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Mercedes E430 Design Defects
© 2006 KenRockwell.com

2002 Mercedes E430The Mercedes E430 in California's Central Valley, October, 2006

Blinding Glare from Chrome on Steering Wheel

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Design Defects

No car is perfect, yet.

My E430 (and the E320) is about as close as mortal automobiles get to perfection.

Here are some petty gripes. I know of no automobile more perfect.

Chrome on Steering Wheel

Instead of an embossed star on the steering wheel, it has a chrome ornament.

In the wrong light, it reflects blinding glare from the sun.

It's easy to avoid - just shift your head a little.

It would have been easy to prevent by not putting chrome on the steering wheel.

Clock Without Hands

The E430 only has a digital clock. It is super accurate (more accurate then 1 second per month), easy to read and always on at exactly the same place regardless of how you set your controls (BMWs often move the clock display depending on settings, and lesser cars share the clock with the radio.)

Sadly, the clock is still digital. Clocks should have hands.

Front Shock Tower Mounts

I've never seen this, but if you believe what you see on the internet, there is a potentially deadly problem with the body and suspension.

Hidden rust in the wheel wells of E320s can cause a front wheel to collapse. OOPS!!

The part where the front shock and spring attach to the body can rust and detach! This causes the front suspension to collapse, the front side of the E320 to collapse and wheel to lock and lose the ability to steer. It will have partially disconnected from the E320!

If this happens while driving it could cause an E320 to spin out of control and kill you, all your passengers and any other traffic nearby.

I read that it's not easy to inspect for this, since you have to dismantle part of the car to see it.

Be careful. I'm ignoring this since I live in sunny California where rust doesn't happen.

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