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Accepting new car without the Hermes Communication Module

Thomas Ulfelder
Wed, 21 Jul 2021 17:58:52 GMT

I ordered a 2021 GLC in March and was notified that it has been shipped and arrived in Baltimore. The dealer then called to tell me that it doesn't have the Hermes Communication Module because of the chip shortage. They want me to sign an acknowledgement that I am accepting the car without the module but they don't acknowledge a responsibility to provide one or a timeframe in which to expect the module to be available. Instead the waiver is intentionally vague. Yet they want payment in full. I can leave the car in Baltimore until the module is installed or take delivery but only if I sign the waiver. I have not signed the waiver and then discovered that there is a second form Mercedes will want signed that they haven't shown me. Has anyone else run into this or know more about what is going on? I think MB has handled this very poorly.

Alex
Wed, 04 Aug 2021 13:16:02 GMT

It looks really fine. I'm sure you will be pleased with it more and more as time goes on.

Thomas Ulfelder
Mon, 09 Aug 2021 15:30:04 GMT

I am an attorney, which is precisely why I take issue with the form MB wants me to sign. I see that one of the posts mentions a $300.00 credit for the missing communication module. How ridiculous of MB. First, by agreeing to this value and the reduction in price, you agree to take delivery of the car without the equipment and absolve MB of any contractual obligation to provide it. Second, just wait and find out the reduction in value of the vehicle when you try to trade it or sell it privately without the communications module and related functions. They get away with a $300.00 reduction while the you end up with a car worth thousands less.

msinger
Mon, 09 Aug 2021 15:40:00 GMT

@Thomas Ulfelder so, you think MB is not actually going to install the modules when they are available (per the signed agreement)? I suppose anything is possible, but it seems you're worrying about scenarios that will never actually occur. And if you think that is something MB would do, I'd advise you to completely steer clear of MB and choose a more reputable automobile manufacturer.

Alex
Mon, 09 Aug 2021 16:06:55 GMT

Thomas, I am surprised at your reasoning and agree with msinger’s above advice. No one should buy a car from a brand considered untrustworthy. msinger says: [The window sticker shows a $300 credit for “Credit for factory-built with Hermes Communication Module not operational until retrofit”]. The $300 credit is shown in the window sticker, as it should be since the thing is missing.? But it also says: “not operational until retrofit.” On what basis can a person presume that M-B and its dealer will not provide the retrofit when the module becomes available?

Dolebludger
Tue, 10 Aug 2021 15:46:38 GMT

The only question I have is whether the $300 credit is refunded when the part is installed, or not. Either way, it seems fair.

Thomas Ulfelder
Tue, 10 Aug 2021 16:18:20 GMT

I seem to have caused some controversy and did not intend to do so. I have had a long term, multi-car relationship with MB and I cannot say enough about my dealership, MB of Natick MA. It is because of my experience that I am disappointed in the way MB has handled this. My wife and I carefully built the GLC 300 4matic she wanted and believe we made the right choice. Perhaps it is because I am experienced attorney that I believe you are better served by the mindset “trust but verify”. An owner may be without the module for a long time and MB is making no representations otherwise.

Alex
Tue, 10 Aug 2021 22:24:22 GMT

Controversy enables us to get to know one another better, improving communications in this forum. In perusing the Disclosure Form above it seems that the functions which the subject module performs are very unimportant in the grand scheme of things. So the choice between accepting the car without these functions while trusting that the module will arrive eventually, and not accepting the car until it is 100% complete seems like a no-brainer for a person who wants the car now. And yes, I agree that an owner may be without the module for a long time. The person who chooses to wait for a 100% complete car may have to wait even longer because the cars that have arrived without the module will likely be sold to waiting others rather than be held up at the pier waiting for the modules. But it's the element of trust in M-B that created the controversy, which arises regularly in this forum about various issues, particularly with factory recommendations for service intervals and fluid replacement, among other things. Most of us feel that it is in the marque's interest to provi de the most accurate and honest information for the good of the car. But experiences and opinions by others indicate otherwise. So we discuss.

Dolebludger
Tue, 10 Aug 2021 22:44:11 GMT

The thing I see here (and I am attorney too) is the question of what happens to the $300 credit when the part is installed. Does the car owner just keep it? Or does the owner need to pay the credit back upon installation? If the owner gets to keep it, he/she gets inconvenience compensation. If it must be paid back, the owner at least got the car for the agreed price. As I see it, the worst thing that could happen to the owner would be if the part were never installed, and the owner got to keep $300 off the purchase price.

msinger
Wed, 11 Aug 2021 22:52:57 GMT

@Dolebludger per the agreement I shared above, you will see it states the following: "Mercedes-Benz USA will attempt to contact the current owner of this vehicle when updates to this Hermes Communications Module are available to arrange for the module to be modified at no charge when the retrofit becomes available." Furthermore, the credit is for "factory-built with Hermes Communications Module not operational until retrofit". Even when the module and/or missing components of the module are available in December (or whatever the actual date ends up begin), the fact that my GLC was built without the module won't change. Putting my non attorney hat on, I think you're worrying about something that won't happen. And to be completely honest, making people think it would be a good idea to loop in an attorney over $300 sounds like the making of the perfect racket. Yes, I know... attorneys need to eat too :)

Dolebludger
Sun, 15 Aug 2021 15:41:24 GMT

Oh, no. I never meant to suggest hiring an attorney regarding this matter. It looks like the buyer will be OK.

Edward J. Boyd
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 21:41:01 GMT

An attorney not recommending that an attorney be retained? Heresey!

Dolebludger
Tue, 17 Aug 2021 21:52:47 GMT

Yes! From what I read on this thread, it looks like the buyers are being treated fairly.

Bngbb
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 01:57:45 GMT

Hmm, well I’m confused. I too ordered the GLC 300 Coupe and received an email that it was in port. The docusign waiver of the Hermès Communication module gave a list of items that would be affected. My dealer defined them as “ the 4 G stuff, nothing big”. My research however interpreted “ nothing big” a little differently. Without the Hermès module we would lose : The emergency call services Vehicle locator services Some navigation functions The anti-theft alarm system and vehicle tow away sensor. Hmm. Well, I have great insurance although I am not certain how this would work. I live and travel to very large high -violent crime rate cities. Sadly, Memphis and Atlanta have an abundance of violent carjackings daily , in broad daylight . Especially as a woman, I would not feel safe as a sitting duck in a brand new Mercedes that is missing these key components, and then if stolen, can not be located.. I look forward to receiving the vehicle after the Hermès module is installed. I also understand that the vin number will indicate that the Hermès module is not installed so the value of the vehicle upon resale would automatically be set at a lower number than those that had the Hermès module factory installed..And can we really say the module installed by the mechanic at the local dealer has the same experience installing as the factory mechanic whose sole task is that installation? What is the fix IMO.. idk, how about extend the warranty for any components that are linked to the Hermès module ? Some have kicked around extending the free maintenance program. This is a challenging and disappointing situation but I am confident Mercedes will step up.

Bngbb
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 02:03:31 GMT

And FYI, I was informed by dealer Monday that the earliest arrival for the Hermès Communication Module would be likely second quarter next year, maybe even third..

msinger
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 03:24:40 GMT

@Bngbb I can confirm the following don't work: - Emergency calling - All features available via the Mercedes Me mobile app While navigation updates might not work, all navigation features I've attempted to use have worked as expected (just like my previous GLC). While the anti-theft alarm system and vehicle tow away sensor are not supposed to work, I cannot confirm that since I'm not sure how to trigger those functions.

Bngbb
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 15:36:16 GMT

Thank you msinger.

Alex
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 16:03:04 GMT

Bngbb, While I empathize with your situation, your objections to accepting the GLC300 Coupe less Hermes Communications module are not seen as sufficiently significant to warrant delaying the car’s delivery. And if the module is not available until the third quarter of 2022, which is a year from now, it might be better to cancel the order for that car, if that’s possible to do, then get a different car. I will address your concerns in the order that you raise them. To start with, the emergency call services are “nothing big” because in an emergency your cellphone will work faster than the concierge services, unless the cellphone falls out of its position in the car and becomes out of reach – an unlikely situation. Such an eventuality is the key sales point used by the dealer to sell the optional emergency/concierge services. I wonder in how many crashes the driver’s phone becomes unreachable, yet the driver is able to reach the push-button to call for help. While it is true that without vehicle locater services the car will be harder to find by the authorities, that’s probably a good thing because you really don’t want the car back after it’s been stolen. A new car, paid for by the insurance company is a better solution. As for the navigation functions, while it’s true that Apple’s Car Play integrates Waze into the navigation system, not having the car’s navigation system is still “nothing big.” The anti-theft alarm and vehicle tow-away sensor are too little and too late when the car is broken into or stolen. Car alarms are no longer effective deterrents for serious thieves. So, again, “nothing big.” Driving or parking in high-crime areas is risky indeed and requires constant vigilance as well as an effective weapon for protection, besides the car. I fail to see how the missing services offer meaningful protection here. Yes, in a brand-new Mercedes one becomes a sitting duck, “bound in golden chains.” That’s the life we must deal with. Putting myself in your position, I think that the features enabled by the Hermes module would help only a little. It doesn’t ring true that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) would indicate the absence of the Hermes module. And even if the VIN includes such detail, I don’t see it affecting resale value, if the module gets installed correctly. And I would trust M-B to put the module in correctly when it becomes available. Inconvenience in life is an ongoing challenge. Nothing is free of it, and we must bear its burden. To saddle the provider with the costs of our inconvenience may be the modern way but I prefer to let the provider offer it without my asking. It means more that way. As you say, you are confident that Mercedes will step up. So am I.

Edward J. Boyd
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 17:49:30 GMT

A friend who was awaiting a car she had ordered several months ago received notice that it had finally arrived and was ready for delivery sans the communications module. As her three year old leased vehicle has only 30K on the odometer and is working well, she told M-B to keep the new car and that she would buy her present car off the lease.

Bngbb
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 18:13:47 GMT

Thank you for your opinion Alex.

Dolebludger
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 23:53:10 GMT

Yes, the foundation of the problem here is that many manufacturers (and I assume MB was one of them) went from warehousing components to ordering them to arrive “just in time”. Eliminating warehousing costs would reduce costs, but only assuming that some emergency would not disrupt component making and shipping — and that is exactly what happened. And there are other risks of supply chain interruption other than pandemics. Weather, earthquakes, and wars can do it too. I hope we have seen the end of “just in time” component ordering by manufacturers. We now know it just doesn’t work.

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