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.