E46 Fanatics Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Slow in, slower out
Joined
·
4,365 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mercedes is going to remove some of the electronic crap from their cars. We can only hope BMW AG will follow along.

http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content...=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=07435825

Mercedes hoping to ditch electronics glitches; numerous systems removed

By GEORG AUER | Automotive News Europe

STUTTGART -- It was a rare spectacle: a Mercedes-Benz electronics executive explaining that the automaker had removed 600 electronic functions from its vehicles.

During a 20-minute address at an industry symposium here, Stephan Wolfsried railed against the temptation to overload vehicles with electronic functions that are useless to the customer.

The features haven't helped Mercedes either. Chronic problems in recent years have angered customers and sullied the company's reputation.

It is difficult to integrate these gadgets into a vehicle's electronics infrastructure, said Wolfsried, who is Mercedes-Benz's vice president for electrical and electronics and chassis development.

Electronic components sometimes work well in isolation but cause other electronic equipment to go haywire.

Testing is difficult and time-consuming, so Mercedes is reconsidering its more-is-better approach to gadgets.

"Last year we removed over 600 functions from our cars - functions that no one really needed and no one knew how to use," Wolfsried said. "It is our aim to focus on things that make sense. The driver will not have the option to adjust everything that is adjustable."

One example of an unnecessary feature: individual memory settings on a key fob for seat adjustments.

The issue of electronics glitches comes at a delicate time.

In April, Mercedes was encouraged by a sharp improvement in J.D. Power's annual Initial Quality Study. With 106 defects per 100 cars, the automaker rose to 10th place among automakers, up from 15th place and 132 defects per 100 cars a year earlier.

But that good news was tempered by yet another electronics glitch. In May, Mercedes recalled 680,000 cars worldwide because of a possible malfunction of a new brake-by-wire system on some E- and SL-class models.

Mercedes had developed the brake system, called Sensotronic Brake Control, with longtime technical partner Robert Bosch GmbH. The defects can be fixed at the dealership with a software patch, but the recall was an embarrassing setback.

Bosch has denied German press reports that it introduced the technology too quickly.

Three years ago Mercedes also suffered problems with Bosch's Comand communications system, which integrates the onboard navigator, audio systems and car phone.

When motorists used Comand, the screen sometimes would go blank and systems would malfunction. Comand's defects proved difficult to track down. The electronics would fail sporadically, making it difficult to identify and fix problems.

Mercedes chief Juergen Hubbert subsequently vowed to increase product testing. And as Wolfsried noted, the automaker also is simplifying its electronics. If a vehicle has fewer features, fewer things can go wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
:werd: Simplification rocks in terms of reliability. Depending on what is being simplified, it could also be better for weight savings.
 

·
Lying, drunken cheat
Joined
·
4,290 Posts
This is a smart move. BMW Ag definitely needs to think of following suit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,067 Posts
:werd:
akhbhaat said:
This is a smart move. BMW Ag definitely needs to think of following suit.
 

·
Core Fanatic
Joined
·
1,105 Posts
:thumbup: More weight, more problems. I like my sports sedans sporty and not yuppified. Piss on i-Drive.

The thing that has me concerned is Mercedes electronic braking system. I already hate e-throttle, but I don't want my stopping ability in the hands of a computer for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Okay, I'll start off the 'not sure I'm happy with this' camp. I do think that the iDrive stuff on the 5 & 7 is too much, but I want a certain amount of electronic whizzy stuff in my car, which is exactly what drew me to BMW in the first place (although I later fell in love with other aspects as well).

I like (& use) the key memory settings on my Passat, and look forward to using it on my 325i that I've got on order. I got nav because I wanted nav, and the Bluetooth integration with the screen. On the flip side, I don't need to be able to adjust my AC vents via the screen.

I guess different folks are going to have different places to draw the line as to what's a good feature, and what's outrageous. For me, the 3 series is just about right. Now, just focus on making the stuff work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
325seeeye said:
:thumbup: More weight, more problems. I like my sports sedans sporty and not yuppified. Piss on i-Drive.

The thing that has me concerned is Mercedes electronic braking system. I already hate e-throttle, but I don't want my stopping ability in the hands of a computer for sure.
Every European and NA auto manufacturer is looking to go to that system. It eliminates the master cylinder in favor of an electric pump/high pressure accumulator. Supposedly this gives the manufacturer better flexibility in vehicle packaging. The next step is fully electronic brakes, no brake lines, no brake fluid.

Personally, I would have a hard time justifying such a radical change in technology in the most important system in the vehicle. :rolleyes:
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top