Mercedes Benz has been accused of deliberately trying to hide the high emissions levels of its diesel-powered BlueTEC engines from consumers. According to a class action lawsuit filed against the company, Mercedes installed a software “defeat device” on its “clean diesel” models that was designed to turn off the vehicles’ emissions control software in cooler temperatures, allowing the vehicles to emit pollution at more than 65 times than the levels allowed under federal law.
Mercedes Benz BlueTEC “Clean Diesel” Engines
Mercedes introduced the BlueTEC diesel engine in 2006. Mercedes has vigorously marketed its BlueTEC vehicles as “the world’s cleanest and most advanced diesel” with “ultra-low emissions, high fuel economy and responsive performance” that emits “up to 30% lower greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline.” Mercedes represents that its BlueTEC vehicles “convert the nitrogen oxide emissions into harmless nitrogen and oxygen” and “reduces the nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gases by up to 90%.”
Additionally, Mercedes promotes its Clean Diesel vehicles as “Earth Friendly”: “With BlueTEC, cleaner emissions are now an equally appealing benefit.” In fact, Mercedes proclaims itself “#1 in CO2 emissions for luxury vehicles.”
These representations are deceptive and false. Mercedes has programmed its BlueTEC vehicles to turn off the NOx reduction systems when ambient temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Mercedes has admitted that a shut-off device in the engine management of certain BlueTEC diesel cars stops NOx cleaning under these and other, unspecified circumstances.
Mercedes vehicles equipped with the BlueTEC “clean diesel” engines include the following models:
- E 320
- E Class
- GL 320
- GL Class
- GLE Class
- GLK Class
- ML 320
- ML 350
- ML Class
- R Class
- S 350
- S Class
Mercedes Faces Litigation Over Diesel Emissions Cheating
In February 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed in New Jersey on behalf of Mercedes owners who purchased one of the company’s BlueTEC diesel-powered vehicles. The lawsuit accused Mercedes of fraudulently concealing information from consumers about its emissions cheating in regard to the BlueTEC diesel vehciles.
According to the lawsuit, Mercedes aggressively marketed its BlueTEC models to consumers as a high performance alternative to hybrid or electric models like the Toyota Prius or the Chevy Volt. The company claimed that its “clean diesel” models emitted 30% lower emissions levels than gasoline-powered vehicles, when in fact the company knew all along that BlueTEC diesel models emitted NOx levels under normal driving conditions that were significantly greater than those allowed under the Clean Air Act.
As a result of the emissions cheating by Mercedes, owners of BlueTEC diesel models may see significant reductions to the value of their vehicles. Owners of Mercedes diesel vehicles may also face costly repairs in order to bring these vehicles into compliance with emissions testing standards, and may have trouble selling their vehicles as a result of these emissions issues.
Mercedes BlueTEC Diesel Owners May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
Consumers who purchased or leased a Mercedes diesel-powered vehicle equipped with a BlueTEC engine may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney with the experience in consumer fraud and product liability litigation to help you with your case.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed numerous lawsuits involving consumer fraud and products liability on behalf of our clients, including several lawsuits involving the Dieselgate emissions scandal. Our partner, Michael Heygood, was recently named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the Dieselgate litigation. Our law firm expects to remain involved in the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating lawsuits throughout the duration of the Dieselgate MDL so that we can continue working to ensure that our VW clients receive the best possible result in their case. We intend to do the same for innocent consumers that relied on Mercedes’ misrepresentations.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that when corporations deliberately mislead consumers through fraudulent statements or acts of negligence, they should be held accountable in a court of law. If you purchased or leased a Mercedes Benz diesel-powered BlueTEC vehicle, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to find out whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit. To receive your free legal consultation, please call toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions to get started.