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Old 07-28-2019, 04:42 AM   #21
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Such a drag that you have to go through this!

Maybe Justin Humphreys can help?

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Originally Posted by jhumphreys View Post
Good Morning olgoat-

My name is Justin Humphreys, I am COO here at Airstream. I'd like to understand more what is going on here. Can you send me your contact information to my email at jhumphreys@airstream.com?

I am so sorry to hear of these problems. I'd like to understand the details and how I may be able to help.

Thank you-

Justin
You could send him a PM [Private Message] or email.

Good luck,

Peter

PS -- Recommend that you communicate with everyone by email, and make sure your IT system will permit you to save backups, and print out important emails later, which you can then send by Certified Mail -- Return Receipt Requested. Also, follow up with the protections afforded under the applicable Uniform Commercial Code in the state of purchase. You might want to start proceedings to "revoke your acceptance" of this vehicle, and ask for your money back. Getting a lawyer on your side might help too.

Shameful performance by a manufacturer often requires legal action to make things right, sorry to say!

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Old 07-29-2019, 09:55 AM   #22
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I have a service appointment at Mercedes in Raleigh tomorrow at 0745, and since I'm a couple hours away for several days, I will leave it with them. FYI, the Orlando Mercedes service has been super helpful, even responding to me outside of work hours, etc.

My interstate is stock, so there are no aftermarket mods that could have caused this. I do want to bring up the fact that I did have my rear view camera replaced at airstream service right before this issue started happening. I had a thread on this forum about it, and the technician said the camera was compromised and there was humidity inside it. Not sure how this could be related. I don't have the paperwork with me from airstream service, so I'm not sure if they did anything else, like software updates for instance, that I didn't request.

When I first purchased the Interstate, I was one of the unfortunate ones that updated the fusion system, and it messed up the PSM setting. This caused lots of issues with the PSM (as been documented). This is actually how I found this forum, while internet searching for help with this issue. I am not sure if it was possible that the fusion system could have caused some damage to the PSM. I think this is unlikely, cause the issue didn't manifest for almost 8 months after that happened.

One other thing happened while I was driving across the US. During one leg of the trip, my side collision alert system kept toggling in-operable, and then back to operable. It happened for several hours, and then went away. Issue hasn't come back since.

The Orlando Mercedes dealership sent me the fault codes that were on my PSM before they re-flashed it with the updated firmware (wasn't actually updated firmware, he was confused when he saw the Airstream custom firmware on it).

B1703 = multifunction output 7 has malfunction open circuit
P118000 = circuit 87 engine has shut off too early
P172500 = outside temp sensor malfunction

If anyone has experienced anything similar, please let me know as it might help narrow down the troubleshooting effort in Raleigh tomorrow.

Thanks for all the great advice on here!
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:54 PM   #23
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I am not sure if it was possible that the fusion system could have caused some damage to the PSM. I think this is unlikely, cause the issue didn't manifest for almost 8 months after that happened.
AIRSTREAMGT - the short answer is YES. If Fusion was set to PSM mode instead of CANBUS, in theory it could damage PSM if something was amiss. But that would be immediate and IMHO (coming from my coding days in HP) irreversible until the PSM was flashed with fresh clean code. So I agree with you, it is unlikely for that to be the cause and just show up 8 months later.

PSM Trivia:

The Parametric Special Module (PSM - Equipment code ED5) is an interface for accessing the vehicle electronic system. Upfitters can integrate or modify special functions such as those you have discussed and millions more (only their imagination and MB restrictions limit what they can do). It is primarily used for electrical modifications and retrofitting. The Sprinter is networked with several bus systems and the PSM was developed to give upfitters access to individual types of CAN bus data. The PSM is the gateway to the CAN bus and can be used to read vehicle information and control vehicle functions.

It's the reason why I originally said this problem is ultimately an Airstream issue and only an MB issue by association via their repair. But then again, it's a sub-product used extensively by both MB & AS therefore both should have the ability to flash it to the correct code IF only they would work as a team rather than point fingers.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:06 AM   #24
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Thumbs up



Now . . . there is some deep knowledge, thanks!

Peter
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:51 AM   #25
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At MBZ in Raleigh at the moment. They refused to install the airstream PAM firmware as well. Will obviously need to get that installed at airstream at some point.

Going to leave the interstate here for several days. Par for the course, I get here and they have no loaners and they do not offer vouchers for rental cars. So, I’m scrambling to rent a car from National to get back to my family.

Once this saga is over with, I will have to reflect on whether I want to continue owning this science project. Probably not good to travel with young kids/babies in, unfortunately.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:08 AM   #26
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. . .
Once this saga is over with, I will have to reflect on whether I want to continue owning this science project. Probably not good to travel with young kids/babies in, unfortunately.
So sorry you got stuck with another Airstream Beta-Model !!!
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:20 AM   #27
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For future reference, another thing to check next time there's a fault with the ignition is to make sure the gearshift is all the way in "Park." If it's almost but not quite in "Park" (it has happened to me at least once) the vehicle will not start.


AirstreamGT has already determined that this wasn't his problem. I only offer it as a suggestion for the NEXT time someone has to troubleshoot a "fails to start" problem.
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Old 07-30-2019, 07:37 AM   #28
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It would be interesting to benchmark how Advanced RV, and even less-premium competitors, handles customer support when the customer is stranded far from any dealer (MB dealer or RV dealer).
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:14 PM   #29
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Cut trip short and headed home. Ignition issue just occurred again, and currently at Mercedes of Collierville TN. Mercedes corporate is involved and they are sending a lead engineer. I captured it on video this time, but the forum won’t let me upload.

This was a new scenario - I had left they key in the ignition while I filled up the diesel, and when I got back in to fire it up, I got a bunch of warning lights and the ignition switch would turn, but the engine wouldn’t turn over. It magically worked 20 min later, while I was on the phone with roadside assistance.

Since I’ve been at the dealership, I’ve tried it a few times and it fired up fine each time. This is so damn frustrating. The tech here said it’s probably the PSM firmware!!! I’m gonna be so mad if they reflash the PSM and send me on my way. Hoping the engineer has some skills to figure this out. Something is causing the PSM to malfunction, and I’m still sticking by my original assessment that it’s probably the airstream integration causing this, like the fusion head unit. We shall see...
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:16 PM   #30
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Thanks for the update . . . good luck!


Peter
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:39 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirstreamGT View Post
Cut trip short and headed home. Ignition issue just occurred again, and currently at Mercedes of Collierville TN. Mercedes corporate is involved and they are sending a lead engineer. I captured it on video this time, but the forum won’t let me upload.
AIRSTREAMGT - Thank you for updating despite the now abandoned vacation. But glad to hear MB seems to be taking the responsibility of being point on the issue. Best wishes on getting better results with their ace troubleshooter. If still want to post vid, just load into Youtube and post link.
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:44 PM   #32
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Odd that Airstream is an approved up-fitter from a corporate perspective, but local dealers cannot or will not use the Airstream ECU reflash. Wonder if JC would do a reflash, or if they would send you to a MB shop.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:31 PM   #33
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Ignition Issue.... won't go away

The engineer worked with corporate all day trying to find the issue. They could not find anything wrong. They offered to start replacing parts (ignition and steering column lock), but they suspected the Fusion head unit being tied into the CAN-BUS was causing the issue. So, they disconnected the Fusion unit from the CAN-BUS. They noted that it was installed 90 degrees from what you would think, such that only one pin was actually into the CAN-BUS of a 2 pin plug... I took some photos of the harness. Removing this harness from the CAN-BUS removed the nanny controls on the unit (can now enter in an address while moving), but it also killed the steering wheel volume control. The engineer was somewhat confident that this was causing the issue, so we decided to put everything back together (minus the fusion integration into the CAN-BUS), and forgo replacing parts and continue on to our home.

At the very first stop for diesel, the dang thing acted up again. This time it was a new scenario. I pulled the key out of the ignition while fueling, and when I got back into the cab, everything seemed to be working. When I opened the door, the dash lit up with the mileage and outside temp, etc. When I put the key in the ignition the vehicle came alive, however when I turned the key, the starter didn't do anything. I screwed around with it for another 5 minutes, and then decided to pull out the key, lift the hood (since its embarrassing being camped out at the pump...) and waited 5 minutes before trying again. Lo and behold it fired up. Again, I have it on video, but I am too tired to set up a YouTube account to upload it at the moment. I have shared it with Mercedes corporate.

I just go to my hotel, and I tried to replicate the issue to no avail. It fired up several times.

At this point, I think we need to figure out if that is the only fusion integration into the CAN-BUS, and if Airstream has tapped into any other critical communication systems on the Mercedes. If we can rule out the Airstream integration, then we need to start replacing parts like the ignition switch, steering column lock, and possibly the stater relay, etc... Maybe even the PSM.

Mercedes is engaged with Airstream engineering as well. A funny thing happened today when the Mercedes engineer found that Airstream had tied directly into the CAN-BUS. They called Airstream and their response was they don't tie into the CAN-BUS... Maybe they meant to say "any more", but clearly in the 2018 Interstate they were still tying into the CAN-BUS.

Edit: Added picture of the current firmware revisions on the Fusion head unit. Note that this issue started happening right after I visited airstream service to get my rear camera replaced and also updated my Fusion firmware. I did both around the same time. Could be related, could be just coincidence.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:40 PM   #34
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Hey, forgot to mention. I was able to give the Mercedes engineer the Airstream PSM code on a flash drive and he installed it. My side view cameras are working now when the blinkers are on.
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Old 08-06-2019, 12:44 AM   #35
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Hey, forgot to mention. I was able to give the Mercedes engineer the Airstream PSM code on a flash drive and he installed it. My side view cameras are working now when the blinkers are on.
AIRSTREAMGT - Thank god for small miracles - fixing a problem that wasnt the original problem and that they most likely caused. Second, the big miracle that MB & AS decided in their best interest to work as a team rather than in silos.

Regarding CAN bus - the whole point of MB Equipment Code ED5 PSM is for upfitters to integrate into the CAN via PSM. Short answer is YES, many items can integrate into the CAN via PSM. If their logic is "we have a problem with the CAN because it is caused by the PSM, therefore we need to shut down the PSM Gateway so we have eliminated the risk or cause" then its time to hire a lawyer. Because your build comes from MB specifically as a unit ordered with Option Equipment Code ED5. They can not delete that just because MB or AS can not fix the problem with it installed.

Other AI systems that could potentially need PSM data are things like the Firefly Integration controls and even how the Magnum chargers work. Why, because they need to be connected to sense-lines coming from MB wiring harness to work properly. Just look at the AI supplied wiring diagrams in Users Manual and you can see where many of the AI controls tie in to the MB wiring harness. Not talking about just +12v & GND but 'logic' lines coming from MB harness that AI uses to determine what it's AI systems need to do.

AS flat out lied when saying they dont tie into the CAN bus. Because techically true, it is the Fusion that is tied into CAN. And technically true, they tie in via the PSM using it as a GATEWAY into the CAN bus. But thats a difference without a distinction. Again >> ED5 >> a paid for option in thousands of MB rvs out there, AS & non-AS. Without it, rv life with total integration of systems & controls would regress back to discrete mechanical switches. While perfectly ok to the "don't like high tech, too complicated" crowd, it would be horrible for those who cant wait for an all electric rv.

Now, I postulate they will never do that out loud (i.e. telling you that CAN/PSM access from AI needs to be severed), although they may hint at it. But it is an acceptable problem isolation technique in the short term, not permanent. I dont think they are that dumb. Legally, both are on the hook for getting it to work (as it used to). However, their logical approach to the problem solving is still entry-level from what I am accustomed to.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:28 AM   #36
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I made it home last night, after a hellacious day. Drove across the desert without the cabin AC on to preserve fuel. This was beyond stressful, due to having my 9 year old daughter and 6 month old boy with me (and the wife). I had to pre-plan fuelings around major cities and stay in hotels along the I-40 as limit the amount of stop/starts. I was somewhat hopeful that this was a thermal issue, but I was able to debunk that along the way. It's random, however it predominantly happens at gas stations, which is weird. It has to be related to time between stop and re-start (5-10 minutes to fuel and bathroom breaks).

Here are the now 4 different failure scenarios:

1) Door open does not wake the vehicle, key does not wake the vehicle, cannot turn key
2) Door open wakes the vehicle, key wakes the vehicle, can turn key, but engine will not turn over
3) NEW - Yesterday morning we entered the vehicle through the sliding door while cold at the hotel. I inserted the key and nothing happened (all black). Tried this a few times, then decided to open the driver door. This woke up the vehicle, and when I inserted the key it was recognized. I was able to start
4) NEW - After fueling for the last time yesterday, I entered the vehicle and the door open did not wake the vehicle. I inserted the key and all black. Tried this a few times and nothing. I opened the door a few times, and eventually it woke the vehicle dash. I inserted the key and nothing. Waited 10 minutes, tried both keys. After another period of time, I opened the door, which woke the vehicle, and inserted the key which woke the remainder of the dash. Turned key in ignition and nothing. Tried this multiple times to no avail. Waited 10 minutes, and then opened door, inserted key, and it fired up.

Another issue I have seen a few times, is that the blind spot assist toggles between inoperable and operable over and over again. It will keep doing this until I stop and turn off the engine. It happened a couple times, one being during a leg of the trip yesterday. It leaves a message on the dash.

To me, there is a computer chip or computer itself that is failing to 'wake up properly' or getting confused what state it is in.

This is from Mercedes: "When the door is opened the cylinder lock alerts the SAM(Signal Acquisition Module) via LIN Bus (Local Interconnect Network) to do a couple of things a) Closes the relay that connects the body interior components to battery power and thus (b) starts data transmission across the CAN. Similarly, though the key should have the same effect by simply placing it into the tumbler (via a chip), that sends a signal to wake everything up."

Mercedes wants me to drop it off at my local service center (or they will tow it for me) and fix it. I need to think this over before I do anything. I'm not sure my family (or me for that matter) will recover from the torture this 'vacation' put on me. It was pure stress for over 2 weeks, worrying about how I can increase the probability of keeping my family safe, and also get this shiny silver turd back to California. I think I should engage a lawyer before I do anything else, but I'm unsure about buyer protection laws and whether I have endured enough pain yet for anything to kick in. At a minimum, I'm gonna sell it, but ethically I would need to ensure all problems are fixed, but there seems to be a ghost living in the ignition system that I am weary to keep chasing.

It's appalling to me that I can provide video evidence, and detailed scenarios for all the faults I have seen, and Mercedes is uncertain on what is wrong. And, there is no trace of a fault, whatsoever. This surprises me, and disappoints me. However, I used to have a 2002 Mercedes ML55 SUV, and it had the same key, ignition, dash design, etc. I'm certain that Mercedes has ignored (I mean 'rested on their laurels') updating the Sprinter until competition came along, which they have finally done for this year. I think most of the engineers who designed it are on to other projects, or left the company, etc.

Alex-AVI, I did have a nice discussion with Mercedes engineer yesterday and he confirmed exactly what you said. Although Airstream did tie into the CAN-BUS direct for the Fusion head unit, it's that one instance for steering wheel controls/nanny controls (not sure why the nanny controls cannot be tied to the PSM though). All the remaining ties are direct to the PSM. According to Mercedes, the PSM is specifically designed for up fitters to tie into for vehicle data, and that it is isolated by design from critical vehicle systems. In other words, Mercedes is confident that the Airstream could not be sending strange signals to the PSM that could cause this spooky behavior in the ignition system. Feel free to refute that, but I am just repeating their words and I have no access to their design documentation to dig into it.

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in with advice or "good lucks", I appreciate it. I hope that this issue doesn't affect anyone else.
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:59 AM   #37
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When playing with my new code reader I saw as system called 'door control module'. I thought it was odd to diagnose a dome light - but it appears it is much more than that!. I note that I have sometimes started the engine without recently opening the driver or passenger door. When working correctly either inserting the key or opening the drivers door can apparently waken my silver beast from its slumber.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:03 AM   #38
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On trip - need help with key/ignition issue

Making simple actions complex never comes without risks.

In this case, the system is so complex that it has thus far eluded diagnosis and repair.

The problem could be so many things in so many places, an intermittent short, an intermittent open, faulty computer, faulty plug connection....... the list goes on and on.... and EVERYTHING is integrated.

Technology is great when it works properly, but a bear when it does not.

You got unlucky, and ended up buying a unit with a hard to find problem.

This is why I'm pretty sure that in twenty years there really wont be any thirty year old cars.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:53 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirstreamGT View Post
I made it home last night, after a hellacious day. Drove across the desert without the cabin AC on to preserve fuel. This was beyond stressful, due to having my 9 year old daughter and 6 month old boy with me (and the wife). I had to pre-plan fuelings around major cities and stay in hotels along the I-40 as limit the amount of stop/starts. I was somewhat hopeful that this was a thermal issue, but I was able to debunk that along the way. It's random, however it predominantly happens at gas stations, which is weird. It has to be related to time between stop and re-start (5-10 minutes to fuel and bathroom breaks).

Here are the now 4 different failure scenarios:

1) Door open does not wake the vehicle, key does not wake the vehicle, cannot turn key
2) Door open wakes the vehicle, key wakes the vehicle, can turn key, but engine will not turn over
3) NEW - Yesterday morning we entered the vehicle through the sliding door while cold at the hotel. I inserted the key and nothing happened (all black). Tried this a few times, then decided to open the driver door. This woke up the vehicle, and when I inserted the key it was recognized. I was able to start
4) NEW - After fueling for the last time yesterday, I entered the vehicle and the door open did not wake the vehicle. I inserted the key and all black. Tried this a few times and nothing. I opened the door a few times, and eventually it woke the vehicle dash. I inserted the key and nothing. Waited 10 minutes, tried both keys. After another period of time, I opened the door, which woke the vehicle, and inserted the key which woke the remainder of the dash. Turned key in ignition and nothing. Tried this multiple times to no avail. Waited 10 minutes, and then opened door, inserted key, and it fired up.

Another issue I have seen a few times, is that the blind spot assist toggles between inoperable and operable over and over again. It will keep doing this until I stop and turn off the engine. It happened a couple times, one being during a leg of the trip yesterday. It leaves a message on the dash.

To me, there is a computer chip or computer itself that is failing to 'wake up properly' or getting confused what state it is in.

This is from Mercedes: "When the door is opened the cylinder lock alerts the SAM(Signal Acquisition Module) via LIN Bus (Local Interconnect Network) to do a couple of things a) Closes the relay that connects the body interior components to battery power and thus (b) starts data transmission across the CAN. Similarly, though the key should have the same effect by simply placing it into the tumbler (via a chip), that sends a signal to wake everything up."

Mercedes wants me to drop it off at my local service center (or they will tow it for me) and fix it. I need to think this over before I do anything. I'm not sure my family (or me for that matter) will recover from the torture this 'vacation' put on me. It was pure stress for over 2 weeks, worrying about how I can increase the probability of keeping my family safe, and also get this shiny silver turd back to California. I think I should engage a lawyer before I do anything else, but I'm unsure about buyer protection laws and whether I have endured enough pain yet for anything to kick in. At a minimum, I'm gonna sell it, but ethically I would need to ensure all problems are fixed, but there seems to be a ghost living in the ignition system that I am weary to keep chasing.

It's appalling to me that I can provide video evidence, and detailed scenarios for all the faults I have seen, and Mercedes is uncertain on what is wrong. And, there is no trace of a fault, whatsoever. This surprises me, and disappoints me. However, I used to have a 2002 Mercedes ML55 SUV, and it had the same key, ignition, dash design, etc. I'm certain that Mercedes has ignored (I mean 'rested on their laurels') updating the Sprinter until competition came along, which they have finally done for this year. I think most of the engineers who designed it are on to other projects, or left the company, etc.

Alex-AVI, I did have a nice discussion with Mercedes engineer yesterday and he confirmed exactly what you said. Although Airstream did tie into the CAN-BUS direct for the Fusion head unit, it's that one instance for steering wheel controls/nanny controls (not sure why the nanny controls cannot be tied to the PSM though). All the remaining ties are direct to the PSM. According to Mercedes, the PSM is specifically designed for up fitters to tie into for vehicle data, and that it is isolated by design from critical vehicle systems. In other words, Mercedes is confident that the Airstream could not be sending strange signals to the PSM that could cause this spooky behavior in the ignition system. Feel free to refute that, but I am just repeating their words and I have no access to their design documentation to dig into it.

Thanks to everyone who has chimed in with advice or "good lucks", I appreciate it. I hope that this issue doesn't affect anyone else.
AIRSTREAMGT - First, GREAT TO HEAR YOU ARE BACK IN CAL safe & sound.

1. Quickly, lawyer = PITA. I know. I am 1 in maybe only a handful of individuals (not class action) that has ever WON a lawsuit against MBNA in California. Jury agreed, I prevailed, MB paid. But it was stressful 2 years and I had to front close to $100k of my own money for lawyers and Stanford & UC Berkeley expert witness fees. That was 1997-1999 money, imagine today's cost, unless you can find someone to go contingent on non-class-action suit. I know what I speak of. My advice - this is an absolute last resort. You are doing great by never hindering their efforts. Keep documenting time in shop, time lost, and personal expenditures surrounding problems. You cant ever have enough pics or vids, keep shooting, disc space is cheap. And keep using the AI (maybe not with the kiddos) but if by yourself. Then if it strands you at next gas station, have it towed back to dealer - again & again & again. Make sure they lose their patience before you do. Too early to engage lawyers, even though you have suffered great anguish already. If you need more info, PM me. But this is ultimately your call.

2. Agree completely with your discussion results with MB Engineer. In fact, hooking up Fusion via PSM mode has/will cause immediate weirdness.

3. Regarding the latest (detailed behaviour) - my wife's brand new suv (6 month old Chevy - yes, I buy the whole spectrum of cars from low to high end ) just went through issues similar (but not identical) to yours. By that, I mean it falls in the category of electronic (rather than mechanical) and comm (rather than control) issues. Without going through pages of details, it turned out to be a poor GND connection deep within engine compartment where paint that was not removed had contributed to poor grounding. Little in terms of codes to chase it down, only pics & behavioral accounts from me. While unlikely for an MB, I agree this is not a mechanical issue but an electronic issue. My point here is no new vehicle is now immune from electronic glitches. If we want the nice things that these new cars bring to the table, we have to accept the fact that electronics can fail at 10 miles or not for another 10 million miles. It does not have the predictable life cycle or MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) as mechanical parts. That is why there is no replacement or maintenance schedule for the ECU and associated electronics. They are binary devices, 0 or 1, worky or no-worky.

4. You are doing great, continue to work with MB & AS. Believe me, they know what is staring them in the face - i.e. you are in CA which historically is a consumer-advocacy state. They don't want this to linger because they know the longer it takes, the shorter their leash gets and the better your case becomes.

5. My last advice - DO NOT ever, ever give them a reason to document that you were unwilling to do something they wanted to do in the pursuit of troubleshooting or fixing the problem. It will not bode well for your side if you have to sue. That is what they want to bolster their case. If anything, let them have the unit for an entire year if they ask you to. TIS (Time in shop) & TTR (Time to repair) counters are ticking.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:12 PM   #40
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Alex-AVI: thanks again for the advice. I'm going to take it in and let them have it indefinitely until they tell me everything is fixed. They are currently figuring out which location (I have 3 near me) is best suited. If I get it back and a problem remains, then for sure I will contact a lawyer, although I do not like the thought of a legal process. If they fix it properly, I'll just sell it thru Ebay or whatever is the best method. I'm just going to have to really make sure all the issues are fixed, so I'm not passing along a problem to some other unexpected buyer.
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