2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Center Console Lid Jams Again
March 26, 2013
[The following is an edited rebroadcast of an instant messaging conversation between editor Brent Romans and fellow editor Mark Takahashi.]
Brent Romans: Remember how the Mercedes SLS center bin lid jammed on you last month?
Mark Takahashi: Of course. It happened to you?
BR: Yep. Although there's a funny story to it.
MT: Oh no...
BR: So last night I went to the gym in the SLS. I put my wallet, phone and house keys in the center bin and closed the sliding lid to avoid any prying eyes. I did my workout, then got back in the car. As I pulled away, I noticed that I couldn't get the lid open. I would push the release button, and the lid would slide back a little, but then get stuck. So the whole way home, I was trying to get the lid to open at every stop light. Of course, the SLS's top was down, so all the other motorists at the lights could see the dopey, sweaty SLS owner futzing around with his $240,000 sports car.
MT: This is already better than my story.
BR: Yeah, I remembered your earlier post! I finally got home. But my garage door opener was in the bin, too, so no way to get in. Thankfully, though, I have a remote access keypad for the garage door on the house, so I was able to pull into the garage. Now that I was alone, I started trying the Mark Takahashi technique.
MT: You channeled your inner caveman. Good for you.
BR: At first I was pretty gentle, but then I remembered that you had to hit it harder, so I tried that. Nothing. Tried prying up the lid. Nope. Eventually, though, I discovered by fishing my fingers around in the bin that it was indeed the "wooden spoon in the drawer" effect. My phone and wallet had jammed the lid, preventing it from sliding open. So the whole time I was pounding on the lid, I was really pounding on my iPhone.
MT: Oh no.
BR: Yeah. I felt really stupid then. Still, I couldn't get the lid unstuck. So I was trying to move the phone and wallet around with a screwdriver, then a bent metal spoon. Nothing. Oh, and the whole time I'm doing this, the garage door opener button is getting pressed inadvertently, so my garage door is going up and down. It was pretty ridiculous, thinking back to it. Eventually, I managed to pull out the garage door opener with my fingers, and that freed up enough room to adjust the phone and wallet so I could slide back the lid.
MT: What happened to your phone?
BR: It still seems to work, thankfully. Oh, and props to Mercedes for build quality. The lid still works like nothing happened.
MT: I know, right?
[Postscript: The lid is working fine now. It was totally operator error. However, I will say the design of the bin and lid, which is a lot like a kitchen drawer, makes inadvertent jambs like this quite easy, especially with smartphone-sized items. -- BR]
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 20,603 miles