After 5 years of ownership, having purchased new, once my extended warranty (5 yr, 100k miles) ended, the sobering realization that major repairs costing more than the car is worth was a wake-up call. I'm being told by the dealer and MBUSA that the 7-speed transmission and torque convertor has to be replaced at a cost of $7k.
With just barely over 130k miles, this first generation tranny is now defunct. It turns out it was a sealed transmission with no prescribed maintenance schedule to prevent problems. I'm told metal seems to be floating around and it has to be replaced -- at full cost to me! What OEM does that?? Add to that another $8k in other repairs, and $15k!! Last MB I'll ever buy.