• Jun 15, 2006

Normally, a single owner suing an automaker over a 'lemon' car would hardly qualify as a newsworthy item. But when the person in question is a car dealership owner, and the four-wheeled bit of citrus is one of five Mercedes Benz AMG CLK-GTR Roadsters, well, things get a little more interesting.

Mark Johnston of Grand Prix Motors of Los Angeles, California, is suing DaimlerChrysler and its Mercedes-Benz arm. The plaintiff maintans he bought the uber-Benz to sell in his dealership, but the car had issues beginning with its very first test drive, tripping the oil lamp within ten blocks. Johnston's complaint further alleges assorted transmission problems, hydraulic jack system failure, and 'unglued' windows. The vehicle was later diagnosed with total engine failure, a result of the oil-pressure issue.

Grand Prix Motors alleges that they area aware of other roadsters with similar problems. It has not been repaired.

No word on the damages Johnston seeks to recover, but figure on at least $1.7 million, plus whatever expenses were incurred for the repairs.

[Source: Auto Spectator]

(Top tip, anonymous!)


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      The buyer did see the latest JD Powers reliability report on MB, right? :P
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Grand Prix Motors alleges that they area aware of other roadsters with similar problems. It has not been repaired."

      I think that this needs to be rewritten.
      • 8 Years Ago
      the only reason that car was put on sale was so MB could get it homologated to go racing with, they didnt actaully think anyone would be stupid enough to buy one for use on the road, it's a highly tuned race car, and needs a qualified pit crew to look after it, and the engine failure was his own stupid fault for continuing to drive it after the oil light came on
      • 8 Years Ago
      Posted at 2:15PM on Jun 15th 2006 by Mark 0 stars
      "3. the only reason that car was put on sale was so MB could get it homologated to go racing..."

      Umm... Wasn't that done about *ten* years ago? The CLK GTR has not been run in competition since the late 90's.

      Street legal versions of other GT cars have been made [i.e. Porsche GT1] and they usually take certain precautions such as de-tuning the motor to insure a bit more drivability and reliability.. That car was specifically designed to run 24 hours nonstop at Le Mans under race conditions. Most road cars couldn't last that long. You'd think a de-tuned car of this caliber run at streets speeds and distances should last s bit longer. Then again if you follow F1 you know MBZ doesn’t exactly have the greatest reliability record for their engines. I happen to work in the OE replacement parts industry and MBZ is our #1 product line due to their lack of build quality. It’s a shame since they used to be #1 for the opposite reason since their cars lasted so long.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As silly as it seems to buy a car like this for the street you would still think the MBZ would fix the problem. After all Mercedes has just lost 1.7 million dollars in bad publicity over this. I was just eating lunch at the local deli and this was broadcast on CNN so lots of people are seeing the story.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #2Tyre,

      You must be new to Autoblog, where typos, misspellings and ambiguous wording are a way of life! I hear that aspiring editors taking courses in journalism use this site as a training ground!
      • 8 Years Ago
      This car was not made by Mercedes, and that's were most people have the story wrong. It is the product of HWA Motorsports who initially prepared the CLK GTR for racing. They made several road cars and 5 of these roadsters.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13. What are you talked about? Thiss intarweb teh home of write damaged english.

      Breaking language is go for all!
      • 8 Years Ago
      The following is from LA times: According to Donna Boland, a spokesman for Mercedes, "The customer bought the vehicle directly from Germany. He imported it himself. It's not certified for sale here. It's a race car, period. We don't import it and we don'. The suite has no ground what so ever!!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      1) MBZ made this car in the late 90's and early 2000's as a coupe and a roadster...which of both meet all regulations nationwide and even if he imported the car from germany, the people at mercedes have to build the car to American regulations. There were around 150 coupes made and 5 roadsters, none of which were used as race cars, because this car wasnt used to launch a new MBZ race car, but it was based off a MBZ race car that already exsisted, the only made this car to draw attention to their name. Sure his car may have problems, but its MBZ responsibility to make sure that when someone buys a car for 1.5 mil, it should work properly and MBZ should service it regularly. I own a SLR MacLaren and MBZ services it regularly, and takes car of me like i am a god or something, and thats only with a cars that equals around 450,000 so imagine how MBZ should treat him with its rarest and most expensive car ever made....
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a good chance for MB to get some good PR in LA. Buy back the car at purchase price plus cost of any repairs, diagnostics etc. And then run an ad about how their always working to satisfy or something.

      Personaly I think as is, this is a lot of bad PR. If MB is willing to stick it to a purchaser of a 1.7M car, a dealer none the less imagine how little they will care about you?

      And just incase things go sour it's only a short drive down the Santa Monica Freeway and off on the San Diego Freeway to to Santa Monica BMW...

      --Noah
      • 8 Years Ago
      huh? This car isn't even street legal. I'm not sure how the dealership thinks it's going to sell it along side a e-class.

      And anyone that buys it is either going to park it somewhere or have a pit crew.

      btw, I live in L.A. and I've never heard of Grand Prix Motors. Sounds like a leasing outfit or a used car dealer...
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