Mercedes faces legal action over emissions scandal

Thousands of British drivers have joined a legal claim against Mercedes over a diesel emissions scandal, which will be led by law firm PGMBM.

The firm has filed a group litigation claim in the Liverpool High Court against Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz UK, over a diesel emissions scandal that could be worth up to £10billion.

Mercedes-Benz has allegedly misled customers, the public and authorities concerning the amount of toxic emissions produced by certain models of their diesel cars and vans produced between 2007 and 2018, the legal papers filed with the Liverpool High Court in May state.

The case is now said to be adding thousands of claimants per week, as revelations of the scandal become public.

The German company is suspected of installing ‘defeat devices’ in hundreds of thousands of vehicles, allowing vehicles to pass emissions testing. The claim filed by PGMBM alleges that Mercedes committed a fraud by manufacturing cars and vans whose real world diesel emissions exceed the limits imposed by EU and UK laws by up to 10 times.

A defeat device detects when the engine is being tested and limits the amount of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions produced to comply with regulatory standards, which would not be in effect in the course of normal road use by vehicle drivers. Nitrogen oxide is a significant factor in air pollution and respiratory conditions, particularly in young and vulnerable people.

In July 2017, Daimler instituted a voluntary recall of 3 million of its diesel vehicles manufactured to Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions standards. Then in 2018, Germany’s motor authority Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt found that some 280,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles had been outfitted with illegal defeat devices. This led to a wider recall of 670,000 affected vehicles across Europe. As part of a settlement with German prosecutors over its diesel emissions scandal, Daimler AG was fined €870 million in 2019.

There are currently said to be tens of thousands of cases involving Mercedes-Benz’s actions pending in courts around the world, including claims for damages and the right to return the vehicle without any financial losses by the owner. Damages awarded have typically been over £10,000 per vehicle.

PGMBM has estimated that up to half a million vehicles in the UK could be affected, with an average of two owners each. This means that the case may impact one million consumers and, based on potential damages of £10,000 in each case, Mercedes-Benz may face £10billion in compensation claims if they are found liable.

PGMBM has urged consumers in the UK to come forward and join the class action claim if they purchased, financed or leased a Mercedes diesel car or van, manufactured between 2007 and 2018, to join the claim on a no win, no fee basis, which they can do via an online form at mercedesclaimlawyers.com.

PGMBM Managing Partner, Tom Goodhead, explained: “This case highlights how Mercedes has abused the trust of its customers by egregiously misleading them in the pursuit of profit.

“We believe that Mercedes must be held to account for its unlawful and deceitful actions, and this case will give consumers the opportunity to do so, and be compensated for being misled by a supposedly trustworthy company.”

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