People love Mercedes cars, but do they love the warranty?

 

The Mercedes-Benz badge connotes great design and engineering, pioneering safety technology, unquestioned luxury, and impeccable build quality. The company stands behind its cars and SUVs with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty. How good is that versus other luxury brands?

We looked at standard new-vehicle warranties for 35 brands and ranked the Mercedes-Benz warranty at number 22 on the list. That does not mean it is not a good warranty or that cars with longer warranties are better cars. We’ll take you through the new vehicle warranty that comes with every 2020 Mercedes-Benz passenger car and SUV, explaining what it does and does not cover. We’ll also point out some options for extending warranty coverage, both from Mercedes-Benz and third-party providers.

Should you want to consider going the aftermarket route to get added coverage for a Mercedes, you could start by looking at our review of the best third-party extended warranty providers. We’ll look more closely at the options for you later in this report.

In This Article:

Need more coverage?

 Motor1 has reviewed over a dozen auto warranty companies


See Our Top Picks >
 

Overview: Mercedes Warranty Coverage

It’s very easy to understand the Mercedes-Benz new vehicle basic warranty. It covers the entire vehicle for 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. “Four years” means 48 months from the date you purchase the car. Mercedes includes the powertrain, corrosion perforation, and roadside assistance in that warranty period.

The high-voltage battery in Mercedes plug-in hybrid models is covered by a separate limited warranty for 6 years/62,000 miles. In some states (California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont), the battery for plug-in hybrid vehicles extends to 10 years/150,000 miles.

Also, in California and states that follow its emissions regulations (the states listed above plus Delaware, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington), certain parts of the emission control system are covered for 8 years/80,000 miles. These can include things like fuel injectors, intake manifolds, certain hoses and electronics, and other parts.

In addition to the warranty provided by tiremakers, Mercedes covers tires against defects in material or workmanship for 12 months/12,000 miles. Within that period, a Mercedes dealer will replace a tire if it becomes “unserviceable” as long as at least 1.6 millimeters of tread depth remains. That’s pretty generous, especially considering that on some Mercedes vehicles, the tires can be quite expensive.

Mercedes-Benz Warranty: What Exactly Are You Getting?

The Mercedes-Benz 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty is comprehensive, but there are exclusions. Up front, the Mercedes warranty says the company “warrants to the original and each subsequent owner of a new Mercedes-Benz vehicle that any authorized Mercedes-Benz Dealership will make any repairs or replacements necessary to correct defects in material or workmanship, but not design, arising during the warranty period.”

Let’s quickly unpack that. Firstly, it means the Mercedes warranty is transferable to a new owner should you sell the car. That’s always a plus. Note, however, the reference to design not being covered. What could that mean? One might infer that this passage is intended to discourage customers from requesting that “fixes” be made to features that they may find disappointing about the car, but that are functioning properly. The lesson here is to make sure you love the whole car before you buy it.

The customer is also told that “any authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer” can perform repairs covered by the warranty.” In other words, you can’t be asked or required to take the car to the dealer that sold it to you. Meanwhile, the Mercedes warranty language also cautions customers to allow “a reasonable time” for warranty repairs and that delays occasionally occur “due to back-ordered parts and other circumstances outside MBUSA’s control.” Read into that what you will.

What’s Not Covered By The Mercedes Warranty?

Like most new vehicle limited warranties, the Mercedes-Benz warranty has some exclusions. As is typical among car brands, Mercedes does not cover:

  • Certain maintenance items, including brake pads
  • Wheel alignment and balancing
  • Glass
  • Wiper blades and inserts
  • Batteries for any remote controls, including the keyless entry system

Damage due to lack of maintenance, which, according to Mercedes, could include using “non-approved” service parts and fluids, is not covered.

It may sound like “common sense” not to drive through high water, but people often do it, and it can damage a car severely, even to the point of being “totaled” by an insurance company. Mercedes specifically says this damage will not be covered, nor will damage from extreme storm conditions, hail, or other environmental factors.

Mercedes is also specific about the warranty not covering damage to the vehicle’s paint, trim, upholstery, or convertible top caused by “airborne fallout,” which could include chemicals, tree sap, and road salt. Just as a point of comparison, Ford’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty covers damage to the car’s paint from “environmental fallout” for 12 months/12,000 miles. That’s just one example of how automobile warranties, though seemingly similar, can have many differences.

The Mercedes warranty does not cover loss of use of the vehicle during warranty repairs, nor “substitute transportation rentals,” lodging and travel costs, loss of pay, or other economic loss. When a warranty spells it out like that, you can be pretty sure some customers have tried to make such claims against the warranty.

Mercedes: Solid Warranty Coverage, But Not The Industry Leader

The 4-year/50,000-mile coverage period of the Mercedes-Benz Limited Warranty is common among luxury brands, although some also extend powertrain and corrosion perforation coverage beyond that. For example, Acura, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, and Lincoln cover the powertrain for 6 years/70,000 miles. Genesis, Hyundai’s relatively new luxury brand, includes the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty that all Hyundai (and Kia) models have.

A longer warranty does not necessarily mean a vehicle is better than one with a shorter warranty. In fact, super-long warranties are used as a marketing tool. Primarily, a longer warranty can offer enhanced value for the customer.

Mercedes-Benz Cars Are Excellent, But Nothing Is Perfect

Although Mercedes-Benz may be famous for high-quality vehicles, the brand does not always rank among leaders in this regard, according to some trusted industry sources. In the 2019 J.D. Power Dependability Study, which surveys problems in three-year-old vehicles, Mercedes was ranked with 134 problems per 100 cars. That’s just above the industry average of 136 and behind industry leaders Lexus (106), Porsche (108), and Toyota (108).

Many people turn to Consumer Reports for automotive reliability information, and this publication scored Mercedes even lower, at 21 out of 30 brands. (Consumer Reports left out Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, and Ram due to insufficient survey data.) Notably, Consumer Reports indicates “most reliable model” and “least reliable model” for each brand in its rankings.

Is The Mercedes-Benz Extended Warranty Worth It?

Interestingly, many aftermarket extended warranties do reimburse the customer for towing, lodging and food, and rental car expenses when a vehicle is in the shop for a covered repair. This is something we like about third-party extended warranties.

Of course, an extended warranty is for down the road, after the original new vehicle warranty expires. As is common among luxury brands, many Mercedes-Benz customers lease their vehicles, and most lease terms fall within the coverage period of the new vehicle warranty. One reason that some people lease their cars is to avoid dealing with repairs after the warranty expires.

For those who buy Mercedes-Benz cars or SUVs, the brand does offer its own Mercedes extended warranty, which can be purchased at time of vehicle purchase or any time before the original warranty expires.

Essentially, the Mercedes extended warranty is an extension of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty with a few differences. These are presumably explained by the dealer.

You can choose to extend the original 4-year/50,000-mile warranty by up to 3 years, with a further choice of extending the mileage out to 75,000 or 100,000 miles. Note, however, that this means adding 25,000 or 50,000 miles to the original 50,000-mile warranty, not adding 75,000 or 100,000 miles.

Bear those figures in mind when considering the cost of the Mercedes extended warranty, which can range from $2,405–$8,250 depending on the Mercedes model and length of extended warranty contract that you choose. Notably, with the Mercedes extended warranty, there’s no deductible to pay for repairs, and the warranty is transferable to a new owner if you sell the car.

What Does It Cost To Fix A Mercedes?

The Mercedes extended warranty can be expensive, but so can repairs. According to RepairPal, these are some repair costs for a few 2016 Mercedes models, which may be past their original warranties or near the end:

  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE350 sport-utility cylinder head gasket: $1,918–$3,180.
  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan seat heater: $661–$705
  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz E400 sedan alternator replacement: $1,460–$1,540
  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz S550 sedan power window regulator replacement: $2,177–$2,261

Certified Pre-Owned: A Compelling Option With A Warranty

Mercedes-Benz was among the first brands to offer a Certified Pre-Owned program for its used cars in the 1990s, and its current program is pretty picky about the cars it covers.

Mercedes models must be less than 6 years old and have less than 75,000 miles to qualify and must then pass a 165-point inspection for certification. Vehicles with identifiable structural damage or a problem shown in a CARFAX Vehicle History Report are not approved for the CPO program.

Mercedes vehicles that do qualify for CPO get the remainder of the 4-year/50,000 mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty (if any) plus another 12 months/unlimited miles of comprehensive coverage. According to Mercedes, this coverage extends to the powertrain, steering, suspension, brakes, electrical and climate control systems, and more. This warranty can be extended by one or two additional years, with unlimited miles in either case. As with the original new car warranty, normal wear on the brake discs and pads is not covered.

Our Recommended Third-Party Extended Warranties

The Mercedes extended warranty offers excellent coverage, but it stops at 7 years/100,000 miles (from the vehicle’s original in-service date). That’s usually enough for many people, but aftermarket warranty providers offer more options to gain added peace of mind if you buy a higher-mileage car, and usually for lower cost.

A third-party extended warranty provider, such as Endurance, can offer more flexible plans and up to 15 years of coverage (meaning 6 years beyond the original Mercedes warranty). Third-party warranties are available to cover original owners as well as CPO models after the Mercedes warranty has expired.

If you buy a used Mercedes outside of the company’s CPO program, you can still purchase a warranty plan from a third party. Endurance offers plans that extend coverage up to 2000,000 miles.

Also, an aftermarket extended warranty company can offer basic coverage plans if you feel you don’t want to cover the entire car. For example, the Endurance Secure level, which is available in various length terms and miles, can offer essential coverage for the powertrain and a few other essentials.

Additional Third-Party Extended Warranty Perks

With a Mercedes-Benz extended warranty, you must have your car repaired by an authorized Mercedes dealer. With an aftermarket warranty, you can take it to a Mercedes dealer or just about any licensed repair facility. That can be a major convenience if your car breaks down far from the nearest Mercedes dealer. Of nearly 160,000 auto repair facilities in the U.S., only about 375 are Mercedes dealers.

Endurance and a few other extended warranty providers are direct payers. That means they pay the auto repair facility directly for covered repairs, so you don’t have to file a claim and wait for a check in the mail. You may have to pay a deductible, often around $50, depending on the plan.

We also graded warranty plans on the company’s reputation and the extras they offer, such as towing and trip interruption reimbursement for breakdowns and roadside assistance to deliver fuel, change a tire, or jumpstart a low battery.

Like most extended warranty companies, Endurance offers a 30-day cancellation period to have your purchase price refunded. If you suddenly have second thoughts or need the money for something else, you can simply cancel the coverage.

 

Read our guides to other warranty providers: