If you’re from Australia and have booked a new Mercedes-Benz, you might have to wait longer than what your dealership might have promised you. Australian authorities recently blocked five separate shipments from the German automaker to enter the country because of a rare snail. That’s right, 900 Mercedes-Benz cars worth $50 million have been turned away at the Australian border because of a few rare and exotic snails that were found hiding inside their shipments. Some 30 odd heath snails were discovered by the Department of Agriculture. The specific species of snail is native to European countries (including Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and Ukraine) and are not found in Australia. They are considered a “pest of agricultural and environmental significance.”
Initially, the entire shipment of 900 cars was placed under quarantine, tucked inside shipping containers. However, the Department of Agriculture found the only solution was to send all the cars back to Zeebrugge, Belgium. Mercedes-Benz announced in an official statement that it was “investigating the cause and managing the process in co-operation with the Department of Agriculture.” This incident is going to cost a lot of money for Mercedes-Benz and it will be a big blow for the auto giant given the fact that the auto industry is experiencing a severe slowdown.