Several models, from the C-Class to the Maybach 57, were affected.
Besides the aspirational appeal of owning a vehicle from a luxury brand like Porsche or Mercedes-Benz, there's tangible evidence that you're driving something special. There are fewer squeaks and plusher materials than you'd find in most cheaper brands. But even the best automakers aren't immune to quality defects, which Mercedes-Benz learned the hard way after finding itself on the wrong side of a class-action lawsuit for fading, peeling paintwork on some models.
A settlement has now been reached between the automaker and customers with the affected models, all of which are finished in 590 Mars Red paint. According to customers, the red paint not only has poor adhesion but prematurely bubbles, fades, peels, and flakes. This follows another lawsuit against the automaker for exploding sunroofs last year.
Cars Complaints reports that cars affected range in age from 2004 to 2017 models, and include core vehicles like the C-Class and E-Class, along with lower-volume offerings like the SLC-Class and even the Maybach 57. The proposed settlement covers both current and former owners of affected models, as well as lessees.
One customer alleges that repainting her vehicle would cost in the region of $7,000 and depreciates the value of the car by a minimum of $2,000. The proposed settlement agreement will be based on both the age and mileage of each vehicle.
Under Category 1, which includes Mercedes-Benz models that are under seven years old and with below 105,000 miles on the clock, the reimbursement/coverage amount for past paint repairs is 100 percent, with a three-year/55,000-mile warranty extension.
Category 2 applies to vehicles that have been in service for under 10 years and with 150,000 miles or less, whereby the coverage amount drops to 50 percent, while the warranty extension is for six years/100,000 miles. Category 3's reimbursement/coverage amount is 25 percent for vehicles that are have been in service for below 15 years and have 150,000 miles or less but don't fall into either of the prior categories. The warranty extension here is for 11 years/100,000 miles.
The proposed class action settlement agreement is yet to be approved by a judge. Qualifying customers will be required to show proof of having owned or leased the affected vehicle, along with payment receipts for repairs completed. While some much more ridiculous lawsuits have been filed against Mercedes-Benz, this one is far more serious, so here's hoping that the affected customers get the reimbursement they deserve.