While Volkswagen is still in the throes of their emissions cheating scandal,
it appears another major automaker could be headed in the same direction.
The DOJ is investigating Mercedes Benz Daimler for possible inconsistencies
regarding their own certifications for diesel emissions. The Department
of Justice ordered Mercedes Benz to instigate an internal investigation
in order to review the process used for their automobile emissions. The
investigation into Mercedes Benz began in February, following the filing
of a class action lawsuit against the company.
Studies Regarding Emissions Standards
The lawsuit claims that all Mercedes BlueTec diesel models emit more nitrogen
oxides when temperatures drop, as a result of a device which shuts off,
allowing more emissions when temperatures reach 50 degrees or lower. Additional
plaintiffs were added to the lawsuit in April of this year. The lawsuit
referenced multiple studies on the Mercedes diesel vehicles in the months
following Volkswagen’s issues which were conducted by independent
and governmental organizations in other countries.
The results of the studies found that some of the Mercedes cars were polluting
many times higher than the allowable standards. One of the plaintiffs
in the lawsuit conducted his own independent test. At the conclusion of
the test, the plaintiff claimed his Mercedes was polluting at potentially
20 times the levels allowed by the EPA. The lawsuit further claims that
the owners of the Mercedes vehicles in question were never told that “engine
power and profits would be prioritized above people” when the temperatures
dropped below 50 degrees. Daimler continues to deny that they have installed
any type of “cheat” software in their vehicles.
Earth Friendly or Harmful to the Environment?
The BlueTec vehicles sold by Mercedes Benz were advertised as being “earth
friendly.” Consumers were told that diesel engines are much less
harmful to the environment; however, in light of the illegal levels of
emissions when the cars are driven at lower temperatures, the environmental
claims seem a bit overinflated. The Mercedes Benz lawsuit is seeking a
recall of the affected models as well as a replacement program and compensation
for owners of fourteen different Mercedes models. According to Reuters,
Mercedes Benz has hired the auditing firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu to
conduct an investigation on behalf of the company. Daimler shares had
tumbled five percent by the end of April, as it appears the emissions
scandal may truly have no end.
More Automakers Potentially Implicated
The continuing emissions saga has widened even beyond Volkswagen and Mercedes
Benz to include Fiat as well. A German government investigation suggests
some Fiat models revealed unusual concentrations of emissions when the
test exceeded the 22-minute mark. Emissions tests typically run for about
20 minutes, begging the question as to whether some type of “cheat”
software or other technical device was used to unnaturally lower the emissions.
The Federal Motor Transport Authority revealed that the emissions system
on a tested Fiat model was throttled back” mere minutes after the
emissions test was completed. This would result in unrealistic readings
for emissions levels, particularly for Nitrogen Oxide.
In Germany, the KBA has insisted that auto manufacturers cease taking advantage
of what is known as the “thermal window” in the official emission
test which permits car manufacturers to test their automobiles at unrealistically
high temperatures. Apparently this loophole may have been used by Mercedes,
Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi. Japan’s Mitsubishi automaker admitted
to misrepresenting the fuel economy data of its vehicles for the last
quarter century, and in Britain, the transport minister came under fire
for failing to say whether British motorists who owned affected VW automobiles
would be permitted to compensation.
National Mercedes Benz Class Action Lawyers
If you have been the victim of the auto industry’s deceptive emissions
practices, you have a right to file a lawsuit. There are several class
action lawsuits going on nationwide against various auto manufacturers.
To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the
Pennsylvania class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik today at
1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential
The national class action lawyers
at Golomb & Honik have successfully represented individuals in Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, and throughout the United States.