Mercedes Benz – Theft Relevant Parts (TRP)

Autobahn Performance is L.S.I.D licensed to purchase TRP parts. You do not have to take your vehicle to the dealer for TRP part replacement!

A new worldwide Mercedes-Benz anti-theft policy went into effect at Mercedes-Benz USA on November 10, 2008. This policy has specific requirements for the ordering and delivery of Theft-Relevant Parts (TRPs), which may require you to get information from the vehicle owner to place an order for certain spare parts. In addition, for certain theft-relevant parts, such as electronic keys, electronic ignition switches, infrared and other locking control units, it is mandatory for the dealer to install them. Please contact your local dealer for a copy of the policy so you can be better prepared to help them protect all Mercedes-Benz vehicles from theft.

Mercedes Benz claims the reason they classify parts as TRP is to keep your insurance costs down, on their vehicles.

Please visit Bob Beckmann’s great website that explains TRP and the difficulty shops like ours will face in the future if the parts that manufacturers can classify as TRP parts and their availability to the aftermarket is not limited by the lawmakers. http://www.beckmanntechnologies.com/trp.php

These Mercedes parts listed here are vague and could involve a majority of the repairs we perform at Autobahn Performance. We have the equipment and the capability to install all these TRP parts.

[1] Keys: electronic and traditional blade type (also green and orange programming keys
[2] Electronic Ignition Switch EZL
[3] Infrared control Unit, Drive Authorization Module DAS
[4] Locks and Lock Cylinders: mechanical and electronic
[5] Electronic Selector / Shift Lever Modules (electronic shifter assembly) on models 215, 220 and 230 only
[6] Transmission gear control unit (Electronic Valve Body on 722.9 G-tronic transmissions only)
[7] Engine Control Module
[8] Flashware or repair CD’s
[9] Certain Airbag / SRS supplemental restraint system cables, etc.
[10] Body Shell, certain body panels, and components

At Autobahn Performance Inc., we have been negotiating with our local dealers and with other affiliates to resolve this problem.

It is insulting to a reputable company like Autobahn that Mercedes and our local Mercedes dealers, that we have purchased hundreds of parts from over the years, that they would treat us as insignificant and do not trust us, or even think that we are stealing vehicles or parts from them.

If the dealers correctly fill out the paperwork and forms (as required) on the theft relevant parts that we purchase, there would be an obvious paper trail leading back to us, if a vehicle we had repaired, was stolen.

I am sure that there are companies out there that will do this, but there is no amount of money that could entice Autobahn Performance Inc. to knowingly become involved in the theft of a vehicle or parts and jeopardize our name and reputation for such a minimal profit. Our annual sales averages are in the millions of dollars; and to risk all that on some illegal activity is absurd.

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 un-programmed engine control unit (ME control unit)? The only way that I can see is if 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 their advantage by selectively enforcing their interpretation of the policy and requiring that vehicles be brought to them to be repaired when the sale of parts is refused due to the policy’s vague guidelines.

I think the reason that Mercedes is pressing this issue is to keep insurance costs on their vehicles down. If the vehicle is harder to steal or fewer are stolen, the customer’s insurance cost for that vehicle will be lower. In turn, Mercedes should sell more cars due to a lower cost of ownership.

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.

On January 2012, Autobahn Performance, inc. became a licensed locksmith with a NASTIF LSID locksmith ID (a lengthy and expensive process). We can now acquire TRP parts and repair your vehicle without being forced to refer our customers to a dealer.

On 6/22/2009, Mercedes refused sale of an instrument cluster for a 2005 Mercedes CLK55 AMG. Customer’s cluster was totally dead, there was no communication and nothing at all lit up or moved. The vehicle still drove fine but soft top operation was locked out, probably due to the vehicle speed signal not being distributed on the CAN bus due to the failed cluster. The convertible top control module needs to know the vehicle speed to make sure the top is not being operated while the vehicle is in motion. Autobahn has the technology and the equipment to install the new cluster, but Mercedes and our local dealer, Mercedes of Ft. Lauderdale, refused to sell us the replacement part. The part has been ordered from an outside source and we should have the vehicle repaired for the customer in three to four days. This is normally a one day job if the parts are available locally.

On 7/7/2009, Mercedes refused sale of RCL or DAS module of a 2000 Mercedes SLK 230. Part number is 168 820 03 26. This vehicle has a current or hard code in the RCL locking system of B1000 internal module failure. This code will not clear / is always present. The customer also has a problem with intermittent engine CAN communication problems; when this occurs the transmission goes into limp home mode and does not shift. This problem may or may not be related to the DAS module but its replacement is warranted due to the B1000 code. We got the module from another source and it corrected the fault code. With this part alone there is no way to compromise the security of this vehicle.

As of 6/20/2011, Mercedes will not sell 722.9 valve bodies or conductor plate control units. Even with the TRP paperwork completed. The newer Mercedes 7 speed transmissions (also called G-tronic) have the electronic control unit mounted inside the transmission these control units are failing frequently; with speed sensor codes (the usual codes are related to speed sensor faults). The speed sensors are not replaceable as they are part of the electrical conductor plate that bolts to the valve body inside the bottom of the transmission. The transmission does not need to be removed to replace the valve body or the conductor plate. A valve body does come complete with the conductor plate / control unit. Early valve bodies must be replaced as a complete unit but later second or third generation units can be repaired by just replacing the conductor plate / control unit assembly. Autobahn has replaced many of these and have the capability of performing the SCN coding to complete the installation of this repair.

These units are failing so often that the dealer has restricted selling them even in their own shops. To order a part the dealer must submit a request with computer scans and control unit log reports of the suspected failed vehicles electronics. The factory then sends the parts they deem necessary for the repair (conductor plate assembly or complete valve body).

It is rumored that Siemens VDO, the manufacturer of the electrical control units is in a battle with Mercedes over the validity of failing units. Why should an internal problem with Mercedes and its suppliers affect our ability to acquire parts and repair our customer’s vehicle? Mercedes is requiring the vehicles be brought into one of their dealers for any valve body or conductor plate repair even if the vehicle is not covered under warranty and the customer is paying for it. Our customer’s view this would be perceived as an inability for us to repair their vehicle and give the dealers an unfair advantage at gaining the customers business. Losing a customer for ever could be worth 10’s of thousands of dollars.

On 10/19/2012, we installed our first 722.9 valve body since the “dealer only” ban. We probably have had 75 – 100 missed sales on valve bodies and conductor plates alone. We have established a non-local (can acquire next or second day) source. Installed and SCN coded with no problems. our source told us we would not be able to install the part and that the vehicle would need to be towed to a Mercedes dealer for installation. We Installed and coded this module to the car with no problems or delay’s. If your vehicle needs a new valve body, we can get this part and install it in your vehicle saving you a lot of money. Most importantly, keeping you from having to go to the dealer.

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