My Mercedes-Benz C-Class turbo has failed - is this normal?

I have a Mercedes C220 CDI coupe (2.1-litre), which will be six years old next month and has done just under 50,000 miles. A couple of days ago, while driving along a motorway, I felt a loss of power and speed and then noticed a cloud of dark grey smoke at the back of the car. I stopped, called for assistance and the technician, suspecting a turbo problem, said there was nothing he could do and arranged for a rescue vehicle. The Mercedes repair people confirm that it is the turbo that has gone as it appears to be 'faulty'. A new turbo will be required at £2500 approximately, which includes about six hours labour and the actual turbo for £1300 approx. Is it normal for a turbo to go at this mileage and age, or is it just one of those things? Or is it a feature of this model? Do the charges seem reasonable for this kind of job? Is this a case for seeking some “goodwill” from Mercedes?
Turbo life depends on maintenance. They have to have clean oil so long service intervals are bad news as this can lead to blockages in the oil pipe to the turbo bearings. They also require self-maintenance by drivers. Never switch off a turbocharged engine directly after towing or after a long ascent. Leave the engine idling for a minute or two so engine oil can continue circulating through the near red hot turbo bearing and help to cool it as the turbo spools down. Don't do this and the oil in the bearing can instantly carbonise. The cost of the replacement turbo is standard. The cost of the labour to fit it seems high, but that is probably Mercedes-Benz dealer labour rates of £150 an hour or more. An independent would be cheaper.
Answered by Honest John on

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