London - A disgruntled motorist has won hundreds of pounds in compensation from Mercedes after he discovered the ‘leather’ seats in his car were partly made of plastic.
In a ruling that could pave the way for more claims against car manufacturers, the UK's independent Motor Ombudsman concluded any seat advertised as leather should be 100 percent made of leather.
Upholding the driver’s complaint and awarding him £850 (R15 000) compensation, it said that the description of leather seats used in Mercedes sales brochures was ‘misleading’.
Kerry Costello, 72, paid just under £35 000 (R635 000) for a nearly new Mercedes Benz E300 Cabriolet with ‘black leather’ interior last February at his local dealer in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Mercedes charges a premium of £912 50 (R16 500) for customers who opt for leather seats on new cars, as opposed to those made of synthetic material called Artico, which is similar to vinyl but made to look and feel like leather.