Convertible Top Failure (Redux) - 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Convertible Top Failure (Redux)

May 16, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

While driving our beloved 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with the top up, I noticed a really annoying buzz/rattle over my left shoulder that sounds like a piece of plastic vibrating freely around. I could reach up and vaguely support something and make the buzz stop.

The next day, I lowered the top and I noticed in the rear-view mirror the infamous flap was not where it was supposed to be. I motored the top up slightly and tried to manually tuck it where it wants to go on the way back down. It refused to move into place.

When I put the top back up, it made a pop/crack sound in that same area, as if it broke something. That icky, uh-oh feeling rushed over me. This sounds like the first go around with the broken top.

We'll leave the top in the upright position until we can get it back in for Round 2 with a technician.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 24,034 miles


  • evodad evodad Posts:

    just what you want out of your $200k convertible

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    This sounds to me like something that wasn't repaired correctly in the first place. The chances of a failure in exactly the same place twice in as many months is highly unlikely unless its operator error (something I highly doubt). I would consider going to a different dealership to have it fixed this time.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Jesus - I have had my share of holding a dealership's service department by the hand to get a warranty repair done right, but I thought with a quarter-million-dollar car that kind of thing was supposed to go away - ? Guess not.

  • benson2175 benson2175 Posts:

    It's warranty work. It's a really expensive car. They should have done it right the first time. They probably tried a quick fix. In my experience the thing about MBs is that a quick fix will turn into a long disaster down the line. Just do it right the first time.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    This car is turning out to be a bit of an expensive turd. The dealership is not helping either by the looks of it.

  • flapsmcgee flapsmcgee Posts:

    This car has had so many random little problems. You'd think a car this expensive would do a little better.

  • zcalvert zcalvert Posts:

    so this is right about the time that MB regrets giving you this for a test, right? the insane $ premium MB charges for their perceived built quality isn't looking so great at the moment.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Is it really dealership error? The car spent a long time in the shop, parts were ordered and stuff was replaced. Is it possible that the convertible top was just poorly designed. German engineering in the haus, jah?

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    Reading these comments makes me realize what a tough job automakers really have. Aside from the faulty top, this car has had 3 issues: a dead battery, a rogue CEL that never returned (probably heat-soak related), and a console lid that got stuck once. This in spite of the fact that it was an abused press loaner prior to this test AND is a low-volume exotic. This car has proven to be incredibly durable yet people are ready to throw it under the bus for bad reliability.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @mercedesfan: I think most people are willing to forgive those particular faults since they're minor issues in the grand scheme of things... but this is the convertible top, which is a pretty major repair item and has failed twice now in quick succession

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @duck87, Absolutely, the failed top is a big issue and I'm not trying to belittle it. Nevertheless, this is the only reliability issue they have had with the car. For a low-volume exotic with 23K miles on it that is ridiculously good. My M3 had way more

  • akula1 akula1 Posts:

    Ja, das ist ein Design error. Oy vey!

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