Mercedes-Benz Wood Trim Fading: Prevention and Restoration Tips

Owners of certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles have reported issues with the interior burl walnut trim. This feature, known for adding a luxury aesthetic to the vehicle’s interior, has been subject to fading, discoloring, and becoming cloudy over time.

Mercedes-Benz Wood Trim Fading: Prevention and Restoration Tips

In response to these concerns, a class action lawsuit was filed against Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC. The lawsuit covered owners and lessees of Model Year 2010 to 2016 212 E-Class vehicles that were originally equipped with the Burl Walnut interior trim.

The plaintiffs in the case argued that the wood trim used in these vehicles was defective, while the defendants denied the allegations. Ultimately, a settlement was reached, providing benefits to those affected by the issue, although not all plaintiffs were satisfied with the outcome.

Our understanding of the issue combines experiences shared by affected vehicle owners with the specifics of the legal action taken. We intend to present a thorough overview of both the burl walnut trim problem and the resulting legal proceedings.

Through this coverage, we aim to inform current and future owners of luxury vehicles about potential issues and their recourse options.

Background of the Class Action Lawsuit

The class action lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz relates to allegations of defective interior wood trim in certain vehicles.

Lawsuit Overview

Initiated on March 28, 2019, the case titled Callen et al. v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC et al was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.

Parties Involved

Plaintiffs: Vehicle owners with the affected trim, represented by the law firm Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC.

Defendants: Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA, implicated for selling cars with the alleged defect.
Jurisdiction: The case is under the purview of Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The Defective Wood Trim Issue

Mercedes-Benz vehicles, specifically the E-Class model series 212, have encountered an issue where the burl walnut interior trim known for its premium finish has become a point of dissatisfaction among consumers.

This trim is showing signs of defectiveness, manifesting as discoloration and a cloudy appearance over time, due to inadequate protection from ultraviolet light.

Causes of Discoloration

The principal cause behind the wood trim discoloration is inadequate UV ray protection.

Mercedes-Benz issued a Technical Service Bulletin, TSB LI68.10-P-050, acknowledging that the burl walnut or ‘burred’ walnut wood trim can fade and become discolored when exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

This is a significant problem because wood trim is a hallmark of luxury in vehicle interiors, and the expectation is that it should maintain its appearance over time.

Technical Details:

  • TSB Number: LI68.10-P-050
  • Concern: Fade / Discoloration of wood trim
  • Related Models: 2013-2022 Mercedes-Benz vehicles with burl walnut trim
  • Observed Effects: Cloudiness, fading, loss of luster

Impact on Vehicle Owners

Owners have reported fading and cloudiness of their wood trim, sometimes with low miles and despite maintaining good care of their vehicle interiors.

Dealer technicians at various dealerships have confirmed the existence of this problem, which directly impacts the aesthetic value and could potentially influence the resale value of the vehicle.

Consequently, consumers have raised concerns and sought remediation, as they did not anticipate these issues with a brand that represents quality and durability.

Consumer Concerns Dealer Response
Diminished aesthetic and luxury appeal Dealerships acknowledging the defect
Concerns for resale value due to faded trim Technical bulletins released to address the issues

Settlement Details and Compensation

In the lawsuit concerning the Mercedes-Benz burl walnut wood trim, a settlement has been reached, affecting certain vehicle owners and lessees. The terms of the settlement provide compensation for past and future repairs stemming from the defective clear coat on the veneer.

Settlement Terms

Settlement Classes: The settlement includes owners and lessees of Model Year 2010 to 2016 212 E-Class Mercedes-Benz vehicles originally equipped with burl walnut wood trim under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

Mercedes-Benz has agreed to reimburse for qualified past repairs and provide coverage for qualified future repairs related to the defective wood trim.

Despite the final approval of the settlement, Mercedes-Benz denies any wrongdoing or liability.

The following highlights the specifics of the settlement reimbursement terms:

Each of the plaintiffs will receive $5,000, while legal expenses, including attorneys’ fees, amount to $4.5 million.

Claiming Reimbursement

To claim reimbursement, qualified members of the settlement class must:

Documentation: Provide proof of the defect and documentation of the expenses incurred for qualified past repairs.

Time Frame: Submit claims within the specified deadline set forth by the settlement agreement.

For future repair coverage, as part of the settlement, vehicles still under warranty will be eligible for repairs for issues related to the wood trim defect.

The precise details of how to proceed with these claims will likely be provided to settlement class members through official communication from the court or the appointed claims administrator.

Next Steps for Affected Parties

As owners or lessees of vehicles with the defective Mercedes-Benz Burl Walnut Wood Trim, there are specific actions to consider following the lawsuit settlement.

We’ll guide you through the process whether you decide to participate in the settlement or pursue alternative actions.

Participating in the Settlement

Steps to Filing a Claim:

  1. Complete an electronic claim form available on the settlement website.
  2. Gather required documentation, such as proof of ownership or lease and photos of the faded trim.
  3. Submit your claim before the specified deadline.

Participation in the settlement is open to the current and former owners, as well as lessees, of the affected Mercedes-Benz model series 212.

Class members can receive reimbursements for repairs conducted to fix the fading or cracked wood trim, according to the terms defined by the court in Georgia.

Alternative Actions

Options Outside of the Settlement:

  1. If you believe that the settlement does not adequately address your concerns or compensation needs, you could formally object to it.
  2. Attend the fairness hearing in person or send a representative to voice your objections.
  3. Consider opting out of the settlement to retain your rights to file a lawsuit independently against the defendants Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC.

Please note that if you choose to do nothing and remain a class member, you will not be able to sue the defendants separately, and you will still be bound by the settlement’s terms.
It’s imperative that affected parties stay informed through reliable sources such as Bloomberg Law. Bloomberg Law offers AI-powered legal analytics, workflow tools, and business news to help in researching and understanding legal proceedings and outcomes.

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