Leasing a CLA?? Be VERY CAREFUL when buying tires for your CLA…. - Mercedes CLA Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-16-2014, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Leasing a CLA?? Be VERY CAREFUL when buying tires for your CLA….

After spending the whole afternoon on the phone with various dealerships, MB Financial, and finally MB USA themselves, I learned that upon lease turn in, your car MUST have Goodyear run-flat tires with tread more than 1/8”.
A quick search will find that Goodyear actually makes the same tire in a non-run flat tire that starts about $150 (or cheaper depending on brand) at some online tire distributors. The “run flat” tires start about $300 ($500 at the dealer).
We can all see the obvious difference. I am going to dismount all the run flat tires and install the Goodyear non-run flat tires and run those for the lease duration rather than getting charged $2000 upon lease turn in. With these Goodyear tires only lasting about 20k miles, you should be considering the long term. I did talk to some dealers and the sales person said “as long as the tread is good you will be OK”! I called dealers in Dallas, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and three different people at corporate. However the next office said the exact opposite and the original run-flat tires must be installed because the vehicle does not come with a spare. Either way the answer was inconsistent and before talking to one of the supervisors at corporate (800-367-6372 opt.4 then opt.5) and got me to thinking this is exactly how they generate revenue on the back end of lease deals.
Rarely does someone change their own tire these days so the idea of a run flat tire is literally reinventing the wheel. Most of the time someone (especially in a MB) will either keep their tires in good shape or call a tow truck to take care of a repair. Either way, when you turn in your lease and you have other than OE RUN FLAT tires, be prepared to fork over some cash..
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-16-2014, 06:10 PM
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That's not too surprising to me, though I don't ever lease cars (since I don't go through cars that quick and get attached to them). A lease is basically a long rental so it would make sense that they want everything back that they gave you.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-19-2014, 09:56 AM
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^ exactly.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-19-2014, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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I did read the contractual language however, no where does it say you must have "run-flat" tires installed upon return. With these tires only lasting around 20-25k miles, just about everyone will be replacing tires whether you are "renting" or "financing" through the a bank owned vehicle. This could also be a scenario if you decide to "trade in" the vehicle for something different..
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-19-2014, 12:45 PM
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I can't imagine they would complain if you went and bought a new set of the same tires though. I could see them complaining if you changed a different set. Again, it is essentially a rental. I think of it this way. If you were to rent a Merc over a weekend, it comes with a tank of gas. If you use it, you better refill it. If you fill it with regular, they are going to fine you because it's supposed to take premium, not the regular you felt, irregardless of whether or not you feel it is fine. Or take it the other way, if you were to fill with avgas or something you thought was better than the premium. They'll still want what it came with. Or, say, you decide to be really aggressive and knock out the suspension on one side due to too much fun on the road. You better replace it with the standard factory model, not a new one. Though that may be a bad example cuz you're screwed either way if you have to replace the suspension. I guess the gas analogy would work better for this.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-19-2014, 02:08 PM
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But mine came with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A run flats, not Goodyear. They're about $325 each.

Black CLA250 - Premium, Multimedia, Sport, Panorama roof, Bi-Xenon, Window Tinting (50%/35% Front/Rear), Carlsson C-Tronic.
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 RFT (Run Flats) mounted on 18x8 Anzio Turn Bright Silver wheels with TPMS sensors for winter driving.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-19-2014, 10:48 PM
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Tires at lease return

I am a former (recent) MB sales consultant. MBUSA really has nothing to do with the condition of the vehicle at lease termination. It's all MBFS, as it is their car. It is, from my vantage point, the most liberal lease return process I've seen.
To get right to your issue, when you return your car the tires have to be useable, in that there are no gouges or tears in the sidewalls, and that the steel belts are not sticking through the tire. That's it. If you do replace the original tires, they do NOT have to be the same brand, but they do have to be the same size, speed rating and type of tire. The problem there is that MB doesn't use run-flats, they use Extended Mobility tires. The difference is that run-flats have a very stiff Kevlar enhanced sidewall, and will give you up to about 100 miles if you lose air in the tire. The Extended Mobility tires are similar, but with an augmented rubber sidewall which will give you up to about 50 miles. Extended mobility tires are fewer and further between, so you may have to get the original, but they are not quite as expensive as run-flats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamdogii View Post
After spending the whole afternoon on the phone with various dealerships, MB Financial, and finally MB USA themselves, I learned that upon lease turn in, your car MUST have Goodyear run-flat tires with tread more than 1/8”.
A quick search will find that Goodyear actually makes the same tire in a non-run flat tire that starts about $150 (or cheaper depending on brand) at some online tire distributors. The “run flat” tires start about $300 ($500 at the dealer).
We can all see the obvious difference. I am going to dismount all the run flat tires and install the Goodyear non-run flat tires and run those for the lease duration rather than getting charged $2000 upon lease turn in. With these Goodyear tires only lasting about 20k miles, you should be considering the long term. I did talk to some dealers and the sales person said “as long as the tread is good you will be OK”! I called dealers in Dallas, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and three different people at corporate. However the next office said the exact opposite and the original run-flat tires must be installed because the vehicle does not come with a spare. Either way the answer was inconsistent and before talking to one of the supervisors at corporate (800-367-6372 opt.4 then opt.5) and got me to thinking this is exactly how they generate revenue on the back end of lease deals.
Rarely does someone change their own tire these days so the idea of a run flat tire is literally reinventing the wheel. Most of the time someone (especially in a MB) will either keep their tires in good shape or call a tow truck to take care of a repair. Either way, when you turn in your lease and you have other than OE RUN FLAT tires, be prepared to fork over some cash..
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-19-2014, 11:03 PM
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PS: The 1/8" = 4/32nds ". That's basically the benchmark for tread wear. You can use the penny test to see if your tread is enough, or the stupid little tread depth tool you got with your car. You take a Lincoln head penny and place it in the tread, head first. If you can see the top of Abe's head, your tires are pretty well worn down.

They will charge you for failing to perform scheduled maintenance. The odd numbered ones are the more basic, but the even numbered ones - 20k, 40k etc. - will cost you. If you have an expensive maintenance visit due somewhere before it's time to turn in your lease, save your money. Where anything but a basic visit will run you anywhere from about $500 to $1,200 and more, if you turn the car in and they charge you for maintenance it will be a fixed $350 charge.
And one more thing: The cars are inspected at the dealership, typically by a salesperson. Certain scratches, scrapes, etc. may be overlooked, especially if you're getting another car.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-19-2014, 11:05 PM
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Run flats

Tony, your car has the Sport package. Different tires, and not all season!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyride View Post
But mine came with Bridgestone Potenza RE050A run flats, not Goodyear. They're about $325 each.
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-21-2014, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Turn in

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoquaciousNJGuy View Post
PS: The 1/8" = 4/32nds ". That's basically the benchmark for tread wear. You can use the penny test to see if your tread is enough, or the stupid little tread depth tool you got with your car. You take a Lincoln head penny and place it in the tread, head first. If you can see the top of Abe's head, your tires are pretty well worn down.

They will charge you for failing to perform scheduled maintenance. The odd numbered ones are the more basic, but the even numbered ones - 20k, 40k etc. - will cost you. If you have an expensive maintenance visit due somewhere before it's time to turn in your lease, save your money. Where anything but a basic visit will run you anywhere from about $500 to $1,200 and more, if you turn the car in and they charge you for maintenance it will be a fixed $350 charge.
And one more thing: The cars are inspected at the dealership, typically by a salesperson. Certain scratches, scrapes, etc. may be overlooked, especially if you're getting another car.

Thank you for the insight!! I understand that some things can be over looked especially if you are going to purchase or lease another vehicle. On the other side of things, I can see this being a big problem and what could be not necessarily right away. Personnally I could see my self going absolutely APE $hit upon turn in especially if I just bought replacements. How long does MBFS have to bill you before you are not obligated for the previous vehicle if the inspection does not "find" a consumer has different tires, modifications or other stuff????
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