Mercedes has sparked a privacy row after it admitted to fitting tracking devices in its cars, The Sun has claimed.
The devices are reportedly fitted to all new and used cars sold by the firm’s dealers and can pinpoint the vehicle’s exact location.
It’s not yet clear how long Mercedes has been using the trackers but the company insists they are only activated in “extreme circumstances” — when finance customers have defaulted on their payments.
However, it has also admitted to sharing car owner information and vehicle location details with third-party bailiffs and recovery firms who repossess the cars.
Mercedes sold more than 170,000 new cars in Britain last year.
Ex-Cabinet minister David Davis has now called for the government to investigate.
He said: “This is not the first time big business has behaved like Big Brother — but it’s rare to be quite as deceitful as this.
“I have to question whether it is even legal to pass on information to other people such as bailiffs.
“I would think the relevant minister ought to look very closely at the legality of this procedure.”
The row will undoubtedly raise questions about how vehicle manufacturers handle data.
EU data protection laws make it illegal to tracking a vehicle without its driver’s knowledge.
But Mercedes customers who buy cars through the official financial arm give their permission when signing lengthy terms and conditions — which often go unread.
Andrew Bridgen MP said: “If Mercedes wishes to install this privacy-surrendering tech in their cars, that’s fine.
“But surely they have a duty to explicitly tell their customers beforehand — and not hide it away in their terms and conditions.”
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