On the 24th September 2014 the Vito Taxi Club attended its first meeting at Mercedes Benz Milton Keynes since the collapse of KPM/ECO City Vehicles and One80 Engineering.
Our members quite rightly have been raising many issues about past, present, and future issues between MB and the licensed trade over the last few days. We are pleased to announce the following. The meeting included MB executives at the highest possible level and they have assured us that their commitment to the trade was never in doubt. All warranty issues will be taken up by their own network of commercial dealers. Any issues any of our members have with their cabs we now have a great working relationship with the MB London District Manager who has personally started to phone customers directly, and will be speaking to all the dealers as regards to the whole situation including stock and turnaround of our trade requirements.
Mercedes Benz commercial are still honouring all EURO 5 RWS systems which are outside their warranty period up until the new system becomes available.
All customers that have ordered new Vitos from KPM their orders will be honoured through another MB sales centre which will be named imminently.
At this point we would remind everyone its KPM and ONE80 that have gone into receivership not PENSO which is only the manufacturing arm so therefore all parts are still being manufactured.
Today MB showcased to us in full detail the new MB engineered RWS for the EURO 5 through digital media of how the areas concerned which caused the inherent problems that we feel ONE80 never addressed. We were demonstrated how the system was at fault from top to bottom and how they rectified every piece from King pins right through in redesigning the actuators. They instructed the manufacturers to go way beyond any testing parameters they have ever done before, and they even submerged the components in a 1 metre water tank to test its waterproofing ability.
The result was us being shown a fully working donor vehicle fitted with this new technology and we were asked to basically get in and have a go. We are pleased to announce the following, that we all took turns in driving the vehicle and did some tests of our own which included accelerating out of a turn with RWS activated and going straight into reverse whilst the RWS was activated 2 areas where our current system doesn’t like responding to. The results being impressive and to sum up the system actually felt more like being part of the Vito rather than an after thought.
MB wants this new system to be signed off by the VSA and VOSA which will be done in the next few weeks, then production will go ahead and start to be fitted in batches of 100-150 per month commencing November/December subject to the final testing period being completed and satisfied.
Overall we feel after many months/years of meetings, communications with MB and the understandable frustration from customers we feel we have proudly got a result that everybody has been striving for.
This Press Release was written by the Vito Taxi Club based on the information given to us at the time of the meeting. This press release has been given full permission from Mercedes Benz UK to be used publicly.