Mercedes-Benz Diesels Use Cheat Device, Claims Lawsuit
12 April 2016 - Autoblog
Back in February, the Texas law firm Hagens Berman filed a class-action lawsuit alleging Mercedes-Benz used a diesel "cheat device" in its BlueTec diesel vehicles.
The suit alleged that Mercedes diesels spew out different amounts of noxious emissions at different times – much like the software that got VW into trouble. That original court filing said, "Mercedes never disclosed to consumers that Mercedes diesels with BlueTec engines may be 'clean' diesels when it is warm, but are 'dirty' diesels when it is not."
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:
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
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.
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.