Woman says Mercedes a lemon when going fast

By Justin Anderson | Apr 15, 2009

CHARLESTON – A woman said she bought a brand new Mercedes-Benz and has had nothing but problems with it at high speeds.

Mary C. Kopelman filed a lawsuit March 31 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Mercedes-Benz USA.

Kopelman says that on Oct. 6, 2005, she bought a 2006 Mercedes-Benz CLS 500 for $68,266.

From the outset, Kopelman says the car had problems, particularly that the front end would shimmy and vibrate at speeds between 60 miles per hour and 80 mph. The problem gets worse approaching 80 mph, her complaint says.

The top legal speed in West Virginia is 70 mph.

Kopelman says about a year after she bought the car, she returned it to the dealership, Smith Company Motor Cars. The dealership suggested new tires. So, on Nov. 1, Kopelman says she had four new tires put on.

On Jan. 22, 2007, Kopelman claims she took the car to an upholsterer in order to put supplemental cushioning in the front seats because of the discomfort.

She claims she took the car back to Smith Company on Aug. 1, 2007 with the same shimmy and vibration problems. The dealership said that one of the front wheels was bent and suggested straightening it. Kopelman said she paid for this service.

Nine days later, she brought the car back to Smith Company because she claims the left front brake was squeaking. The dealership determined that the brake sensors were loose and fixed the problem, the complaint says.

Kopelman says the car continued to shimmy and vibrate and she claims to have brought the car in for diagnostic service another seven times through Jan. 16, 2009 to Smith Company and other businesses.

During a May 21, 2008 trip to Smith Company, Kopelman claims that the dealership seemed to have "given up the search for the cause of the problem."

The plaintiff says the problem continues unabated and the car is painful to drive. She's seeking compensatory damages.

Larry G. Kopelman is representing the plaintiff. The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-574

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