A Brit won his case against a Mercedes-Benz dealership accused of misleading customers into believing “Artico leather” is genuine leather. The ruling could set legal precedents for similar cases.
Kerry Costello, 72, paid around $45,000 for a used Mercedes-Benz E Class Cabriolet. The Mercedes-Benz dealership advertised the vehicle as having a leather interior.
Of course, trimmers know that’s only partially true. Mercedes-Benz upholsters the front panels of its car seats in genuine leather, but the side panels in “Artico leather.”
Artico is a vinyl material that looks like leather, but isn’t the real thing.
Costello filed a complaint with the independent Motor Ombudsman when he learned the seats weren’t entirely leather. He then provided laboratory test results to prove his case.
Mercedes-Benz argued that its upholstery is leather, “but uses other materials to give it rigidity and structure.” The automaker also said the seats were fully compliant with rules regarding what can be described as leather, according to the Daily Mail.
However, the arbitrator didn’t buy Mercedes-Benz’s argument and ruled in Costello’s favor. He won about $1,100.
“I think that if documents say the interior is leather, the assumption would be that this is fully leather,” the Ombudsman said.
Costello expressed satisfaction with the ruling, saying dealerships have an obligation to give customers exactly what they pay for. “If other drivers follow the same path as me I expect they will get the same result,” he added.
In recent years, consumer advocates have criticized a number of automakers for misleading car buyers about faux leather — including Kia Motors and Toyota Motor Corporation.
Hopefully, this case will be the first of many that take automakers to task for this disingenuous practice.
John Bramley says
Is there any Mercedes that has real leather interior
63 AMG models
Gordon Yuan says
R129 500 SLs (pre-facelift)
Kevin M says
It’s a option not fitted as standard
My wife has a C43 AMG, done 25,000 miles since new, in 2017,
Had three replacement seats lower seat covers the seats are plastic sold as ARTICO leather,
They are simply textile /man made
Wearing out faster than the tyres,
My wife does the shopping and takes kids to school, I think normal wear ?
Apart from the seat the car is in mint condition, would never buy a Mercedes’ again,
The seats do not in my opinion have any leather content, but are man made suede other panels texture with a grain vinyl coating on to a white canvas.
The vinyl flex’s and breaks up after 5/6000 miles or 12/18 months
I feel in breach of EC trading standards
Leather would not break up in this manner.
How could the sales brochure use the wording leather, if not leather
Then in small print state
“man made leather”
no such thing as man made leather
it can be either leather or man made, or if a combination should be described as
1) Coated leather if leather with a coating of synthetic
2) leather / man made
3) man made/ leather
I would have thought