Posted in Firm News, Product Liability on February 24, 2016
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 standards.
“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.
At the Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo, our experienced and aggressive San Antonio product liability 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 defective device lawsuit options? Use our online form today to request a free, confidential case evaluation.