RASTATT, Germany - The 10,000 defective Mercedes-Benz A-class vehicles that have been produced since the launch of the model will be modified to bring them up to standard.
However, says Daimler-Benz, they will never be sold. Instead, they will be used as demonstration cars by dealerships.
The defective cars are being stored in a warehouse in Lahr, close to the Rastatt plant. A special task force will add the electronic stability program and make other changes that allow the A-class to pass the lane-changing moose test safely.
Bringing the 10,000 cars to production standards involves eight to nine hours' work on each vehicle.
First, the seats will have to be lifted out, and the carpet folded back so that the ESP sensors and wiring can be put into place.
Then, the engine control unit will have to be replaced by lifting up the hood and removing some engine parts. Underneath the car, the axle will have to be removed so that the new suspension and stabilizer can be installed. Finally, the sides of the car around the wheel arch will be heated up and stretched to increase the width of the wheel base.
'If you think in worldwide terms, or even just in European terms, 10,000 is not such a lot,' said Ursula Schnabl, spokeswoman for the Daimler-Benz Rastatt plant. 'We would normally build at least 8,000 cars for our showrooms during the earliest stage of a new model.'