Attention Mercedes-Benz owners: contrary to the claims of the automaker,
your vehicle may be producing illegal nitrogen oxide emissions.
That is what is alleged in a new lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court
of New Jersey.
As reported by AutoBlog, the alleged fraud closely mirrors the same scandal that hit German automaker
Volkswagen last year, when company leaders admitted to outfitting many
of their models with technology known as a "defeat device."
What is a "defeat device?"
A defeat device is software that is installed in the nitrogen oxide reduction
system of a motor vehicle. For Volkswagen, this system was promised to
reduce emissions while still maintaining "high performance."
Except, unless the car was engaged in its smog test mode, the software
would disengage the system, allowing the vehicle to produce illegal levels
of NOx emissions while in regular use.
The allegations against Mercedes-Benz claims that its much-touted BlueTec
system-- which promises low emissions and high performance-- also acts
as a defeat device. Instead of Volkswagen's version, which was activated
whenever the vehicle was not being tested for emissions, the new lawsuit
claims that BlueTec shuts down when the external temperature drops below
50 degrees Fahrenheit. When it does, the suit claims the affected cars
produce NOx emissions up to 65 times higher than what is allowed by environmental
"Mercedes labeled its BlueTec vehicles as 'earth friendly,'
selling consumers the false notion that these diesel cars were less harmful
to the environment," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens
Berman, the Texas firm which is seeking punitive damages, "but Mercedes
never divulged to consumers that BlueTec diesels pollute at illegal levels
when driven at lower temperatures and that its 'champion of the environment'
mantra was a sham."
According the suit: "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. Mercedes never disclosed
that, when the temperature drops below 50 degrees, it prioritizes engine
power and profits over people."
Not all Mercedes-Benz models are outfitted with BlueTec, but many recent
models are. If you are the owner of
any of the following models, you may have the grounds to seek restitution:
- ML 320
- ML 350
- GL 320
- S 350
- E 320
- R 320
- E Class
- GL Class
- ML Class
- R Class
- S Class
- GLK Class
- GLE Class
"What can I do?"
Mercedes-Benz has yet to respond the allegations, but the suit is seeking
punitive damages from the company for willingly deceiving customers. If
you believe that your Mercedes-Benz car could be outfitted with a BlueTec
defeat device, you may be eligible to receive compensation for this unacceptable
deceit from the automaker.
Maloney & Campolo, our experienced and aggressive San Antonio consumer protection attorneys
have recovered more than $150 million on behalf of clients who have been
wronged by others. We are ready to help you file an appropriate action
against Mercedes-Benz and ensure that your rights as a consumer are properly
asserted both in and outside the courtroom.
Want to learn more about your defeat device lawsuit options? Use our online
form today to request a free, confidential