In August 2020, a UK law firm alleged that the BlueTEC diesel vehicles of German car brand Mercedes-Benz have been installed with defeat devices. It also claimed that the said automobiles emitted dangerous levels of nitrogen oxide and that, to cheat tests, the devices installed in them cut emission levels during the inspections. The group claim was filed on behalf of Mercedes-Benz vehicle owners in Wales and England.
The allegations came after the law firm filed claims in the United States that led to Mercedes-Benz paying off owners of BlueTEC diesel cars an estimated $700 million. Although US emissions control systems are different from the European vehicle systems, and the certification process and legal framework are dissimilar, British law firms expressed their confidence that UK drivers deserve to be compensated with a higher amount.
Various class-action lawsuits have been filed against Mercedes-Benz and its mother company, Daimler AG. Thousands of affected drivers throughout the United Kingdom have joined these lawsuits. Lawyers estimate the number of car owners to breach the one million-user mark as the list includes drivers of fleets, single commercial vehicles, and leased vehicles.
Despite the lawsuits and the payoff in the US, Daimler continues to stress that there is no truth to the allegations. Company representatives were quick to say that the UK claims have no merit. Daimler and Mercedes-Benz vowed to fight all group actions against them.
Over the past few months, however, more law firms and groups have come out with similar allegations.
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More allegations of Mercedes wrongdoing
In March 2021, Mercedes diesel claims were filed against Mercedes-Benz Financial Services UK, Mercedes-Benz Cars UK, and Daimler AG on behalf of drivers who were affected by the company’s use of defeat devices in several of their cars. Approximately 33,000 car owners in Wales and England signed up for the group claim.
By July 2021, another class-action lawsuit was filed, this time by the VZBV – Germany’s Federal Association of Consumers. The lawsuit specifically focused on Mercedes-Benz’s GLK and GLC models fitted with the OM651 engine. VZBV representatives said their legal action was based on the recalls ordered by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt).
Mercedes-Benz recalls started in 2017, when around 3 million Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions standard diesel vehicles were taken back. A year later, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority ordered the German automaker to recall 670,000 diesel engine vehicles in various parts of Europe after the discovery of defeat devices in about 280,000 Mercedes-Benz cars. In 2019, Mercedes-Benz’s mother company, Daimler AG, paid £785 million in fines.
The reason why these allegations have surfaced
All the allegations and lawsuits that Mercedes-Benz has been receiving stem from one issue: the Dieselgate scandal that started in 2015.
The Dieselgate scandal is about Volkswagen and the discovery that the German carmaker used cheat software – or defeat devices – that allow their vehicles to detect when an emissions test was underway. The devices automatically adjust emissions levels so they appear normal or lower than the real readings during the tests. In other words, they gave fake emissions readings to both car owners and authorities in order to appear road legal.
After Volkswagen admitted installing the cheat software, they were swamped with lawsuits and eventually started recalling affected vehicles. The company has also been issuing payouts to drivers for years.
Now, the same thing is happening to Mercedes-Benz. According to authorities (and law firms), the German car brand used several devices to manipulate diesel emissions. One such device, as reported by the VZBV, is a thermo switch that changes exhaust emissions filtering according to factors like ambient temperature. This device allows Mercedes-Benz cars to perform well and stay within permissible limit values. However, when used in real-life road situations, the vehicles revert to higher values that exceed the regulatory standards.
These defeat device-equipped vehicles emit more NOx or nitrogen oxide, a pollutant that can affect not only the environment but may cause health issues such as respiratory diseases, breathing problems, and lung tissue damage.
Drivers who own vehicles with defeat devices may also have to deal with poor vehicle performance and higher maintenance and fuel costs.
Mercedes emission claim
As stated above, Mercedes Dieselgate claims in the UK may give car owners thousands in compensation. The estimated amount is between £3,000 and £10,000 for every affected Mercedes-Benz vehicle. The number of claimants may add up to at least 1.2 million.
Making a claim
If you drive a Mercedes-Benz and would like to know if your car is affected, you can visit the Mercedes-Benz website and check if your vehicle model is on the list. If it is, you should immediately get in touch with Mercedes emission compensation experts who can help you go through the claims filing process.
Find time to look for a professional and experienced team, such as the ones that you will find at Emissions.co.uk. They’re trained to help and stay with you every step of the way – from the planning stage all the way to getting the compensation you deserve.