One of the stowaways that forced the Mercedes—Benz cars to be turned back to Europe.
One of the stowaways that forced the Mercedes—Benz cars to be turned back to Europe.

Exotic discovery sparks costly turnaround for Mercedes

Their supercars can do more than 300km/h - but Mercedes-Benz has found they are no match for a creature with a top speed of 0.01km/h.

The luxury car manufacturer's latest shipments to Australia have been derailed by snails, which were found on board and deemed to be a biosecurity risk.

The discovery of the slimy stowaways meant all 900 cars that arrived in Melbourne, Fremantle, Port Kembla and Brisbane were being forced to turn around.

One of the exotic health snails found inside a Mercedes-Benz car.
One of the exotic health snails found inside a Mercedes-Benz car.

More than 30 exotic snails were detected inside the cars imported from Europe, the Department of Agriculture said.

The exotic species of snail, known as the health snail, was considered a pest because of the risk it posed to Australia's agriculture sector.

"They are known to feed on a wide variety of crops including alfalfa, lupins, clover, wheat, barley, fruit trees and weeds causing harm to these plants," a statement from the department said.

The statement said the department considered all known and approved treatment options to manage the risk onshore and determined the most appropriate action was to export the vehicles.



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