Since February, Hagens Berman has continued to test BlueTec vehicles and has now filed another class-action suit that says that on-road testing shows far higher nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than in-lab testing.
The lawsuit claims:
Following the first lawsuit, the EPA asked Mercedes-Benz for more information, but the agency has not launched an official probe, as far as we know.
Testing at highway speeds, at low temperatures, and at variable speeds, indicate a systemic failure to meet emissions standards. Low temperature testing at highway speeds for example, produced emissions that were 8.1 to 19.7 times the highway emissions standard. In virtually every road test the emissions were hardly as Mercedes promised as 'the world's cleanest and most advanced diesel...' Mercedes vehicles do not meet emission standards in virtually all real world driving conditions
Daimler had previously flatly denied that it uses any sort of cheat devices. Right after the Volkswagen scandal became public knowledge, Daimler issued a statement that said, "We categorically deny the accusation of manipulating emission tests regarding our vehicles. A defeat device, a function which illegitimately reduces emissions during testing, has never been and will never be used at Daimler."
Mercedes gave a statement to AutoblogGreen about the new lawsuit: "We consider this class action lawsuit to be unfounded. Our position remains unchanged: A component that inadmissibly reduces emissions is not used in Mercedes-Benz vehicles. We are convinced that all our vehicles comply with the legal requirements. Please understand that we don´t comment any further on ongoing proceedings."
The new class-action suit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
NEWARK – Today, owners of Mercedes BlueTEC diesel automobiles from 13 states filed an amended class-action lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz USA stating the automaker knowingly programmed its BlueTEC vehicles to release illegal levels of emissions in virtually all real world driving conditions and likely contain a "defeat device" used to cheat emissions testing, according to consumer-rights law firm, Hagens Berman.
"Testing at highway speeds, at low temperatures, and at variable speeds, indicate a systemic failure to meet emissions standards. Low temperature testing at highway speeds for example, produced emissions that were 8.1 to 19.7 times the highway emissions standard," according to the suit, filed Apr. 7, 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. "In virtually every road test the emissions were hardly as Mercedes promised as 'the world's cleanest and most advanced diesel...' Mercedes vehicles do not meet emission standards in virtually all real world driving conditions."
The lawsuit adds that testing at low temperatures at variable speeds produced emissions as high as 30.8 times the standard.
The complaint accuses Mercedes of deceiving consumers with false representations of its BlueTEC vehicles, which it marketed as "earth-friendly."
Mercedes sold BlueTEC vehicles with the promise that they were "earth-friendly," and equipped with "environmentally friendly technology," and the vehicles went "beyond statutory requirements."
The lawsuit alleges that the following Mercedes models powered by BlueTEC diesel-fueled engines are affected by the unlawful, unfair, deceptive and otherwise defective emission controls utilized by Mercedes. Contact Hagens Berman to find out your rights, if you purchased or leased one of the following affected BlueTEC vehicles:
Mercedes owners and lessors can also find more information about the case at Hagens Berman's Mercedes Owners Hub, including an FAQ about the Mercedes emissions lawsuit.
Cheating Emissions Tests
"When put to the test of real world conditions, Mercedes' 'clean' diesel cars fail at nearly every opportunity to live up to the ecofriendly branding Mercedes plastered onto these vehicles," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. "According to our research, all signs point to Mercedes installing a defeat device, similar to what Volkswagen implemented, to cheat emissions tests. We intend to unveil everything Mercedes knows."
The suit states that the fact that Mercedes passed the dynamometer test in all testing done by European researchers, but failed the real world test – both in Europe and U.S. test results – is suggestive that like VW, Mercedes is implementing a "defeat device."
In a letter Berman sent to Mercedes' Dr. Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG, head of Mercedes-Benz Daimler AG, he stated, "We have uncovered your deception. Now it is time for you to do right by your customers, the U.S. government, and the American people."
"Every day I hear from another Mercedes customer who feels betrayed by your scam," the letter reads. "Correcting this fraud should be priority-one. To that end, I invite you to sit down with me in the next two weeks to craft a remediation plan. I believe we can work together to create a comprehensive remedy that compensates your customers fairly and allows Mercedes to move forward after this shameful deception."
A study cited in the complaint conducted by TNO for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment states that, in real world testing, the Mercedes C-Class 220 emits NOx at levels much higher than in controlled dynamometer tests, adding that, "In most circumstances arising in normal situations on the road, the systems scarcely succeed in any effective reduction of NOx emissions."
"The consumers bringing this lawsuit against Mercedes have tested the vehicles in real world conditions, only to find pollution at high levels in nearly all conditions, including downhill driving and at various speeds and temperatures," Berman added. "Mercedes took advantage of consumers' trust. It appears as though the aggressive 'greenwashing' marketing tactics Mercedes used for its BlueTEC vehicles were merely a veil to conceal its dirty diesel vehicles from eco-conscious consumers."
The suit seeks relief for those who purchased the affected vehicles, including injunctive relief in the form of a recall or free replacement program and restitution including either recovery of the purchase price or overpayment or diminution in value due to Mercedes' misleading statements and omissions regarding the emission levels of its Clean Diesel BlueTEC vehicles.
The suit alleges that Mercedes' actions violated numerous state consumer-rights laws including the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the California False Advertising Law, Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act and laws of other states. The suit also states that the automaker's omissions and misrepresentations constitute breach of contract and fraudulent concealment.