Following a class-action civil lawsuit filed in New Jersey against Mercedes-Benz, the EPA said today that it has asked Daimler for more information about its diesel emissions. The lawsuit alleges that nitrogen oxide reduction systems in some Mercedes luxury vehicles shut off when the ambient temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that NOx emissions can be up to 65 times higher than federal limits allow.

The request for information does not mean that the EPA is launching a probe into Mercedes-Benz's diesel vehicles. The vehicles affected by the class-action suit are diesels with BlueTec, including: ML320, ML350, GL320, S 350, E320, R320, E-Class, GL Class, ML-Class, R Class, S-Class, GLK-Class, GLE-Class and Sprinter. Daimler has denied that any of its vehicles use any sort of device to circumvent emissions laws and said the class-action suit is without merit. We have asked the EPA for more information on what its request entails and will update you when we hear back.

As more readers will likely know, Volkswagen is in trouble for software 'defeat devices' that were found in millions of its diesel vehicles around the world. Since this became public last September, agencies from many governments and outside groups have been taking a closer eye on emissions levels and self-reported numbers. Two environmental NGOs in France, for example, have released a report that shows that there discrepancies between the reported NOx emissions numbers and independent tests were found in 100 vehicles. There were two Mercedes-Benz vehicles included in that list.

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