Mercedes' 'Tele Aid' system obsolete in new year, class action claims

Legal News Line Feb. 13, 2008, 10:31am

SACRAMENTO - Mercedes-Benz is accused of selling new vehicles equipped with safety devices it knew would be obsolete as of the first of the year, according to a class action compliant filed Feb. 1 in federal court. The luxury car manufacturer is accused of breaching various warranties, unfair competition and of withholding from consumers that Tele Aid systems would not work as of Jan. 1. Mercedes-Benz marketed the safety feature Tele Aid Systems as an "Investment in a Peace of Mind," the complaint states. The system allows the operator to access emergency services and roadside assistance, and track the vehicle in case of theft. According to the complaint, Tele Aid works on analogue cellular technology and links the vehicle and driver to Mercedes representatives in case of an emergency. The "peace of mind" was a guarantee to luxury car buyers that personalized help would be available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, the complaint states. Represented by the Law Firm of Parish and Small of Stockton, Calif., plaintiff Sandra Levin claims Mercedes-Benz failed to tell buyers that the Tele Aid system would cease to function on the analogue network as of Jan. 1, 2008. Mercedes-Benz also allegedly failed to tell buyers that it would not repair or replace the defective Tele Aid Systems under warranty and buyers would have to pay to repair or replace their vehicles' Tele Aid System at a cost of $1,400.

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