Mercedes-Benz is facing possible High Court action involving thousands of motorists over ‘defeat devices’ it is claimed were put in the German manufacturer’s diesel vehicles to fool emissions tests.
Two firms of lawyers taking similar action against Volkswagen, following the ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal of 2015, are looking into suing Mercedes as well.
Slater and Gordon and Leigh Day are putting together a case against it over vehicles with its AdBlue technology. The manufacturer said it would reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and create ‘our cleanest diesel cars ever’.
More than 80,000 people in the UK with AdBlue vehicles, which the two firms claim have illegal ‘defeat devices’, could join the group claim against Mercedes, said the firms.
Karolina Kupczyk, of Slater and Gordon, said: ‘There is overwhelming evidence that Mercedes sold highly polluting vehicles which did not comply with regulations intended to reduce emissions of dangerous NOx emissions.
‘Customers who bought affected models may have a claim for compensation against Mercedes. We intend to hold this car maker to account for deceiving the car-buying public.
‘It is likely that customers have overpaid for their non-compliant vehicles and the resale value will be affected, therefore we believe that customers are entitled to financial compensation.’
Leigh Day solicitor Bozena Michalowska Howells said: ‘We have already been approached by Mercedes owners who have received a letter from Mercedes-Benz recalling their vehicle – drivers who had specifically chosen an AdBlue model because of the low emissions promised by the advertising.
‘It now seems that the promise of “cleaner” diesel using AdBlue technology does not stand up to scrutiny.’
Mercedes has been approached for comment.
It follows a High Court ruling in April – in a class action involving some 90,000 motorists who bought or leased Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat diesels – that Volkswagen put unlawful ‘defeat devices’ in thousands of its diesel vehicles to rig EU emissions tests.
Volkswagen is appealing against that ruling, arguing that it doesn’t owe the customers any compensation as they didn’t suffer any loss.
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