Mercedes-Benz Diesel Owners in US Start Class Action Lawsuit Against Carmaker

With the help of US law firm Hagens Berman, a group of owners of Mercedes-Benz diesel-engined vehicles have sued the German company.
Mercedes-Benz C 250 d 4MATIC sets record at Pikes Peak 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
The unexpected class action lawsuit is based on assumptions made by the customers, who believe that the carmaker uses “defeat devices” to trick emission testing machines.

They motivate their beliefs on the fact that the Mercedes-Benz BlueTec cars passed dyno tests with adequate emissions, while real world testing showed that their nitrogen oxide gas and CO2 emissions were higher than claimed.

As Automotive News notes, Daimler officials consider the class action lawsuit to be unfounded. They have reaffirmed the fact that Mercedes-Benz vehicles “do not use devices to falsely reduce emissions during testing.”

This is not the first interaction between Hagens Berman and Mercedes-Benz, as the law firm has filed a complaint with the EPA against the German automaker, accusing them of the same thing they based the class action suit on.

Back then, Daimler was alleged to have very high levels of nitrogen oxide gas (NOx) while engines were operating at low temperatures. The mentioned temperature was below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). In the conditions described, the law firm accused Daimler that their diesel engines (BlueTec) had NOx emission levels over 65 times the maximum limit allowed by the EPA.

At the time, Daimler officials explained that all their cars obey legislation, but admitted that the exhaust gas after the treatment system was at reduced capacity in certain conditions - like low outside temperatures - to prevent condensation and corrosion in the exhaust.

The German company’s representatives have explained that this feature is entirely legal, and we believe that it probably happens to every car on the market. After all, emissions testing is performed with the engine at operating temperature, and in controlled-temperature environments.

Daimler promised full cooperation with the EPA at the time, but the organization has yet to publish its findings. However, if the German company is proven right by the EPA report, the entire case could be dismissed by the District Court of New Jersey.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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