Sixty-eight Mercedes-Benz EQC owners have issued a joint statement asking Daimler to respond to the model's faulty electric motor.
In the age of electric vehicles, German luxury brands' previous pricing system is at risk of collapsing. This is further evidenced by what has happened to a number of Mercedes-Benz owners in China.
Sixty-eight people claiming to be owners of the Mercedes-Benz EQC issued a joint statement on January 18, saying they had been asked to replace the motor or power battery after their vehicles experienced at least one motor failure.
These owners are asking Daimler China to acknowledge their mistakes and provide a reasonable response as soon as possible, according to the statement circulating on social networks.
Most of the owners who have experienced this will see a reminder on the screen to "refill coolant" 1-2 months before the failure and will notice a significant decrease in coolant, according to the statement.
The vast majority of Mercedes-Benz dealerships choose to add coolant when dealing with the problem, causing the fluid to continue to enter the motor, eventually causing the owner to be unable to start the vehicle and the center screen to display "fault", the statement said.
The owners are demanding that Mercedes-Benz disclose information about the EQC motor design defect and the solution, and initiate a recall.
Local media Ai Caijing quoted one owner, Huang Xin, as saying that a group chat he was part of for protests had more than 300 members and that more than 150 people had reported problems with the motor.
The EQC is the Mercedes-Benz brand's first electric car, launching in China in November 2019 with a price range initially set at RMB 499,800 ($78,800) - 579,800, well above the price range of NIO and Tesla Model Y, the report noted.
Mercedes-Benz then lowered the EQC's starting price to the RMB 300,000 range, but the car's NEDC range is only 415 kilometers, while competing models, including NIO's, already have a range of 600 kilometers, the report said.
In the owners' opinion, the Mercedes-Benz brand is one of the main reasons why they accept the price premium. However, the endorsement of a century-old luxury brand does not mean that its electric vehicles will not have problems.
Last August, Mercedes-Benz recalled EQC vehicles in China, though this was not related to motor problems.
Beijing Benz, a joint venture between BAIC Motor and Daimler AG in China, recalled 796 EQC electric vehicles in China, according to a notice issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation at the end of August last year.
Some of the vehicles in the recall are unable to identify the state of the check air conditioning condensate hose after assembly to ensure its tightness of connection, causing air conditioning condensate to possibly enter the passenger compartment, according to the announcement.
These problems are a reflection of the difficult transition of Mercedes-Benz on electrification.
In December 2021, Mercedes-Benz EQC sales in China were 812 units, with full-year sales of just over 6,000 units in 2021, according to the China Passenger Car Association, as cited by Ai Caijing.
As a comparison, NIO's single-month deliveries in December alone reached 10,489 vehicles, including 2,782 ES8s, 4,939 ES6s and 2,768 EC6s, according to data released by the company.
The average sales price of NIO's three models reached RMB 443,500 in December, Ma Lin, the company's senior director of corporate communications, said in his WeChat status earlier this month.