Do you mean to say that they had to replace the transmission on your vehicle? Or are you just saying that in general, when they switched model years, they quit using a Mercedes transmission and started using a Chrysler transmission? I'm interested, because replacing a transmission would be a fairly significant detail on a new car.
The answer is no. Chrysler was using the 42RLE transmission for the base models and limited areas in the Touring line, in the beginning of the introduction of the new 300. From 2005 to the end of 2007 most (if not all) Touring line and up had the Mercedes designed transmission in them. At 2008 and up, the only way to get the Mercedes transmission is to buy a Touring or Limited model with all wheel drive, or a 300C or SRT8. This move was done to save the company money. I was told the 42RLE is $1800 cheaper to produce then the Mercedes 5 speed, they also removed one of the hood support struts (which will cause hood alignment issues down the road), removed the 2nd tuning valve in the intake manifold.
While some of what I have listed is minor, the biggest mistakes are the removal of the 2nd intake manifold tuning valve and the discontinued use of the Mercedes 5 speed on the regular Touring models.
Again, I still love my car, it's awesome. I have people I don't even know all the time comment on how nice it is. It's just hard to accept the way they have re-designed a already perfect product, when you know it can and was better in the beginning.
Again the dealers have been very nice, I have gotten all needed updates for the transmission software, got door seals fixed, vents fixed and some body moldings, all has went well. However if I was to grade the 42RLE's performance, I would have to grade it as an "F", because it is substandard compared to what it replaced. As a suggestion, I would recommend any 300 Touring model or above from 2005 to 2007.
Wow!! I just caught the front-page write-up on the new 2011 Chrysler 300 in today's newspaper. The reviewer was raving about the car. I do like the improved styling much better. There was virtually nothing negative said about the car at all. It was also reported that the car will be sold in Europe as a Lancia Thema. Hopefully Chrysler will come up with a good turbo 4 for the European market. I can't see European buyers going for the 15 mpg the test car returned in mixed driving. Only power-mad American drivers would settle for that poor a showing in fuel mileage in a main-stream, affordable car. If Hyundai and Kia can get 200 horsepower and 40 mpg out of a 4, hopefully Chrysler can at least give it a shot. The global energy situation pretty much will soon demand it.
I bought a used 2008 300C AWD after trading in my 2002 300M. I blew the transmission on the 300M at 73K and was uncomfortable going forward.
I've been driving the 300C AWD for about a year now and have put on about 10K miles. Total miles are about 35K.
A few items I believe need mentioning are:
I wish the A/C cooled the interior down a bit quicker, but it does maintain the comfort with minimum noise.
I tore loose the front lower fascia due to a parking mishap, totally my error. I'm VERY careful now.
I love the style, power, and cruising comfort, and am very happy overall.
I've had no service issues to date.