According to the Daily Mail, Kerry Costello had paid around £35,000 (US$45,272) for a nearly new Mercedes Benz E300 Cabriolet with ‘black leather’ interior at his local dealer in the UK. Mercedes is said to charge a premium of £912.50 (US$1,180) for customers who opt for leather seats on new cars. After learning how another Mercedes owner became sceptical about his ‘leather’ seats and sent samples to be analysed in a laboratory, the retired British businessman told local media he became suspicious of his car interior.

After the purchase, Costello asked the Mercedes dealer if his seats were made from leather or partly from plastic, but failed to get a ‘satisfactory response’ and took his complaint to UK self-regulatory body, Motor Ombudsman. Allegedly, Mercedes told the Ombudsman that the seat was leather ‘but uses other materials to give it rigidity and structure’ and said that as the car in question was second-hand, Costello did not incur a loss as he had not paid directly for the leather seats option.

The arbitrator said it considered the description of the seats ‘misleading’ and that “if documents say the interior is leather, the assumption would be that this is fully leather”. The driver was awarded £850 (US$1,099) in compensation.

As previously reported by ILM, another owner of a Mercedes E-Class found that his leather seats were made from genuine bovine leather, while the sides were made from polyurethane, backed by layers of woven textile and interlining.

Source: Daily Mail