabby response and attitude from T&T. Possibly T&T feel that the customer is captive and the insurer is footing the bill so let's lay it on boys. I think the Indian market is so small in Mercedes' larger scheme of things that they (Mercedes) assess they can live with such service to a customer. Last year I was within a hair's breadth of buying an E class to replace our Skoda Laura. As an act of sensibleness I spoke to 4 business associates on their experience with Mercedes - 3 had an E class and one had the ML250 - all are customers of T&T. All are at the top of the house of their respective companies. All said avoid the E-class (this was the earlier model with 4 headlights, not the newer one you bought) like the plague and cursed Mercedes and promised never ever to buy another. The one who drove the ML250 said he was okay with the car but suggested I stay away from Mercedes' A.S.S. Net net we went for an XC60 Volvo. The way they are exploiting & spoiling a great brand would make a first class case study for MBA courses!
I think the people who work at these dealerships and workshops mean well but are captives of a broken system. These are expensive cars with (I imagine) high margins of profit. Why not build a bigger workshop? Why should someone who buys such an expensive machine have to wait so long for a simple repair?
There's a simple fix for this IMO. Hire some top notch guys from Lexus, Acura, Infiniti and Genesis to bring some Jap efficiency to this process.
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Old 19th August 2015, 00:38   #9
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Quote:
Even if everything is covered under warranty, why replace an OE component that's working perfectly?
I would say mercedes has an image. You can call it cost but the image i feel is they cannot take chances with a compromise. Under warranty if that requires changing something that will make it safer for the car to be back on road they will do it. And if not underwarranty, its better to not even visit the showroom to end up changing bolts, nuts, nails and washers.

I personally feel its just their image to be perfect and continue to make the perceptional value higher than any other car.

Even while buying a Jetta i costed for additional 10L over 10 year period for maintenance and parts. Even that is very stringent estimate by any means.

If i am buying a Merc, my cost would be cost of car + 2.5L per year for parts and maintenance and every year you save that money you are just moving that to next year. 5 years with no problem means you saved over 10L and when something like this happen i would say i planned for it and the funds are there . But thats me
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Old 19th August 2015, 01:10   #10
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Only one word came to my mind and that was WOW! Only because of the 9 big ones quoted and also for the time taken! Thanks for the sharing! Looking at the pics no one would have guessed the repair estimate would be near 9 lac.
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Old 19th August 2015, 10:12   #11
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Hey sorry to hear about it, hope the car get back on the road like new soon. The cost of the items is not a shocker but why are there so many parts listed for such a seemingly minor accident? Especially crossmember, hoses and so on? Do you have under the hood pictures? Such accidents are common and it usually results in bumper replacement and repair of bonnet.
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Old 19th August 2015, 10:40   #12
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

My cousin's range rover Evoque had a crack in the front windscreen and a 4-5 in dent on the tailgate. The dent was not much visible from outside but it led to loose/broken inside board (interior trim).

The company changed the entire tailgate including the rear screen. The cost was a whopping 5 lac Rupees. I think he paid about 30k from his pocket and rest was paid by Tata AIG under 0% dep.

Most companies have heavy discounts available on high-end vehicles. 0% dep rates are cheaper for public sector companies and in private sector, Tata, Bharti and SBI. Tata being the most aggressive these days.

As GTO pointed, just buy 0% dep and dont freak out.
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Old 19th August 2015, 11:28   #13
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stigissimo View Post
Benz's are amazing, beautiful machines. Don't ever buy one in India.
They sure make a comprehensive list for the estimate!
I expect your final bill to be less than half that given the state of most of the components mentioned.
Im sure they reuse sensors and moulding from the bumper, all of which is present in the quote.

Hope you get your car back soon!
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Old 19th August 2015, 12:50   #14
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

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Originally Posted by VW2010 View Post
Even while buying a Jetta i costed for additional 10L over 10 year period for maintenance and parts. Even that is very stringent estimate by any means.
That's overkill, honestly. My Merc C220 averaged 50 - 75k a year throughout its 100,000 kms ownership. Only a year or two did it nudge 90k in upkeep. This was of course for maintenance performed in the after-market.

A VW Jetta will be much lesser. Better yet, invest the 10 lakhs and your annual interest will take care of the maintenance.
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Old 19th August 2015, 13:35   #15
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Default Re: Mercedes E-Class Accident: Unhappy with repair experience at T&T Motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
My cousin's range rover Evoque had a crack in the front windscreen and a 4-5 in dent on the tailgate. The dent was not much visible from outside but it led to loose/broken inside board (interior trim).

The company changed the entire tailgate including the rear screen. The cost was a whopping 5 lac Rupees. I think he paid about 30k from his pocket and rest was paid by Tata AIG under 0% dep.

Most companies have heavy discounts available on high-end vehicles. 0% dep rates are cheaper for public sector companies and in private sector, Tata, Bharti and SBI. Tata being the most aggressive these days.

As GTO pointed, just buy 0% dep and dont freak out.
Afik the evoque tailgate is made of plastic, as are its front mudguards, thus can't be dented.
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