Thursday, September 01, 2005

Court rules in favor of fat man in a Merc

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court has ruled that Mercedes must release a man from a car lease deal after a dispute over whether he was too heavy to drive the luxury vehicle, Bild newspaper reported Tuesday.

Mercedes refused to release the insurance salesman from a lease agreement on his S-320 CDI model, arguing the multiple car breakdowns caused by his weight were insufficient grounds to break the deal.

But the Stuttgart court ruled in favor of the salesman, named only as Frank S., apparently on the grounds that the car should have been able to take his weight.

Frank S. was told that at 160 kg (352 pounds) he weighed twice as much as the average driver, Bild said.

"They told me that I was too fat for the car because the seat was broken," he told Bild, in a story next to a picture of the east German squeezing behind the steering wheel of the model Bild said was worth 65,000 euros.

"I could hardly fit behind the steering wheel ... Then I had to take the car back to the shop for repairs 13 times for 21 different malfunctions in the first 20,000 km."

The 37-year-old said he got fed up and wanted to return the car but Mercedes refused to release him from his lease contract.

A court in Stuttgart ruled that DaimlerChrysler had to let him out of the agreement.

The salesman, who switched to a Volkswagen, would sue to get back the leasing payments he made, Bild said.

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