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One of the main reasons I bought the Metris over a Chrysler TC or Honda Odyssey was the available FACTORY powertrain warranty stretching out to7 years. I am planning on owning the van for 7 years and, because it is our family minivan, the miles will be in the non-commercial range of 7,500-10,000 per year. The day after I purchased my Metris (now known as Otto das Auto) I went to the dealer to sign up for the ELW and guess what…the ELW is not available in Washington State.

The dealers just say that the State’s insurance commissioner has prohibited them from offering the Mercedes ELW in the state. When pushed they simply restate that it’s an issue of State over regulation and what a shame it is that the warranty isn’t available to Washington residents. After lots of calls to dealers all over the state and a chat with a colleague of mine in the Washington AG’s office I think I understand what the issue is with the ELW in the Evergreen State.

The State requires that any vehicle sold with any warranty provided by the manufacturer at the time of sale is covered by an “Implied Warranty of Merchantability” basically stating that the item sold is warranted to be able to perform the standard functions one would assume the item should be capable of, see how fuzzy that is? I have not gone over the details of the coverage provided under the ELW but, for example, if the warranty covered engine repairs but exempted the turbocharger for the direct injection engine the argument could be made that this violates the implication that the engine warranty covered all engine parts assumed to be part of the engine. At that point MB would need to show that the turbocharger is not really part of the engine AND that a car with malfunctioning coil packs is still able to function as a passenger.

Now I am not providing any legal advice here…but, my understanding is the Implied Warranty of Merchantability is applicable for as long as any existing factory warranty remains. All businesses and especially large manufacturers get all skittish when their actuaries can’t quantify risk. The MB guys want to know what it will cost the company to back a warranty. In order to determine that cost you need to know what items are covered by the warranty, the expected frequency of failure and the average cost of repair.

Because Washington restricts MB’s ability to limit the items subject to warranty coverage, Calculating the cost and frequency of repair variables becomes difficult so the overall cost of coverage becomes more variable. MB probably did a cost analysis based on a “worst case scenario” where Washington courts rejected all their limitations and came up with a scary cost for owners in the Evergreen State. That’s probably why MB decided to not offer the ELW through its Washington dealerships.

The trick is, WA dealers would still need to provide services under the plan if it were purchased in another state. So far I have been trying to get someone in Oregon to sell me the ELW but so far no one has been beating a path to my door. I doubt if the sales or finance folks are incentivized to sell plans to out of state residents. Odds are unlikely I will be going to Salem or Medford for my next car so getting back to me is a low priority.

I bought Otto in early September and am still trying to find someone who will send me the ELW out of state but I am now in my last 1,000 miles of the factory warranty so it does not look good.

Anyone have success with buying the ELW from an out of state dealer? I must say I am totally disappointed in every new customer experience I have had with MB and will probably just skip the ELW all together and have service provided by a local independent MB specialist who has been in the Seattle area since the 1960’s and did all the work on my dad’s 500SEC back in the 90's.
 

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It’s not actually over-regulation. All products should be covered by an implied warranty of merchantability unless being sold unwarranted- specifically. Selling a product without an implied warrant of merchantability is saying you are taking no account that the item you sold will be able to function as advertised for a “fair and reasonable” amount of time.

The issue is that MB products have maintenence requirements that could be construed as failures within the period of that warranty. 3/36k or 5/60k is a “fair and reasonable” period of time to assume full liability for any part wearing out or breaking as doing so prematurely. 7/120k is a different ball of wax.

If you buy the warranty out of state, it is no longer subject to the laws of goods/services sold in state. I suspect one of our resident dealer people will reach out to you shortly with interest in selling it to you.
 

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Finance Director
Jeff Jackson
Tafel Motors
4156 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40207
(502)896-4411 ext . 1246

I live in Washington state, and I got my ELW from the person above. All by email.
I found his name on this forum maybe a year ago.
 
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