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Confusion over supply of theft parts

Mercedes-Benz has been urged to give its dealers clear guidance on the supply of theft-relevant items like keys, locks, ECUs and parts bearing the VIN number to accident repair centres.

It follows a wrangle between a north-east bodyshop and Mercedes-Benz of Sunderland. It refused to supply a lock kit for repairs on a damaged vehicle, stating that DaimlerChrysler in Germany insists on all theft-relevant parts to be installed only by franchised workshops.

However, another Mercedes dealer outside the region agreed to supply the lock kit. The ABP Club has urged Mercedes to give its dealers clear guidance.

DaimlerChrysler claims the decision was made after discussions with police authorities across Europe in order to protect owners of its cars and reduce the possibility of theft. As all orders are logged and fully tracked, theft-relevant parts may only be fitted in the vehicle for which they were ordered.

Following talks between Mercedes-Benz UK and ABP Club, the Sunderland dealership was advised to supply the lock kit on condition of the bodyshop supplying authorization from the vehicle owner.

However, it is required to send an employee to witness the replacement of the lock, and to remove and scrap the damaged part.

Paul Raynor, Mercedes’ body repair programme manager, says there is a defined process, which includes fitting verification, which must be followed in the interests of the customer and insurer.

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