Mercedes-Benz is being sued after a Canadian couple paid $160,000 for an S550 sedan. It has been parked for almost three years due to their fear of driving it.
The owner of the Mercedes-Benz S550, Datong Yang, said; "They insisted I can drive the car, but I am afraid to. I drive on the highway all the time and it could be life-threatening."
Yang's wife, Guifang Huo, bought the 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550 new in the spring of 2017. Since then, they have only driven their car for about 6,500 kilometres.
Less than a year after she bought the vehicle, the steering wheel seized up while the Yang and Huo were driving. Unfortunately, the Mercedes-Benz Richmond dealer in British Columbia allegedly said it could find nothing wrong. The court documents claim the dealer failed to adequately repair the vehicle.
Since their experience with the car, it has been parked in their garage since April 2018.
Even though the car was not on a recall list in Canada, the carmaker has recalled several vehicles in the U.S. for steering problems. Those vehicles include the S-class models which were built between 2015 and 2019.
According to cars.com, they say that a transistor in the power steering control unit may overheat, "resulting in the power system being disabled … (and) it may increase the risk of a crash."
Due to this problem, it was Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. who was responsible for notifying owners, for inspecting the steering and "replace it as necessary, free of charge." However, that was not the case for the Yang couple as the Richmond dealership suggested the couple continue to drive their car or sell it.
But, due to the fear of their lives and the lives of others who would drive it next, Yang could not do both.
However, after speaking out about the problem, his fight sent him to the Mercedes headquarters in Germany where Yang was told the vehicle should be recalled and repaired.
The couple then filed a lawsuit in the B.C. Supreme Court against Mercedes-Benz Canada back in 2019. The claim was for unspecified damages, including for loss of enjoyment of the vehicle. It has yet to go to trial.
Yang said that; "We are doing this for a good cause, so they can do some more research (on the defect) before someone gets hurt. However, "Mercedes-Benz has continued to shirk responsibility, to delay everything and deny everything."
The Richmond dealerships general manager, Arthur Liu, forwarded the question to Mercedes-Benz in Canada, where corporate communications manager, Zak Paget, responded. He said; "Mercedes-Benz Canada deeply values the relationships we have built with our customers across the country. However, we are not in a position to comment due to ongoing legal proceedings."