In the automotive world, the color red is often associated with speed and fun. And although many Mercedes-Benz owners believed their choice of paint color helped make their vehicles sporty standouts, some are now seeing red.
In fact, after a class-action lawsuit, the color is spelling disaster for the luxury automaker.
Mercedes-Benz’s trouble with Mars Red paint
Lawyers for disgruntled owners filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz. The plaintiffs claim a particular Mercedes paint color has made their lives miserable.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first lawsuit regarding Mercedes-Benz’s paint. According to Top Class Actions, plaintiffs in the case claim certain Mercedes vehicles were painted in 590 Mars Red, which wound up developing blisters, bubbles, and peeling. The plaintiffs allege that not only have they had major problems with the red paint quality, but Mercedes-Benz also refuses to acknowledge or repair the problems.
According to Autobody News, the red paint in question was used on the following Mercedes-Benz models:
- 2004-2015 C-Class
- 2006-2007, 2009, 2014 CLS-Class
- 2004-2009 CLK-Class
- 2008, 2015, 2017 S-Class
- 2004-2009, 2011-2017 SL-Class
- 2010-2015 GLK-Class
- 2005-2006, 2013-2014 CL-Class
- 2014-2015 SLS-Class
- 2005-2006, 2010-2017 E-Class
- 2016-2018 GT-Class
- 2005, 2011-2017 G-Class
- 2017 SLC-Class
- 2005-2016 SLK-Class
- 2008 Maybach 57
Mercedes-Benz finally reached a settlement
The plaintiffs finally reached a settlement with Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz, CarComplaints.com reported. Although a judge must still approve it, both parties have agreed on a proposed settlement that “covers repairs related to an alleged defect with the Mars Red paint that occurs during the first 15 years or 150,000 miles from the vehicle in-service date.”
That means Mercedes-Benz has agreed to reimburse affected vehicles’ past and future paint repairs. The settlement also covers vehicles involved in previous lawsuits.
However, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t issued a recall to fix the paint problem.
What to do if your Benz is affected
The court settlement will allow Mercedes-Benz vehicle owners to receive reimbursement for past repairs on 590 Mars Red paint on a sliding scale from the date of the last repair. The percentage of reimbursement is based on the vehicle’s age and mileage on the date of that repair. If your Mercedes-Benz vehicle is one of many affected by the defective Mars Red paint and you’ve had it repaired, your car will fall into one of three categories:
- Category 1: The vehicle has been in service for less than 84 months and has less than 105,000 miles. Owners will receive 100 percent reimbursement and a warranty extension of three years/55,000 miles.
- Category 2: The vehicle has been in service between 84 and 120 months and has less than 100,000 miles. Owners will receive 50 percent reimbursement of repairs and a warranty extension of six years/100,000 miles.
- Category 3: The vehicle has been in service for more than 120 months but less than 180 months and has 150,000 miles or less. Owners will receive 25 percent repair reimbursement and a warranty extension of 11 years/100,000 miles.
Mercedes-Benz has also agreed to help cover future paint repairs. But because the settlement offers only reimbursements, owners must take their vehicles to licensed dealerships. Then they will determine eligibility and perform the repairs.