Mercedes A-Class Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

Registered
Joined
256 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I took my March 2019 A250 Premium Plus in to my local dealer yesterday for them to look at 11 issues I have found over the 2 months I have had the car. I have had the car for 2 months having bought it with 700 miles on the clock.

I was fortunate that my local dealer is a large regional center that sees over 100 cars a day and that the chap who dealt with me was a knowledgeable enthusiast, I say this because far from being given the story that many here seem to be given that Technical do not know of this problem, he was aware of all of the issues I mentioned and could give me an up to date view on where MB were with most of them. He also shared with me some useful information on software updates which might be of interest to some.

Other than obvious physical problems with the car which are rare in any case many problems, and most that I read about here, are software related. Whilst we might think that known software problems should be simple to fix this is far from the case with MB.

For those who are not from a software (S/W) background I should explain that it is normal in a S/W environment to have version control that is strictly managed. Typically this would be the current (and past) implemented S/W version, a version in final testing (beta), an alpha test version and one in development. As there is more than one sub system in the car you would expect that there would be register of which sub systems have been tested with other sub systems. In this way if a 'fault' dictates a subsystem upgrade it will be clear which modules will need to be updated to ensure a fast implementation and a stable end system.

Although MB claim that our cars receive software updates Over the Air (OTA) this does not seem to be the case just yet with the A Class indeed it was explained to me that some updates can take 6 to 8 hours and then fail at the very end. Often these long and in some cases unsuccessful updates are caused by the subsystem update being applied being incompatible with another subsystem on the car, this certainly can be the case where the MBUX software is incompatible with the engine or gearbox subsystems. This in itself is poor version management because you might expect that all subsystem updates would have inbuilt checking to ensure that is compatible with all other subsystems but this does not seem to be the case.

On top of this when we present our cars to the dealership they note our problems and if they seem to be S/W related they are referred to Milton Keynes (presumably MB's technical centre in the UK) if they do not have a fix it is sent to somewhere in Portugal where they do some or all of the coding, if they don't have the answer it is referred to Germany who then apparently refer it back to Milton Keynes for resolution.

Reading between the lines this would seem to be a case of the dealership needs the authority of Milton Keynes to apply a S/W update to resolve a known problem. If Milton Keynes don't know of the problem they ask Portugal if they know of it. If they don't it is referred to Germany as a new problem and they then ask Milton Keynes to fully document it, or something along these lines.

If some or all of the above is correct it shows a rather amateurish approach to S/W development and version control but it would explain why some dealers are reluctant to implement S/W updates and why they can take forever to implement.
 

Registered
Joined
31 Posts
Very good read and explains a lot, to me, cars are getting to complicated. Apart from being a motor mechanic you have to be a software engineer.
Hope the car never gets a virus 馃槣
 

Registered
Joined
217 Posts
This fits with my experience, my dealer was told to instal an update (for the POIs) which had not been released for general use. It failed to load completely so my dealer had to send his "crash log" (details of errors during loading) back to, I assume, Milton Keynes who then sent him an improved version or an extra patch to fix the problems and get it to load.
 

Registered
Joined
217 Posts
Very good read and explains a lot, to me, cars are getting to complicated. Apart from being a motor mechanic you have to be a software engineer.
Hope the car never gets a virus 馃槣
Alway keep it warm and dry, never let it associate with vehicles that might have the flu.
 

Registered
Joined
381 Posts
Having spent more than twenty years in software development, I can also confirm. This has been discussed many times on here. The reason dealer updates take so long is that they are performed from DVD, which is inherently slow by today's data transfer standards. The other issue is that any firmware update can contain bugs when first released. That is why many dealers - not being IT specialists - are reluctant to perform them. Many have found that the updates create new problems, ones that they are powerless to solve. Additionally, the dealer is only recompensed for work done as a result of MB flagging it. That is why certain upgrades eg the famed FU updates that nobody knows exactly what they do but appear to be cosmetic - are not flagged on the system as requiring a recall.

None of this is that surprising given that MB is a car manufacturer, not a systems developer. They are learning, and it will take time.
 

Registered
Joined
256 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
That is why many dealers - not being IT specialists - are reluctant to perform them. Many have found that the updates create new problems, ones that they are powerless to solve.
I quite agree with Saunders on this it's unreasonable to expect dealers to be IT specialists that's not what they do. This also sounds like its a problem caused by MB not being S/W specialists either.

These updates should be shrink wrapped and designed so that anyone with basic IT skills can install them. The update pack itself should be capable of checking the other sub modules and stopping the update if it has not been validated against them. This would at least stop updates failing at the end of the process.

And if Saunders is correct that these updates are on DVD it is positively archaic and beggers belief
 

Registered
Joined
12 Posts
Had problems on our new CLA 220, 2 soft ware updates, last one 4 hours, failed to cure an occasional black screen. Lookers Brighton ordered a new screen, hard ware ?!, and it 's been ok. Mercedes contacted me to ask our opinion of customer service. To be fair all concerned have been great, break down , dealer, Mercedes. After a 20 min chat they offered 拢150.00 John Lewis voucher, totally unexpected. 2 days later we got 拢25.00 M & S voucher for buying a new car. Cant fault.
 

Registered
Joined
440 Posts
Good read for the unenlightened, though this is far from unique to MB, being more of an industry wide teething problem for many motor manufacturers. They are relative newcomers to the complexity of systems like MBUX and the discipline required to manage development. More so with dealer networks given that the knowledge base and skill level is a diluted subset of the manufacturer's.

Wait until they are completely out of their comfort zone and depth with software driven EV's ...
 

Registered
Joined
25 Posts
What I should tell them to book appointment for this? If you enter in the websites they do not have this category, and this is a "free" thing...

Regards
 

Registered
Joined
161 Posts
I quite agree with Saunders on this it's unreasonable to expect dealers to be IT specialists that's not what they do. This also sounds like its a problem caused by MB not being S/W specialists either.

These updates should be shrink wrapped and designed so that anyone with basic IT skills can install them. The update pack itself should be capable of checking the other sub modules and stopping the update if it has not been validated against them. This would at least stop updates failing at the end of the process.

And if Saunders is correct that these updates are on DVD it is positively archaic and beggers belief
I don't think it's unreasonable for dealers to employ an IT specialist if they're selling such software dependant cars.
 

Registered
Joined
381 Posts
Many of the dealers do have someone who does things like register customers with the portal. But you can't simply take someone on who has worked with the designers of MBUX. The fact is, there are probably very few people outside of Germany who are qualified to understand MBUX. The situation will improve over time, but as many owners have already discovered, faults with the system invariably have to be referred on to MB.
 

Registered
Joined
8 Posts
twice now my car developed faults and a software download was required took all day for its completion the dealer told me it was due to the wifi signal strength on the download.
 

Registered
Joined
381 Posts
In other words, their broadband is slow or (more likely) someone in the office is soaking the bandwidth listening to the radio.
 

Registered
Joined
66 Posts
Benz ditched the very popular (at least in cars) QNX O/S last year for a Linux flavour in the A-Class. My BMW runs Linux too.
No idea why, but you can imagine an O/S switch of that magnitude is serious in terms of support and re-staffing etc.
This is why its a mess I suspect.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top