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  #1  
Old 01-30-2004, 06:59 AM
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Mercedes-Benz Child Safety Rear Door Lock Complaint!

I just recently received a broadcast fax from a gentleman who filed a complaint against Mercedes Benz for not having child safety rear door locks on the E320. I'm appalled, if not alarmed, that MBZ would not offer such a feature when I read this. Worse yet is the fact that this MBZ owner has a developmently disabled child who has already made successful attempts in opening the rear doors. Mercedes Benz response to his complaint is alarming as well in that they will not accomodate his concern and merely dismissed it. In my opinion, I think it was basically fraudulent on the dealer's part not to disclose the fact that the E320 didn't have child safety rear door locks. Please read the following attactments for the full story.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2004, 07:15 AM
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I'm not sure how MBZ is supposed to be held to disclosing all of the features that its cars DON'T have. If they claimed the car had it and it didn't, that's different.

If the man has a child, especially one who would be prone to opening doors, he should have found out whether the Benz had the feature or not.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2004, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i
I am not convinced that MBZ is at fault in anyway, nor do I think the gentleman's ignorance warrants MBZ to repurchase his leased car. If he feels strongly about the potential dangerous act by his disabled child, he should returned the lease car and absorb any and all contractural consequences. He should then buy the automobile that has the child safety child locking feature he wants. Granted, I am harsh with my opinion, and I sympathize with him. But, he made the mistake, and MBZ should not be held responsible. Here is another situation where it's not my fault, it's the other guy's fault.

So if your 330i didn't have child rear safety door locks and your kid managed to open the door, you wouldn't feel BMW or the dealer would be at fault? It's the kids fault? How come most if not all manufacturers have child rear door locks and MBZ doesn't? I think it's pretty lousy.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2004, 07:30 AM
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Oh, I agree that it certainly is lousy that MB doesn't incorporate child safety locks into its cars... but I also agree that it's not MB's fault that the guy bought the car without first checking to see if it had the feature.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2004, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i
Yes, it's lousy if I had a disable kid who is able to unlock the door when it is not suppose to. But, in fairness to any manufacturer, I still stand by my opinion. It's not a mandated requirement, and MBZ, in its wisdom, decided not to have one. I don't think it's a case where MBZ forgot about it.
Maybe they didn't forget about it...but it's more of a maybe that the dealer, or really the salesman, intentionally overlooked such a feature and didn't present the said feature for fear of losing a sale if he sees that the customer has a disabled child that he's gonna be putting in the back seat of his car.
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2004, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian's bmw
Maybe they didn't forget about it...but it's more of a maybe that the dealer, or really the salesman, intentionally overlooked such a feature and didn't present the said feature for fear of losing a sale if he sees that the customer has a disabled child that he's gonna be putting in the back seat of his car.
It's not the salesman, dealer or MBZ fault. It's the fault of the buyer for not checking to see if there are child safety rear door locks since he knew he has a disabled child that will open rear doors.

I agree with what Dave 330i said.
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2004, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i
The solution is simple. Return the lease car, and get what the gentleman wants. Chaulk one up to experience.

An additional point to note is that BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, Volvo, Cadillac, Lincoln, Jaguar and virtually all other manufacturers include this feature as standard. This feature is standard even on a Ford Focus or a Nissan Sentra. It should not be unreasonable to assume that a car at the level of Mercedes Benz would have a safety feature that everyone else includes as standard and has for years included as standard.

Another notable point is that every Mercedes Benz sales person that was asked about childproof rear door locks was unaware that this feature was not included.

Last edited by mgkaplan; 01-30-2004 at 08:26 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2004, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkaplan
An additional point to note is that BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, Volvo, Cadillac, Lincoln, Jaguar and virtually all other manufacturers include this feature as standard. This feature is standard even on a Ford Focus or a Nissan Sentra. It should not be unreasonable to assume that a car at the level of Mercedes Benz would have a safety feature that everyone else includes as standard and has for years included as standard.

Funny you should mention this. I honestly thought it was a federal requirement like seat belts and front airbags.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2004, 08:29 AM
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I can see both sides of this, and I agree that a feature such as this has been around for so long that it is ridiculous to not have it.

Imagine getting your next 5 series and finding that it doesn't have interior lighting? Power mirrors? Power door locks? or ABS? How about traction control? I don't think any of these are mandated but at some level you have to start making assumptions. If you challenged everything you came across, you'd spend a lot of time doing research. On the flip side, yes, if he has a kid that is prone to such things, he should have confirmed everything he could have thought off. But still...
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Old 01-30-2004, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i
The solution is simple. Return the lease car, and get what the gentleman wants. Chaulk one up to experience.
Yes, he also has the option of reselling the lease. Selling the car to a private party and paying off MBZ. He does have more options than to just eat the loss.

Z
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2004, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OBS3SSION
Oh, I agree that it certainly is lousy that MB doesn't incorporate child safety locks into its cars... but I also agree that it's not MB's fault that the guy bought the car without first checking to see if it had the feature.
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2004, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atyclb
I'm not sure how MBZ is supposed to be held to disclosing all of the features that its cars DON'T have. If they claimed the car had it and it didn't, that's different.

I can see it now. Frivilous lawsuits follow. Future feature stickers of MBs read:

"This car does not have:
1. Nuclear engine
2. Rear heat seaking rockets
3. passenger margarita mixers
4. anti-earthquake shock absorbers
etc, etc."

You get the picture.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2004, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian's bmw
Maybe they didn't forget about it...but it's more of a maybe that the dealer, or really the salesman, intentionally overlooked such a feature and didn't present the said feature for fear of losing a sale if he sees that the customer has a disabled child that he's gonna be putting in the back seat of his car.
as a salesman, how do you tell your customers about every feature that the car DOESN'T have? That would be impossible.
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Old 01-30-2004, 11:46 AM
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Maybe Mercedes didn't include it for safety reasons. We have three of them and when all the doors are locked on my 1990 you have to pull very hard on the handle to get the door to release. On my dads and moms 2000 and 2001, you have to pull up on the lock with some force. Then you can open your door. It's probably for emergency purposes to make actual child door locks not available, so there are no trapped in the car cases. It could be that children are at the age where they don't know any better then open the doors won’t be strong enough to do so. Other than that when the child is strong enough to open the door in the locked mode, then they will be old enough to know right from wrong. They of course is different when you have a mentally disabled person.

This is not a fact that I know of, it is just a thought of what could be the reason why there are no child safety locks.

Chris
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2004, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atyclb
as a salesman, how do you tell your customers about every feature that the car DOESN'T have? That would be impossible.

No it's not.

Not if you give a proper presentation and walk around the car to show the features, options, and equipment. If this MBZ salesperson gave a rats azs about this customer's needs and properly investigated if 1) this customer has a kid, 2) that safety was important to him but to his passengers as well, he would have noted the features, advantages and benefits MBZ provided including the lack of child rear safety door locks and the advantages of NOT having them and why. Personally, I think this salesperson knew that the E320 either didn't have the rear door locks and didn't want to lose a sale due to the lack of this feature and put the commission before the customer, or the salesperson was outright ignorant and lacked product knowledge.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2004, 12:40 PM
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I really don't believe this is the fault of the salesman or MBZ. Is the salesman supposed to be psychic and just know everything the customer might want or need? Do you really believe a customer would be happy with sitting dowm for a 2 hour interview or filling out a 20 page questionaire so the salesman knows exactly what features that the car does not have that the customer should be told about?

Perhaps the salesman should have welcomed the customer with "Welcome to Mercedes sir, what can I help you find? A coupe? A convertable? A sedan? A car that won't allow your mentally disabled child to open the door on the freeway?"

Mercedes of all car companies is the most interested in making their vehicles safer. I'd wager that the odds of a person becoming trapped in a car after an accident due to activated child locks are much higher than the odds of a handicapped child being put in the back and him/her opening the door. Mercedes is interested in making their cars as safe as possible for the most people as it can. They won't put a majority at risk to protect a minority of possible passengers.

Quote:
Mercedes Benz response to his complaint is alarming as well in that they will not accomodate his concern and merely dismissed it
What exactly are they supposed to do? Child locks are an integrated part of the doors locking mechanism, they can't simply add it on to his car. Also they must have legitimate safety reasons for not including them and it's only logical that they don't change that policy for 1 person.

There are 2 possible solutions to situations such as these: 1) Car manufacturers create phone-book sized lists of everything not included on a car and require customers to initial after each item and sign the last page, or 2) Customers who want/need specific features on a car stop making assumptions and check for them before buying the car.

Quote:
In my opinion, I think it was basically fraudulent on the dealer's part not to disclose the fact that the E320 didn't have child safety rear door locks.
Now we're travelling down the same path that resulted in warnings such as "Do not use this hair dryer while in the shower", and "this bag is not a toy". The only possible way it's fraudulent wouls be if the dealer told the customer that the car did in fact have child locks when he knew that it did not.

This is just another great case of people refusing to take responsibility for their own actions. Waaah! I spilled coffee on myself and got burned. It's your fault for not warning me that hot coffee can burn, not mine for spilling it. Waaah! I got fat from eating nothing but greasy fast food. It's your fault for making it available to me, not mine for eating too damned much of it. Waaah! My car doesn't have a feature I want. It's your fault for not telling me that it doesn't have it, not mine for not looking for it.

Sorry, but this lack of personal responsibility is a pet peeve of mine. I simply can't tolerate it when people want to blame everyone but themselves for everything bad that happens to them.
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Old 01-30-2004, 04:30 PM
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Although I sympathize with Mr. Kaplan and believe that his criticism is valid, I don't believe that MBZ is obligated to compensate him. Instead, I think that Mr. Kaplan should be contacting his district representative and senator for mandated legislation?
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2004, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i
Someone steer me right. I thought I understood the “child safety rear door locks” feature.

Isn’t the safety switch located on the door frame? Its purpose is a child could not unlock and open the rear door from the inside once that the switch is activated? If it is so, then the 330i does not have this switch either.

If the BMW central door lock mechanism is engaged (the switch is located on the console), in order to open the doors, you must pull the door latch twice. The first pull unlocks the door (the door lock plunger is in the up position), and the second pull of the door latch the second time opens the door. Then, 330i does not have a child safety rear door lock actuator either.
It does. Look again.
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2004, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i
Someone steer me right. I thought I understood the “child safety rear door locks” feature.

Isn’t the safety switch located on the door frame? Its purpose is a child could not unlock and open the rear door from the inside once that the switch is activated? If it is so, then the 330i does not have this switch either.

If the BMW central door lock mechanism is engaged (the switch is located on the console), in order to open the doors, you must pull the door latch twice. The first pull unlocks the door (the door lock plunger is in the up position), and the second pull of the door latch the second time opens the door. Then, 330i does not have a child safety rear door lock actuator either.
You have a little switch in both of your rear doors. Flick it up and down to engage the child safety lock mechanism. It's pretty simple. And the MBZ E320 does not have this feature.
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Old 01-30-2004, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent
I really don't believe this is the fault of the salesman or MBZ. Is the salesman supposed to be psychic and just know everything the customer might want or need? Do you really believe a customer would be happy with sitting dowm for a 2 hour interview or filling out a 20 page questionaire so the salesman knows exactly what features that the car does not have that the customer should be told about?

Perhaps the salesman should have welcomed the customer with "Welcome to Mercedes sir, what can I help you find? A coupe? A convertable? A sedan? A car that won't allow your mentally disabled child to open the door on the freeway?"

Mercedes of all car companies is the most interested in making their vehicles safer. I'd wager that the odds of a person becoming trapped in a car after an accident due to activated child locks are much higher than the odds of a handicapped child being put in the back and him/her opening the door. Mercedes is interested in making their cars as safe as possible for the most people as it can. They won't put a majority at risk to protect a minority of possible passengers.



What exactly are they supposed to do? Child locks are an integrated part of the doors locking mechanism, they can't simply add it on to his car. Also they must have legitimate safety reasons for not including them and it's only logical that they don't change that policy for 1 person.

There are 2 possible solutions to situations such as these: 1) Car manufacturers create phone-book sized lists of everything not included on a car and require customers to initial after each item and sign the last page, or 2) Customers who want/need specific features on a car stop making assumptions and check for them before buying the car.



Now we're travelling down the same path that resulted in warnings such as "Do not use this hair dryer while in the shower", and "this bag is not a toy". The only possible way it's fraudulent wouls be if the dealer told the customer that the car did in fact have child locks when he knew that it did not.

This is just another great case of people refusing to take responsibility for their own actions. Waaah! I spilled coffee on myself and got burned. It's your fault for not warning me that hot coffee can burn, not mine for spilling it. Waaah! I got fat from eating nothing but greasy fast food. It's your fault for making it available to me, not mine for eating too damned much of it. Waaah! My car doesn't have a feature I want. It's your fault for not telling me that it doesn't have it, not mine for not looking for it.

Sorry, but this lack of personal responsibility is a pet peeve of mine. I simply can't tolerate it when people want to blame everyone but themselves for everything bad that happens to them.
I think you've kinda gone off on a, err, "Tangent." I couldn't help myself.

Seriously, I think you've used some examples that although valid aren't really car related. Then again, I guess you didn't have Firestone ATX Wilderness tires and own a Ford Explorer and have your tires blowing up and having your truck rollover as a result and causing many people to die. Nahhh, that doesn't matter to you, does it? Firestone and Ford didn't recall all them tires because they just wanted to be nice... Nahhh! Tell that at the funeral of whoever passed away due to this. I think this child rear door lock issue has similar ramifications.

So do us a favor and put yourself in this guy's shoes for a minute. Thanks.....
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Old 01-30-2004, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent
I really don't believe this is the fault of the salesman or MBZ. Is the salesman supposed to be psychic and just know everything the customer might want or need? Do you really believe a customer would be happy with sitting dowm for a 2 hour interview or filling out a 20 page questionaire so the salesman knows exactly what features that the car does not have that the customer should be told about?

Perhaps the salesman should have welcomed the customer with "Welcome to Mercedes sir, what can I help you find? A coupe? A convertable? A sedan? A car that won't allow your mentally disabled child to open the door on the freeway?"

Mercedes of all car companies is the most interested in making their vehicles safer. I'd wager that the odds of a person becoming trapped in a car after an accident due to activated child locks are much higher than the odds of a handicapped child being put in the back and him/her opening the door. Mercedes is interested in making their cars as safe as possible for the most people as it can. They won't put a majority at risk to protect a minority of possible passengers.



What exactly are they supposed to do? Child locks are an integrated part of the doors locking mechanism, they can't simply add it on to his car. Also they must have legitimate safety reasons for not including them and it's only logical that they don't change that policy for 1 person.

There are 2 possible solutions to situations such as these: 1) Car manufacturers create phone-book sized lists of everything not included on a car and require customers to initial after each item and sign the last page, or 2) Customers who want/need specific features on a car stop making assumptions and check for them before buying the car.



Now we're travelling down the same path that resulted in warnings such as "Do not use this hair dryer while in the shower", and "this bag is not a toy". The only possible way it's fraudulent wouls be if the dealer told the customer that the car did in fact have child locks when he knew that it did not.

This is just another great case of people refusing to take responsibility for their own actions. Waaah! I spilled coffee on myself and got burned. It's your fault for not warning me that hot coffee can burn, not mine for spilling it. Waaah! I got fat from eating nothing but greasy fast food. It's your fault for making it available to me, not mine for eating too damned much of it. Waaah! My car doesn't have a feature I want. It's your fault for not telling me that it doesn't have it, not mine for not looking for it.

Sorry, but this lack of personal responsibility is a pet peeve of mine. I simply can't tolerate it when people want to blame everyone but themselves for everything bad that happens to them.
I have to totally agree w/ you about personal responsibility. I can't believe that anyone could possibly blame MBZ or the salesman for this customers oversight.
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2004, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian's bmw
Seriously, I think you've used some examples that although valid aren't really car related. Then again, I guess you didn't have Firestone ATX Wilderness tires and own a Ford Explorer and have your tires blowing up and having your truck rollover as a result and causing many people to die. Nahhh, that doesn't matter to you, does it? Firestone and Ford didn't recall all them tires because they just wanted to be nice... Nahhh! Tell that at the funeral of whoever passed away due to this. I think this child rear door lock issue has similar ramifications.
Using defective parts is an entirely different matter from not having a feature that you don't say you have.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2004, 07:10 PM
GSR13 GSR13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian's bmw
I think you've kinda gone off on a, err, "Tangent." I couldn't help myself.

Seriously, I think you've used some examples that although valid aren't really car related. Then again, I guess you didn't have Firestone ATX Wilderness tires and own a Ford Explorer and have your tires blowing up and having your truck rollover as a result and causing many people to die. Nahhh, that doesn't matter to you, does it? Firestone and Ford didn't recall all them tires because they just wanted to be nice... Nahhh! Tell that at the funeral of whoever passed away due to this. I think this child rear door lock issue has similar ramifications.

So do us a favor and put yourself in this guy's shoes for a minute. Thanks.....
The Explorer/Firestone mess is not even a valid argument. These were defective tires on an automobile that were not meant to explode. Now, if the Mercedes had the locks and the door flew open on its own, causing someone to fall out, that is entirely different.

This is, in my opinion, a ridiculous complaint. If they left the airbags out, I could understand it, but there is nothing requiring MB to include these locks. In addition, it is always the buyers responsibility to verify a feature exists.

It is sad that the man has a handicapped child, but that is all the more reason he should research safety features before buying a car.
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2004, 07:17 PM
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milski milski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSR13
This is, in my opinion, a ridiculous complaint. If they left the airbags out, I could understand it, but there is nothing requiring MB to include these locks.
The compaint is not worth even commenting.

Are the airbags mandatory?
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  #25  
Old 01-30-2004, 07:25 PM
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The Roadstergal The Roadstergal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milski
Are the airbags mandatory?
I believe driver's-side airbags are as of 1990.

Child lockouts on rear doors aren't.
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