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Old 04-16-2018, 04:52 AM   #1
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Default 2019 Sprinter Van

Soon to be out! Don't buy another Sprinter until this is out!

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Old 04-16-2018, 05:19 PM   #2
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Yikes, what does this mean?

At apx. 11:00 minutes in, as the reviewers look over the van’s body, one comments:

“We also don’t get the super tall one. That’s gone now.”

Followed shortly by the Mercedes rep saying,

“It’s just hard to make it work for U.S. safety regulations”

Besides, last month we were ready to order a new Ascent until I found out about the biodiesel situation, I see nothing that changes Mercedes fuel requirements yet. Several states are already mandating B10, and Minnesota is mandating B20 by May of this year. MB's written statement is clear, they will not honor the warranty if using blends over B5. I want to travel to Minnesota and other corn belt states who are choosing to up their biodiesel blends. A fancy display, nice cupholders, and a smart-phone operated lock and ignition doesn’t make up for limited travel IMO.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by B2Play View Post
Yikes, what does this mean?

At apx. 11:00 minutes in, as the reviewers look over the van’s body, one comments:

“We also don’t get the super tall one. That’s gone now.”

....
The floor is lower.
Does that translate to higher interior height?
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:44 PM   #4
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Several states are already mandating B10, and Minnesota is mandating B20 by May of this year. MB's written statement is clear, they will not honor the warranty if using blends over B5.
What "written statement" are you referring to? Every one that I am familiar with is about as clear as mud. They hedge a LOT on this point. Since they sell Sprinters in those states, they run up against issues involving implied warranty of fitness for purpose, as the MB lawyers are no-doubt well-aware.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:54 PM   #5
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What "written statement" are you referring to? Every one that I am familiar with is about as clear as mud. They hedge a LOT on this point. Since they sell Sprinters in those states, they run up against issues involving implied warranty of fitness for purpose, as the MB lawyers are no-doubt well-aware.
I agree with your thoughts on the implied warranty of merchantability, and I am certainly puzzled how they sell like this, however check out the MB-USA brochure titled, Mercedes Benz Biodiesel Brochure. I would not want to go up against MB on a claim based on this language. I feel that there should be disclosure by the Class B manufacturers. The brochure is available online, link at bottom.

Under the section Mercedes-Benz USA Approval for using Biodiesel:

”The use of diesel fuels containing a higher percentage of biodiesel, (B6 to B20) according to ASTM D7467 as well as straight biodiesel (B100) according to ASTM D6751 may cause severe damage to your engine and fuel system, and are not approved by Mercedes-Benz.”

AND, in the section Warranty Guidelines for Biodiesel Usage:

“Diesel fuel with up to B5 biodiesel content according to ULSD specification ASTM D975 meets Mercedes-Benz approved fuel standards and will not void coverage under the Mercedes-Benz New Vehicle Limited Warranty.”

“Diesel fuels between B6 and B20 or higher pose risks of engine and fuel system damage, and are not approved by Mercedes-Benz.”

“Any damage caused by the use of such non-approved fuels will not be covered by the Mercedes-Benz New Vehicle Limited Warranty.”

Here’s a link to the brochure,

https://www.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/Digital..._Brochure5.pdf
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:05 PM   #6
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Because of the Manguson-Moss Warranty Act, M-B can't just void warranties left and right. However, they can blame stuff on running B10-B20 and say that the warranty is void because it was related to this.

I've seen this catch 22 since the NCV3 came on the market.

As for the gasser Sprinters, I wonder how well those are going to turn out.

Of course, being able to get in your Sprinter with just your phone looks cool.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:54 PM   #7
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Yikes, what does this mean?

At apx. 11:00 minutes in, as the reviewers look over the van’s body, one comments:

“We also don’t get the super tall one. That’s gone now.”

Followed shortly by the Mercedes rep saying,

“It’s just hard to make it work for U.S. safety regulations”
The super tall they were referring to was the fiberglass roof extension that only Advanced RV was converting. You won't miss a thing unless you are over 6'2" and was wanting an Advanced RV.
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:30 AM   #8
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I suppose they think that to keep the warranty, you should buy fuel in one state so that you can drive it in another.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:05 PM   #9
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I don't see anywhere that MB will void your warranty if you use B20. There is a lot of cautionary advice but bottom line if you have to use it you have to use it. They don't like it for obvious protective reasons but I would not get too excited unless MB pulls its diesel Sprinters for sale out of states like Minnesota or reduces the warranty period.

I wonder if the issue is addressed in the 2019 models. You would think they would have to deal with it. It is not going to go away.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:51 PM   #10
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I agree with your thoughts on the implied warranty of merchantability, and I am certainly puzzled how they sell like this, however check out the MB-USA brochure titled, Mercedes Benz Biodiesel Brochure. I would not want to go up against MB on a claim based on this language. I feel that there should be disclosure by the Class B manufacturers. The brochure is available online, link at bottom.

Under the section Mercedes-Benz USA Approval for using Biodiesel:

”The use of diesel fuels containing a higher percentage of biodiesel, (B6 to B20) according to ASTM D7467 as well as straight biodiesel (B100) according to ASTM D6751 may cause severe damage to your engine and fuel system, and are not approved by Mercedes-Benz.”

AND, in the section Warranty Guidelines for Biodiesel Usage:

“Diesel fuel with up to B5 biodiesel content according to ULSD specification ASTM D975 meets Mercedes-Benz approved fuel standards and will not void coverage under the Mercedes-Benz New Vehicle Limited Warranty.”

“Diesel fuels between B6 and B20 or higher pose risks of engine and fuel system damage, and are not approved by Mercedes-Benz.”

“Any damage caused by the use of such non-approved fuels will not be covered by the Mercedes-Benz New Vehicle Limited Warranty.”

Here’s a link to the brochure,

https://www.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/Digital..._Brochure5.pdf
I am well aware of that brochure and have read it very carefully. However, your excerpts are selective. You have to read the entire brochure to understand my "clear as mud" comment. For example, you left out the following:

If customers cannot avoid the use of biodiesel fuel between B6 and B20, it’s critical for them to monitor their engine oil level and engine running performance.

There is no way Mercedes is going to deny a warranty claim based on the forced use of B5-20 if proper precautions (such as monitoring for oil dilution) are followed.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:01 PM   #11
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Because of the Manguson-Moss Warranty Act, M-B can't just void warranties left and right. However, they can blame stuff on running B10-B20 and say that the warranty is void because it was related to this.
No, they can't. Since you brought up Magnuson-Moss, you should note that (a) it doesn't allow ANYTHING to "void" an OEM warranty for any reason (There, of course, may be exclusions, but that is not the same thing); and (b) to enforce the biodiesel exclusion, MM requires them to prove that the specific damage being claimed was actually caused by the use of biodiesel. This is a very high standard and there are plenty of spec lawyers who live to help you enforce your rights.

There are lots of problems with owning a Mercedes diesel (as i just described in another thread), but using a tank of B20 as I travel through Minnesota would not be very high on my list of things to worry about.
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Old 04-17-2018, 03:20 PM   #12
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As with all things related to companies and warranty stuff, I would add one thing---and that is you can't count on anything no matter what it says in documents.

If there are few failures that might be related to the fuel, MB will likely deny some as long as no one makes a stick about it, and fix some where it seems politically better.

If there gets to be a lot of issue, MB may very well blame the whole thing on the fuel and refuse to fix them, as it would get to be too expensive for them. If they chose to do this, customers will be out of luck until regulators get involved. I could see really ugly and expensive court battles with fuel, MB, and politicians pointing fingers like crazy and the customers being left with lot of expense, or even engines that won't survive the fuel that is available.

Time will tell, and certainly MB won't be the only one with potential issues.
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Old 04-17-2018, 04:46 PM   #13
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As with all things related to companies and warranty stuff, I would add one thing---and that is you can't count on anything no matter what it says in documents.

If there are few failures that might be related to the fuel, MB will likely deny some as long as no one makes a stick about it, and fix some where it seems politically better.

If there gets to be a lot of issue, MB may very well blame the whole thing on the fuel and refuse to fix them, as it would get to be too expensive for them. If they chose to do this, customers will be out of luck until regulators get involved. I could see really ugly and expensive court battles with fuel, MB, and politicians pointing fingers like crazy and the customers being left with lot of expense, or even engines that won't survive the fuel that is available.

Time will tell, and certainly MB won't be the only one with potential issues.

I agree, especially with your last sentence. All the light truck diesels in USA since 2010 have same emissions requirements and work based on same technology. All report issues with DEF and DPF systems. But none ever mention problems with using B20 biodiesel.

I don't worry about biodiesel in my Sprinter. I'm more concerned about getting good quality diesel of any type from a station that sells a lot of diesel so I can have some confidence that it is fresh.



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Old 04-17-2018, 08:20 PM   #14
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almost all the posts I've read about emissions issues on the MB Sprinter are 3-4 years old. Haven't seen a thing about any issues with newer models (2016-).

Also, by Federal Law, DEF emissions systems are covered to 10 years, 100k miles. 150k miles in CA.

My Chevy has been pretty much problem free except for the sensors in the DEF tank burning up - the design was that the fluid cooled the sensors, so a prolonged low fluid level lead to sensor failure. GM replaced the whole thing at 60k miles without complaint. It's been bulletproof since.

Despite a few very vocal folks sharing their horror stories, the vast majority of diesels have proved reliable. There is really no better chassis if you are going to climb mountains or do any towing. Once you tow with an engine brake, you'll never want to go back.

If the new MB gas engine in the Sprinter is a turbo engine, that is very good news for you folks that want to explore mountains. The torque curve will be very similar to a diesel engine and high elevation will be a non-issue.

Normally, I'd say two otherwise identical 3500 series chassis, one gas and one diesel, would be a difficult choice. But for RV duty, having a diesel heating system is a pretty attractive feature and might tip the balance in choosing in my view.
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:35 PM   #15
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almost all the posts I've read about emissions issues on the MB Sprinter are 3-4 years old. Haven't seen a thing about any issues with newer models (2016-).
I hope you are right. However, it is very hard to tell. It took a couple of years for the pattern of issues to become apparent. It took almost two years before I had my first emissions failure, and that pattern looks to be fairly typical from the reports that I have seen. Moreover, the Sprinter BlueTec system is essentially unchanged as far as I can tell since MY2014. What IS true is that there have been many revisions to various sensors (e.g., the NOX sensors are at least at gen 5). If these revisions have been effective, that is good news, since existing vehicles will benefit and should improve in reliability. I certainly hope this is true.

Just a few weeks ago, I was chatting with a MB service advisor who deals with many Sprinters and whom I mostly trust. I asked him if he thinks that the emissions issues have stabilized. He dodged the question...
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Also, by Federal Law, DEF emissions systems are covered to 10 years, 100k miles. 150k miles in CA.
This information is inaccurate.
For Sprinter-class vehicles, the federally-mandated emissions warranty is 5 years/100K miles. The California emissions warranty (which, BTW is effective in 12 states) extends certain parts to 7 years/70K miles (yes, the "70K" is correct).

https://assets.mbvans.com/Mercedes-B...anty-Guide.pdf

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/1037.120

In any event, speaking for myself, cost is not the issue. I am glad to pay my share for clean air. The issue is spoiled vacations.

Quote:
My Chevy has been pretty much problem free except for the sensors in the DEF tank burning up - the design was that the fluid cooled the sensors, so a prolonged low fluid level lead to sensor failure. GM replaced the whole thing at 60k miles without complaint. It's been bulletproof since.
I am glad. But single samples tell us little.

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Despite a few very vocal folks sharing their horror stories, the vast majority of diesels have proved reliable.
Can you support this claim? I do not believe it to be true of DEF-equipped diesels.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:57 PM   #16
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"there are plenty of spec lawyers who live to help you enforce your rights."

You might want to talk to one BEFORE you do something to make sure you have one that thinks your case is winnable and worth taking. If its not worth paying a lawyer for advice before hand, you might wonder whether it will be worth paying one to defend your warranty later.

The manufacturer gets to decide whether to honor the warranty and you have to take it to court to get that decision reversed. If, like most warranties, it is limited to defects in manufacturing and workmanship, you will need to demonstrate the repair resulted from one of those. The company will likely have "experts" who will testify that it resulted from your action and/or normal wear. You will need to have "experts" to contradict them on both counts. Then the court decides which of you was more persuasive. In other words, its not just the company that will need to "prove" their case.

I would also be cautious taking broad statements by non-lawyers on the internet (including me) as gospel truth. My experience tells me there are very few absolute legal statements that are really accurate. The details often matter. A lot.

That said, Mercedes is extremely unlikely to deny warranty work based on your use of bio-diesel since they have put out publications to reassure people they can use it, even b20, with cautions about the problems to watch for. If they discovered you were using 100% bio-fuel you produced yourself from restaurant waste oil that might be a different situation.

Mercedes isn't a company that spends time trying to nickel and dime its customers. You might want to be a little more cautious with a warranty from some RV manufacturers.
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Old 04-20-2019, 12:42 AM   #17
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Default Are diesel engines as reliable as they used to be?

This article Are diesel engines as reliable as they used to be? has 11 answers to that question, almost all not only in the affirmative but agreeing with this statement:

"From a reliability standpoint diesel engines are more reliable today; ... The engines I work with are more than 99% available (based on several field examples) where older style engines this number would be much lower (following similar maintenance practices)."

There is a detailed explanation for that conclusion and several other interesting responses from people who also seem to have a lot of experience with both older and modern diesel engines.
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:34 PM   #18
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I doubt few question the reliability of diesel engines. Its the pollution controls people don't like about Sprinters, the restricted location of service, the high cost of service and dealing with diesel at the pumps that drive people to gasoline engines.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:14 PM   #19
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David - I think that is largely correct and you can add the cost of a Sprinter and the cost of fuel to that. But I also think many people simply have no need for diesel's durability, which is its main advantage. They don't drive their RV a lot, they mostly go somewhere and park. They are unlikely to ever hit 100K miles much less 500K.

I am a bit suspicious of how important the pollution control problems are. I am sure if you have been stuck out somewhere in cripple mode you think they are very important. Certainly if they read here, they may be scared off by those stories. Its just not clear that happens all that often and how much its related to how the vehicle is used and maintained. If it is a ubiquitous problem, fleet managers should be heading for the hills. Instead, Amazon just ordered a whole bunch of sprinters. Maybe they are only going to get the new gas ones, but I doubt it.
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Old 04-20-2019, 02:54 PM   #20
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I would encourage perspective buyers of NCV3-based RVs to take the Sprinter emissions issues very, very seriously. As even a casual perusal of the Sprinter Source list will reveal, it is beyond ridiculous. The dual NoX sensors may have finally stabilized on VERSION 5(!). But, that leaves the wheel speed sensors (which very commonly fail in pairs--conveniently a few hundred miles apart), the whole DEF dosing system, tank heaters, and at higher milage, DPF issues.

It isn't just that the failure rates of these items are more to the standards of the 1950s than the 21st century, it is that they very commonly lead to one being stranded on the side of the road in limp mode (which requires a tow) or at best a "10 starts remaining" countdown. More likely than not, you will be hundreds of miles from a sprinter-capable MB dealer, which is pretty close to your only choice for repair, given that most of these components require "Teach In" or in some cases SCN coding, which requires the help of MB central. Few independent shops are equipped to do any of this. When you call the nearest dealer, they will tell you that they can fit you in in two weeks (ignore this--if you show up at their door, they will most likely squeeze you in). At least they will probably have the parts in stock -- they use a lot of them.

Perhaps the new generation of Sprinters have fixed all these problems. Perhaps. As for me, I would never buy another Mercedes diesel if there is any reasonable alternative. I have had enough trips spoiled for one lifetime.
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