Mercedes-Benz Forbidden from Selling Airscarf Models in Germany

Mercedes-Benz SLK Airscarf 1 photo
Photo: Daimler AG, edited by autoevolution
One of the coolest and most helpful options that an open-top car can offer will no longer be available for Mercedes-Benz cabriolets and roadsters sold in Germany effective immediately.
Marketed as the “Airscarf” system, the Mercedes-Benz technology was banned following a court ruling and after a nearly ten-year-old legal dispute between patent owner Ludwig Schatzinger and Daimler AG.

The court order arrives after two earlier court rulings that had been won by Daimler, which first offered the Airscarf technology as early as 1998 in its cars. Even stranger is that Ludwig Schatzinger has apparently held the patent rights for a similar system since 1996, but those rights are set to expire on December 25, 2006, anyway.

Mercedes-Benz has been ordered to withdraw all advertising material related to Airscarf, while cars part of the German sales network will need to have the system disabled. For each of vehicles that have been already delivered with Airscarf in Germany, Mercedes-Benz will apparently need to pay unspecified damages.

Models affected include the recently introduced C-Class Cabriolet, the new S-Class Cabriolet, E-Class Cabriolet and the SLK/SLC, SL and SLS roadsters.

As most of you probably know, Airscarf is a system that uses ventilation to deliver warm air to the necks of the driver and front passenger, thus substantially improving their open-air experience during colder days.

In recent years, some Audi and Peugeot models have also introduced similar systems, but it is not yet known if they are also included in the German court ruling.

Either way, customers who are already driving Mercedes-Benz cars fitted with Airscarf that have been bought from Germany need not to worry, because they will continue to enjoy the system with no issues. On top of it, the court order doesn't mention anything about a recall.

Other potential customers from Germany might want to either wait until 2017 to punch in their order for an open-top Mercedes-Benz with Airscarf or buy one from a different country.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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