• Nov 17, 2008
A master mechanic and two clerks, among others, are being investigated for intentionally sabotaging Mercedes cars being built at the Sindelfingen factory. Allegedly, repair shops in the area that weren't part of the Daimler corporation were bribing workers with gifts, trips, and cash to alter the cars so that the repair shops could get the contracts to fix them.

The sabotage included scratching the cars, loosening clamps and bolts, as well as -- incredibly -- putting foreign liquids into brake lines. According to Suddeutsche Zeitung, the cars affected were C-, E-, and S-Class. The Stuttgart prosecutor's office estimates the costs to Mercedes in the many of millions, but the greatest irony is this: the workers under investigation were part of the quality control department.

[Source: Suddeutsche Zeitung via Benz Insider]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't really think that the plural of Mercedes is also the same as the possessive...
      • 6 Years Ago
      May be "engineered like no other car in the world", but maybe not built that way.

      Didn't MB just receive an award for their new 7-speed AT?

      But seriously, I don't understand the linkage between the alleged sabotage and non-MB service shops receiving work on [presumably] new MB cars. I wouldn't be taking my new MB with these kinds of faults to Joe's Garage; I'd be going back to MB for warranty repairs.

      As for scratched paint, I wouldn't be purchasing the car to begin with, and I'd be surprised if dealers would accept them. And fake liquids in brake lines wouldn't even work. The boiling point would be so low that the brakes would immediately become spongy, and back TO THE DEALER I would go.

      I smell a rat with these allegations.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And they no longer claim to be "engineered like no other car in the world." Now they're just "like no other."
        At least they are avoiding that false advertising claim. ;-)
        I still love the older ones, from when they actually were engineered that thoroughly. (Well, except for the climate control. And the cruise control. And riveted window regulators on the W124 instead of just bolted in like on the older W123. And oil leaks on the M103 engine. And the single row timing chain on the first year 380 V8s.)

        • 6 Years Ago
        It seems that the way it worked is that Mercedes noticed the problems before the cars were shipped to dealers and local repair places had a contract to fix production errors.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As others said, depending on how long this has gone on, this may go a long way in explaining MB's horribly quality over the past decade or so.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Except that Mercedes cars were placed at the top in initial quality and customer satisfaction for the last decades.

        The quality problems affected only a few models between 1999 and 2003, where parts made by separate suppliers were deficient.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Max, actually they're still doing pretty badly, according to the latest Consumer Reports. 27th of 34.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "A master mechanic and two clerks, among others, are being investigated for intentionally sabotaging Mercedes cars being built at the Sindelfingen factory . . . "

      If these allegations actually turn out to be true, I can see a few folks getting ready to play a nice game of Monopoly. Especially the part that states "Do not pass 'Go.' Do not collect $200. Go straight to jail."

      And once inside they'll surely make a slew of new friends ... like Bubba and Billy Bob.
        • 6 Years Ago
        LOL!!! Good point, Kal326. But with everything so globally intertwined nowadays it's probably a safe bet that Bubba, Billy Bob, Hans and Franz already know each other.

        Maybe they're pen pals or something. And this way they can swap notes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Blame it on "Joe the Quality Inspector".
      • 6 Years Ago
      *Thinking of my friend's MB*---this explains ALOT!

      Tape is currently holding her car together...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Man......and everyone wonders why people hate dealing with any car companies. The crookedness starts from the factory floor
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder if the workers did other things like put the clutch pedals on loosely or put shifter boots on inside-out. Oh wait, Mercedes doesn't make cars with manual transmissions anymore! Silly Mercedes, people still like to drive cars that are fun!
      • 6 Years Ago
      If that's true then repair shops in this country owe American auto workers two or three decades of kickbacks;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Typical. Every post on this blog has to be tied in somehow to "American sucks" in the comments. They should just rename this goddamned thing JapAutoBlog.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Typical. Every post on this blog has to be tied in somehow to "American sucks" in the comments. They should just rename this goddamned thing JapAutoBlog."

        +1
        • 6 Years Ago
        @happy_penguin: it's funny you say that because from my perspective autoblog commenters are for the most part anti-asian (kind of like how you dropped the slur).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Typical. Another irate, knee-jerk reaction to a joke. Lighten up.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Judging byt substandsrd Mercedes built quality and reliability, these folks must have been hard at work for the past 10 years and had their people in every assembly plant....
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's the irony? That's the perfect position in the quality control dept. - horrible quality.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, whats worse than being killed? Burned maybe?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thinking exact same thing. Anyway, this is horrible. Not only bad for MB, but think about the dangers of putting different fluids in the brake lines. People could have been killed, or even worse.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What's worse than being killed?
        • 6 Years Ago
        What's worse than death? Well I guess it depends on your personality but if your spinal cord is broken in the cervical region you could be paralyzed from the head down and unable to even speak. Then you'd be forced to communicate by blinking for the rest of your life.
        It could be even worse since pain sensing nerves don't always run along with motor nerves, so you could still feel pain and itching. Imagine if you were burned pretty badly in the crash too.
        If it were me I think I might very well rather be dead.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thinking exact same thing. Anyway, this is horrible. Not only bad for MB, but think about the dangers of putting different fluids in the brake lines. People could have been killed, or even worse.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The harsh reality that the US (and Big 3) don't have the market cornered on labor problems comes smashing down.
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