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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a faulty ignition coil on my 2021 Metris. The Mercedes service center ordered the part from Mercedes in Germany, but it's backordered and the service rep can't give me a concrete timeline on when it will arrive. I have the part number and ordered the part myself online. It will arrive at my house in a few days. The Mercedes service rep won't accept the part from me, though; he said that using the part, even though it is a Mercedes part, would void the warranty because it was not ordered from Mercedes in Germany. Is this true?

Also, if I have the ignition coil replaced by a reputable independent shop, does that void the warranty as well?

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to MetrisForum.

While you have the legal right to repair your vehicle yourself or independently, and remain under warranty; the question becomes how do you get MB to pay for this third part and service bill?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick replies, @icerabbit and @pounce. It was unclear what the service rep was saying about the warranty. He did seem very against having me deliver the Mercedes part to them and insisted he could only install the ignition coil he himself orders from Mercedes. Unfortunately the part will take much longer to arrive from Germany than from the place where I ordered.
 

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Are you OK paying twice to have the van operational? Fix it yourself and then have MB use their part.

Is this covered under your warranty?
 

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That's what I would push for. If the vehicle is not operational, get them to pick it up - or drop it off. - and get a loaner.

And, as far as dealerships and parts. I have had that line before, that they can only install factory branded repair parts as seen in the repair computer and ordered through the parts manager; or the brand's accessory catalogue.

Plus when a warranty claim is made, they have to return in the defective part, I have been told. Or at least follow certain documenting rules, as I can imagine it would be cost prohibitive, but maybe there's been enough fraud and abuse ...
 

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Try another dealer (if you can)... there is a wide variety out there! Even if another dealer is 150 miles away, it may be well worth your while to find an agreeable dealer for the long run.
 

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I have a faulty ignition coil on my 2021 Metris. The Mercedes service center ordered the part from Mercedes in Germany, but it's backordered and the service rep can't give me a concrete timeline on when it will arrive. I have the part number and ordered the part myself online. It will arrive at my house in a few days. The Mercedes service rep won't accept the part from me, though; he said that using the part, even though it is a Mercedes part, would void the warranty because it was not ordered from Mercedes in Germany. Is this true?

Also, if I have the ignition coil replaced by a reputable independent shop, does that void the warranty as well?

Thanks!
Being a non factory part the part is not covered by any factory warranty on the part and no warranty on the labor to install it. Thus if the part proves to be bad out of the box it is at your expense -- assuming the part supplier doesn't offer any warranty -- to buy another part and then pay to have the part installed again.

There is the risk -- slight in this context -- the part could prove to be defective in a way that results in collateral damage to the engine. If the factory ignition coil did this the vehicle warranty would cover this damage. But with the aftermarket coil this renders the warranty at least for the engine or the portion of the engine affected void.

A more restrictive interpretation of the warranty could be offered by a dealer employee.

My SOP is to if the car is under warranty to just have the work done at an authorized dealer where factory parts will be used.

In one case I had a car develop an alternator problem. I was 1000+ miles from home and the problem developed on Christmas eve. I managed to find an auto parts store open and even managed to find it had an alternator for my car in stock. I bought the alternator and a new belt and prepared to sit out the holiday until the dealer opened for business.

But when I took the car in and said I had all the parts necessary -- I didn't want to have to wait who knows how long for the parts to come in when ordered by the dealer from the factory -- I was told the dealer service department didn't install parts that it didn't supply. "Warranty" was mentioned.

Long story short I "caved". To add insult to injury I was told in order to get the parts in sometime before the sun burned out I would have to pay an "expedite" charge. Again I caved. The necessary parts arrived and were installed. I was not there. To continue my vacation I had rented a pick up truck -- the last vehicle available on the rental lot -- in order to continue my journey to visit my parents over the holiday.

But when I returned in the rental my car was done. I paid the bill and drove it home. But on the way home I decided this was my first and last car of this brand -- in spite of this experience the car was quite nice and I really liked it -- and as soon as I got home I put the car up for sale and sold it within a week or so. Since selling the car I have bought 9 new vehicles and not one from the maker of the car that the dealer refused to install the aftermarket alternator.
 

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In all fairness, as far I know, across a few brands, you could have that alternator issue ( or another issue ) at any dealer for that brand, foreign or domestic; and they will flat out refuse to install parts that are not factory or OEM. Especially under warranty, no other parts will be used. And out of warranty, I sincerely doubt it too; though my experience there is more limited.

To me it boils down to a contractual obligation between the brand and the dealership; and perhaps dealership policy in general regarding their liability and exposure for any vehicle that comes through the door. If they follow procedure and only use factory parts, then they have their options & resources they can pull, plus they're off the hook if something happens really, because it is the manufacturer's part. They only brought the vehicle back to factory condition with the work that was performed. They're immune.

So, it is a bit harsh to punish a brand for something that - to me - is probably standard across the industry.
 

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It's definitely not exclusive to MB.

I was only once able to source parts for my Cayenne and have the dealer install. I had to drop ship the parts to the dealer. They knew the source.
 

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In all fairness, as far I know, across a few brands, you could have that alternator issue ( or another issue ) at any dealer for that brand, foreign or domestic; and they will flat out refuse to install parts that are not factory or OEM. Especially under warranty, no other parts will be used. And out of warranty, I sincerely doubt it too; though my experience there is more limited.

To me it boils down to a contractual obligation between the brand and the dealership; and perhaps dealership policy in general regarding their liability and exposure for any vehicle that comes through the door. If they follow procedure and only use factory parts, then they have their options & resources they can pull, plus they're off the hook if something happens really, because it is the manufacturer's part. They only brought the vehicle back to factory condition with the work that was performed. They're immune.

So, it is a bit harsh to punish a brand for something that - to me - is probably standard across the industry.
It was more than the refusal to install the alternator. It was the BS about the expedite charge. And service at other dealers had been terrible. I had the car in just a few K miles before the timing belt was due to be changed. Got the car back and noted the engine mount bolts had not been replaced. My info was they were stretch bolts and not reusable. Was told this was no longer the case. Ok. Not long after the bolts snapped and God only knows what kept the motor from falling out of the car. Even tire rotations were not handled. First time I had the car for service tire rotation was supposed to be done. Was told it was done. Was noted on the invoice. But I looked and none of the wheel lug nuts had any signs of wrench being on them. The lug nuts still had the assembly paint dab on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just catching up here on these responses -- thank you for all your input. It does seem like our best option at this point is to wait for the part to arrive for Mercedes to install.

Before I came to this conclusion, I actually ordered the parts myself from an auto supplies site. The exact coils Mercedes is waiting on, just not ordered through their parts manager, as @icerabbit mentioned. But even the independent shop won't install customer-supplied parts.

To make matters worse, we were about to sell the vehicle, and the long wait without a concrete timeline from Mercedes is jeopardizing the sale. (The buyer likely won't want to wait multiple weeks for the part to arrive.)
 

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Rare that an independent shop wouldn't offer a solution to sourcing the part. Sorry for your situation. Not many good used Metris' out there so I would not give up on your buyer.
 

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There isn’t an authorized manufacturer dealership that will install customer supplied parts- whether or not the supplied part is a factory original or not- no dealership will take the chance that the part is defective, faulty or incorrect. Why would they ?
 
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