In a proposed class action out of Georgia, Daimler AG and Mercedes Benz USA, LLC are alleged to have knowingly sold cars with defective wood trim that became discolored after being exposed to sunlight.
According to the case, Mercedes’ burl walnut wood trim panels, used in model years 2009 to 2016 W212 Mercedes E Series vehicles and possibly others, fade and become cloudy over time, “with wild variations in where and when the areas of the trim deteriorate, leaving certain areas unaffected and other areas dramatically affected within the same vehicle.”
The suit alleges that after learning the wood trim was defective, Mercedes, instead of fixing the issue, instructed dealerships to hide the problem. In November 2010, the complaint explains, Mercedes issued a “Wood Trim Fading or Discoloring Technical Service Bulletin” that pinpointed inadequate UV ray protection as the cause of the discoloration. Rather than replacing the panels on all affected cars, Mercedes, the case alleges, recommended that dealerships remove any stickers and coverings from the wood in order to prevent leaving an obvious outline of sun damage and disguise any fading until “long after the customer drove off the lot in their new car.”