Egged, the Israeli public transportation co-operative that operates 4,100 buses, is considering suing Mercedes Benz for 3 million euros following a series of transmission failures.

According to a report in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot, hundreds of gearboxes supplied by ZF to Mercedes Benz and Volvo could not cope with the enormous power of new engines and failed. That required replacement of the gearboxes which took the buses out of service for lengthy periods. Some gearboxes repeatedly failed.

Volvo recognised its responsibility for the failures and paid for repairs to 450 gearboxes but Mercedes Benz refused to take responsibility for some 900 gearboxes beyond the warranty period.

Egged officials say that the problem was caused because M-B stopped using its own transmissions and installed ZF gearboxes that were not suited to the powerful engines, mainly on inter-city buses.

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