Woman files suit against Mercedes Benz for failure to honor her warranty

A Victoria woman is suing Mercedes Benz over claims that the automobile manufacturer failed to honor her car's warranty.

The plaintiff, Michelle Lewis, filed the lawsuit in district court in February.

It was re-filed in federal court in March.

Lewis claimed Mercedes Benz USA, whose principal place of business is in New Jersey, breached both the written and implied warranties on her C300W when they failed to repair defects on the car.

The plaintiff purchased the white, 2009 C300W in April 2010 from Port Lavaca Chevrolet for $34,350.

Upon purchase of the used Mercedes Benz with 22,207 miles, the defendant issued and supplied Lewis with a written warranty of four years or 50,000-miles bumper-to-bumper coverage as well as other standard warranties outlined in the manufacturer's warranty booklet, according to the lawsuit.

The warranty covered both defects in material and workmanship, guaranteeing to repair or replace defective parts, or taking other remedial action free of charge to the plaintiff with respect to the car, in the event that the car failed to meet the specifications set forth in the defendant's written warranty.

Soon after purchasing her C300W, it began to exhibit signs of a defective electrical system, evidenced by the car's headlights intermittently flickering on and off as well as recurring issues with the blinkers, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit contends that Lewis brought the car to a authorized service dealership for attempted repairs on the defects, all of which proved to be unsuccessful, leaving Lewis with no confidence in the car's safety and reliability.

After what she deemed to be a reasonable number of attempts to repair and replace the defective parts, Lewis tried to return the vehicle.

Although the plaintiff claimed the car was in the same condition it was in when she purchased it, with the exception of normal wear and tear, Mercedes Benz refused to take the car back and denied the remedies to which Lewis would be entitled.

In a response filed by Mercedes Benz on March 27, the company claimed to have fulfilled its obligations under the limited warranty that accompanied Lewis' car, denying all the claims against them.

The car company also blamed Lewis for the car's troubles.

"The problems, if any encountered with the automobile made the basis of this lawsuit, may be a direct and proximate result of the negligence of plaintiff in failing to properly maintain, care for, or use the automobile in question," according to the defendant's response. "Plaintiff's conduct was the sole proximate cause and producing cause of her damages, if any."

In addition to attorney and court costs, Lewis is seeking an amount equal to her actual damages including the full purchase price of the vehicle.

Messages left for Robert Kiddie, attorney for the plaintiff, and Ashley Frankson, attorney for the defendant, were not returned Wednesday.

Corrected April 1, 2011.