Mercedes-Benz USA has recently (effective date November 10, 2008) tightened the reins on their sales of theft relevant parts. At Autobahn Performance Inc. we are trying to work with our local dealers and with other affiliates to work through if not around this problem. As it stands now if we are repairing a vehicle with a part that is classified under the theft relevant parts policy as a TRP part, the vehicle must be brought to the Mercedes dealer and the part must be installed there. Theft relevant parts as I understand it at this time include;
 Keys electronic and traditional blade type (also green and orange programing keys)
 Electronic Ignition Switch EZL
 Infrared Control Unit , Drive Authorization Module DAS,
 Locks and Lock Cylinders mechanical and electronic
 Electronic Selector / Shift Lever Modules (electronic shifter assembly) on models 215, 220 and 230 only
 Transmission gear control unit (Electronic Valve Body on 722.9 G-tronic transmissions only
 Engine Control Module
 Flashware or repair Cd’s (software programing updates)
 Certain Airbag / SRS Supplemental Restraint System cables etc.
 Body Shell, certain body panels and components
These descriptions of parts listed by Mercedes are very vague and could include parts associated with a substantial number of the repairs we preform at Autobahn Performance Inc. We have the equipment and the capability of installing these parts as long as they remain available to us.
It is insulting that Mercedes and our local Mercedes dealers that we purchase parts from do not trust us or think that we are stealing vehicles or parts. If the dealers correctly fill out the paperwork and forms on the theft relevant parts we purchase there would be an obvious paper trail leading back to us, if a vehicle we had repaired was reported stolen. There is no way, for any amount of money, Autobahn Performance Inc. would knowingly become involved in the theft of a vehicle and jeopardize our reputation and name for the minimal profit of selling stolen vehicles or parts. Our annual sales averages are in the millions of dollars without the aid of stolen vehicles or parts.
Some of the parts listed seem to have no relevance to the possibility of using the part to steal a vehicle. How could you steal a vehicle with an ignition lock cylinder (with no key to it), or with an unprogramed engine control unit (ME control unit). The only way that I can see is it you use that part to throw through and smash the glass window of a locked vehicle to gain access to the interior of that vehicle. I hope Mercedes is not trying to corner their share of the repair market by requiring customers to have their vehicle repaired at the dealer. This would be a monopoly and should be illegal. The dealerships seem to be using the TRP policy to therir advantage by selectively enforcing their interpritation of the policy and requireing that vehicle be brought to them to be repaired when the ssale of parts is refused due to the policys vague guidelines.
From what I understand the reason Mercedes is pressing this issue is to keep insurance costs on their vehicles down. If the vehicle is harder to steal or is stolen at much lower percentage rates, the customers insurance cost to insure that vehicle will be lower. In turn Mercedes should sell more cars due to a lower cost of ownership.
At Autobahn Performance Inc. we are in the process of becoming a Licensed locksmith. With this We will be able to purchase keys and lock cylinders. It is an expensive and drawn out process and might take some time before we complete this process.
If anyone has any further information or updates on this policy please contact me. I would like to hear your stories and ideas on this subject: email@example.com
Mercedes-Benz TRP policy: