July 29, 2014 7:36 pm

Why a frustrated consumer is picketing the Mercedes-Benz head office

Gadi Perchik is in a battle with Mercedes Benz: he’s picketing a Toronto dealership and the company’s Canadian head office to try to make a point.

“It’s a matter of moral integrity,” said Perchik, who smiles and waves at passing cars as he balances a sign drawing attention to his complaint with the German automaker.

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He bought the 2010 Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 used from Mercedes-Benz in 2012 for about $40,000.  The car came “Star Certified” with a basic warranty but Perchik declined to spend another $2,000 on an extended warranty.

Since then, Perchik says there have been several problems with the vehicle including noisy brakes.

Still, most of the repairs have been covered by Mercedes until a recent breakdown.

“I had to pay for a hotel, a rental car and $1,100 for an ignition switch, and aggravation,” he said.

Mercedes-Benz told Global News that under the terms of its roadside warranty service the cost of a hotel and rental car would have been paid, but a representative said Perchik has declined to send in his receipts.

Consumer advocate and auto expert Phil Edmonston, author of the Lemon-Aid Guides to buying used vehicles says manufacturer extended warranties are generally good. However he recommends against buying most other extended warranties.

“Ones sold by independents don’t always have the wherewithal to come through on their promises,” he said.

Perchik says an extended warranty from a manufacturer didn’t seem necessary.

“I didn’t think a German-made Mercedes-Benz needed an extended warranty.”

For the most part, Edmonston agrees: extended warranties are an extra, unnecessary cost.

“You shouldn’t buy a car that requires extended warranty,” said Edmonston, who urges consumers to research and buy vehicles with low ownership costs.

Mercedes-Benz told Global News it would bend the rules to allow Perchik to buy an extended warranty now, even though the window for offering additional coverage ended last fall. But Perchik says the auto maker should do more.

“Everything is a war,” he said. “Enough is enough.”

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