He tracked it all the way to an employee’s house where it was being used as their personal hoonmobile.
Try to get down to the meat of it all and one will find that there are only two real reasons to get into the auto industry. The first is happens when someone just ends up there out of the need for a paycheck, just like in any other job. The second happens because a car enthusiast does whatever it takes to become a part of something they love. Admirable, but sometimes that can backfire. Take this case, coming to us via the Manchester Evening News, as an example of the latter case.
It all started when a driver turned in his Mercedes-AMG A45 to Marshall Mercedes-Benz, a dealership in Bolton near Manchester, UK for a respray. He was told his AMG hatchback, which is not sold in the US, (unfortunate given that it sends 376 horsepower to all four wheels using the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder we see in the AMG CLA45) would be driven to Blackpool, a town about 50 miles northwest of Manchester. When the unnamed owner decided to check in on his Benz using Mercedes’ MBrace app, he was shocked to find it in Fallowfield, a town south of Manchester. After confirming with Mercedes’ head office that the app wasn't malfunctioning, he drove off in search of his A45.
Where did it turn up? At none other than the house of one of the dealership’s employees. “To say I’m appalled is an understatement," said the owner. "The car was due to be taken to Blackpool for the work - so I would have understood if it had gone north. But it was actually driven further south by a considerable distance.” He later added, “I don’t want any compensation - but I feel my trust has been abused. I just want people to know that they took my car miles away from the dealership.” We get that, and the fact that the AMG A45 is a fun and spritely car to drive, the employee’s claims that they were taking the car to Blackpool the next day for the work seemed like dubious grounds for taking a customer car home.
Adding insult to injury, the owner found the car in Sport + mode after taking back possession of it, suggesting that the off-duty employee was having a bit of fun with a ride that wasn't his. As compensation, the dealership offered the owner a free tank of gas, but we all know that’s not a good way to bridge a newly-formed trust gap. Predictability ensues from this point; the dealership declined comment, Mercedes-Benz UK said it would open an investigation, and the owner has promised to go look for another more trustworthy dealership to do the work. Unfortunately, it seems that when it comes to fast cars and dealership mechanics, the right approach is to trust but verify.