The Mercedes-Benz dealership in China, that was part of a major scandal last spring, is sentenced to paying a fine of one million yuan ($145,000). The penalty was ordered after a customer complaint went viral.
A Mercedes-Benz owner in northwest China complained that her brand-new car began to leak oil before it even drove out of the dealership’s yard. Investigation proved that the car was faulty from the moment it had rolled off the assembly line.
The dealership Xian Lixhixing Autommobile refused to replace the defective vehicle. Instead – she claims – the dealer had charged her 15,000 yuan as “financial service fee”, a cost that is not performed by any MB dealership.
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Mercedes-Benz suspends franchise in China after customer complaint went viral
The video of the female customer sitting on the hood of a Mercedes and putting on a show in the dealership went viral this past April, registering more than 200 million views on YouTube and triggering public debate over consumers’ rights in China. The woman named Wang complained that she would have chosen another way to show her discontent if she were not ignored.
The dealership was sentenced to paying the one-million yuan penalty comprised of two fines: 500,000 yuan for selling a defective car and other 500,000 yuan for charging the illegal fee. Following two weeks of negotiations, the customer was promised a replacement car. Besides, she will be receiving a 10-year period of VIP service and a refund consisting of the 15,000 yuan illegally charged by the dealership.
The dealership, whose operations were temporarily suspended, communicated that it would comply with the sentences.