Tech­mail

Car (South Africa) - - CREDITS -

As I have owned four MercedesBenz MLS over the last 15 years and have been 100% sat­is­fied, I bought an AMG GLC43 Coupé in March 2018. Af­ter 6 000 km, I no­ticed the tyres showed signs of se­vere wear and re­ported this to a deal­er­ship. Scan­ning var­i­ous web­sites, it be­came clear there are nu­mer­ous com­plaints about the same prob­lem. The tyres had to be re­placed at just over 7 000 km at great cost. How­ever, the new Miche­lins are show­ing the same wear pat­tern on the outer edge within the first 1 000 km.

An­other is­sue is the noise and vi­bra­tion em­a­nat­ing from the front axle when driv­ing the car at slow speed at full lock. Many web­sites also men­tion crab­bing of the front wheels as a pos­si­ble cause. Can this lead to a safety risk and con­trib­ute to the tyre wear? The sit­u­a­tion is un­ac­cept­able and I am not get­ting any joy from Mercedes-benz SA. ANTONY SELLMEYER Ron­de­bosch As luck would have it, a GLC63 S Coupé joined Per­for­mance Shootout this year (see fea­ture on page 38) and we all ex­pe­ri­enced the sound and vi­bra­tion at full lock. We do not think it has to do with the align­ment of the front wheels, or an in­cor­rect Ack­er­mann Steer­ing Geom­e­try (see be­low) lead­ing to crab­bing, as this would have im­pacted cor­ner­ing abil­ity (and it did a great lap time at Kil­lar­ney).

To us, it felt more like dif­fer­en­tial wind-up on the front axle, as the lim­ited-slip diff may not be en­tirely open as in non-per­for­mance­ori­en­tated vari­ants. We agree it is not an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence, but doubt it is a safety risk.

The tyre-wear is­sue is a sep­a­rate one and a tyre re­place­ment at 7 000 km is ex­ces­sive, al­though driv­ing style in a per­for­mance ve­hi­cle with plenty of power can dra­mat­i­cally af­fect tyre life.

We asked Mercedes-benz South Africa for an of­fi­cial re­sponse and re­ceived the fol­low­ing an­swer from Yolanda Odun­tan, me­dia spe­cial­ist at Mercedes-benz Cars: “We have had ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tions with our lo­cal Daim­ler Tech­ni­cal As­sis­tance Cen­tre team, as well as our col­leagues at Mercedes-amg Gmbh on the mat­ter.

“We can con­firm the ex­pe­ri­ence de­tailed in the query is due to the GLC43’S per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics. Mercedes-amgs have a mod­i­fied axle geom­e­try com­pared to pro­duc­tion ve­hi­cles to pro­vide sportier han­dling.

“Dis­com­forts can there­fore oc­cur while ma­noeu­vring at low speed with steer­ing lock ap­plied on a ve­hi­cle fit­ted with high­per­for­mance tyres. This is more ev­i­dent at lower tem­per­a­tures.

“We wish to re­it­er­ate this does not pose a threat to the oc­cu­pants’ safety or that of other road users; nei­ther does it have an im­pact on the dura­bil­ity of the ve­hi­cle or any of the sus­pen­sion com­po­nents.

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