Buying a new Mercedes-Benz is a special moment. It's also a costly one, because as with all luxury cars, they don't come cheap.
With that in mind, you fully expect to get what you pay for. That wasn't the case for Kerry Costello, who paid around £35,000 (about $45,700 at current exchange rates) for his nearly new Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet similar to the one pictured, only to discover that his car's "leather" seats were in fact partially plastic. The so-called leather seats aren't a standard feature, with the option costing £912.50 ($1,200), despite containing a synthetic material called Artico, which is said to be much like vinyl.
It's worth pointing out that while the leather seats are a nearly £1,000 ($1,305) option, Mr. Costello's car was used – just – so he didn't get his with a sizeable loss.
The independent Motor Ombudsman concluded that seats advertised as leather should contain 100 percent leather, otherwise the description is "misleading."
"I think that if documents say the interior is leather, the assumption would be that this is fully leather," the independent Motor Ombudsman added.
Mr. Costello, 72, was awarded £850 ($1,100) in the case, and it's thought other similar cases could follow as a result.
"I paid a lot of money for this car and expected an accurate description of what I was paying for," Mr. Costello is quoted by the Daily Mail. "If other drivers follow the same path as me I expect they will get the same result."
Retired businessman Costello's suspicions were raised after hearing of a similar case. After returning to Mercedes to question whether his expensive seats were completely leather, he didn't get a proper response, so he took his complaint to the independent body.
He also had samples of his seats analyzed by a laboratory which also revealed that parts of the seats were made from polyurethane.
Mercedes responded to the ruling saying that the other materials were used "to give it rigidity and structure," adding that the seats were fully compliant with the rules regarding what can be described as leather.
Source: Daily Mail