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Mercedes Paint Defect Suit Has Owners Seeing Mars Red

Can a car be recalled over a paint defect?

When people hear of auto recalls, they often think of catastrophic injuries and deaths caused by defective airbags and engine system failures. But safety issues aren’t the only things that lead to auto recalls.

According to Mercedes Benz defects attorneys, the manufacturer has learned the hard way that luxury car owners—particularly those attracted to Mars Red paint—have an uncompromisingly-high standard for how their cars look.

A recent lawsuit against the manufacturer alleges the Mars Red paint—also known as Fire Opal—used on vehicles built between 2004 and 2017 is defective. Specifically, the suit claims the clearcoat on the vehicles is “prone to peeling, bubbling and flaking”. Citing technical service bulletins (“TSBs”) issued to dealerships prior to 2014 “for all vehicles with Mars Red paint”, the plaintiffs allege the defect was known to Mercedes, who reportedly continued to use the paint anyway.

Multiple TSBs related to Mars Red paint reportedly contain symptoms and phrases including the following:

  • improper adhesion of clearcoat
  • overall vehicle/paint/corrosion/paint work fault/poor adhesion
  • overall vehicle/paint/corrosion/paint damage/swelling
  • exterior clear coat finish is peeling, flaking or exhibits bubbles under the surface
  • used damage code 98091L6 and refinish affected areas.

Further, the lawsuit claims “version 8” of the TSB included an updated damage code instructing dealers to “perform certain duties if the repair job was more than 30 hours in labor”. The plaintiffs allege “such a large job” shows the manufacturer knew of the extensive scope of the Mars Red paint defects.

While defective paint is a serious aesthetic condition, it can also lead to corrosion, rust, and ultimately high repair bills for vehicle owners who would reasonably expect the paint on the luxury car to last 10 years or more.

Further, the plaintiffs have allegedly lost money or lost vehicle value because of the defective red paint. Some plaintiffs have received unfavorable appraisals or resale offers that specifically reference “prior paint work” or “needs paint work”.

If you have questions regarding an auto recall, dealer fraud, or feel you may be driving a lemon because your new vehicle is constantly in the shop for the same stubborn repair, the Law Offices of Timothy Abeel & Associates can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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