A driver has discovered that the "leather" seats in his expensive Mercedes are partly fake.
After becoming suspicious about the quality, the businessman sent samples to be tested in a laboratory.
The results showed that while one sample from the middle of the seat was genuine "bovine" leather, the other, from the side of the seat, was polyurethane, backed by layers of woven textile and "interlining".
The driver had bought a nearly new Mercedes E-Class SE for £32,674 ($63,123) from a local dealer in Newcastle, reports Daily Mail.
The brochure states that it has leather seats as standard, but doesn't reveal that the material is partly fake. Following the lab tests by the Leather Technology Centre in Northampton the businessman has since had a full refund and has bought an Audi A7 – with real leather seats – instead.
A Mercedes spokesman said: "As standard, the E-Class SE has leather upholstery, which means the main surface area of the seats is covered in genuine leather. Some parts of the seat – the sides, and underneath – are upholstered in a synthetic material. We are investigating altering the wording in our brochures to ensure this is made clearer."
A lawyer said Mercedes could face claims from disgruntled customers.Chris Waters, Partner at Meaby & Co Solicitors said: "If Mercedes-Benz has misrepresented that the Mercedes E Class SE comes with Leather seats and it transpires that the seats are not leather or compromise substantially of a synthetic product and customers relied upon those representations when deciding to purchase a vehicle, then Mercedes may be the subject of claims against it."