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Rental cars are never loved or cared. The renter always wants to get the maximum profit out of them, while the people who rent those vehicle want to make the most out of it.
Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, took this 'making the most out of it' part to a whole new level. They returned the car heavily damaged.
Daimler rented the Model X P100D for seven weeks from a Bavarian couple through the renting company, Sixt. The couple usually gives the three Teslas they own to rent, for additional income.
As always, an agency reached out to them to rent out the electric car. The car was then returned, but in a pathetic condition. There was also a note in the glove box saying, "You parked incorrectly.". The note was addressed from, Mercedes-Benz Technology Center, Sindelfingen, Germany.
Apparently, Daimler did some extensive tests to understand the car's capabilities. The German car manufacturer disassembled and unprofessionally assembled it back again. The Tesla is believed to have been put under heat, traction and vibration tests, as per sources.
The damages costs are estimated to be around €15,674 (almost Rs. 12 lakh), and the couple couldn't re-rent a damaged car either. It will also have a serious impact on the car's resale value.
The couple told the authorities that the Sixt representative asked many technical questions regarding the car (mostly things which no buyers would ask while renting) while going through the rent agreement. They also added that the representative had an "Automotive Industry Relations" signature in his mail.The couple told the authorities that the Sixt representative asked many technical questions regarding the car (mostly things which no buyers would ask while renting) while going through the rent agreement. They also added that the representative had an "Automotive Industry Relations" signature in his mail.
Things were brought to light when the couple got a mobile phone notification that their Tesla was being charged near Barcelona, which was a lot farther than where the agreement allowed the car to be.
Using the onboard GPS of the car, the couple found that their car went on test tracks near Barcelona and Sindelfingen. The rental company, Sixt denied all accusations against them, saying that they didn't know that the Tesla was going to Daimler.
The couple has filed a complaint, but they say that they are not expecting any payment owed to them by Daimler or Sixt, since both companies are powerful enough to win the case, if it was carried over to the court.
Car manufacturers usually borrow cars of their competition for rent, in the name of benchmarking. In the event of some damage to the rental car, the company who rented it in the first place is bound to cover it or maybe offer insurance on the vehicle, beforehand.
However, what happened here was rather unusual, and Daimler should be responsible enough to give some answers.