By on April 8, 2016

2013 Mercedes-Benz GL450 4MATIC

Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, has been hit with a second lawsuit from a U.S. law firm that represents owners of diesel vehicles, despite recent evidence that could render the suit invalid.

The suit from now-familiar firm Hagens Berman accuses the German automaker of employing an emissions “defeat device,” a la Volkswagen, in its diesel vehicles, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).

The suit alleges the device must be the cause of laboratory emissions test results that show higher nitrogen oxide emissions than during real-world tests.

Hagens Berman sued Daimler in February after Mercedes-Benz revealed that the effectiveness of the AdBlue urea-injection system in its Bluetec line of vehicles was reduced in cold temperatures to prevent condensation in the exhaust system.

Daimler has refuted the defeat device accusation, calling the class-action lawsuit “unfounded.”

“A component that inadmissibly reduces emissions is not used in Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” said Daimler in a statement.

Yesterday, Reuters reported that the German Federal Motor Transport Authority had completed tests on European diesel models, and found that only Volkswagen employed an emissions-cheating defeat device.

Other models showed irregularities during real-world testing, but they were within legal limits, the report said.

The Environmental Protection Agency requested information from Daimler following the first lawsuit, but no investigation into the automaker was opened. The regulator blew the lid off the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal by issuing a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act last September.

The exceptionally busy Hagens Berman is also behind a lawsuit filed this week on behalf of an Illinois Volkswagen dealer group, which targets the automaker for diesel-related financial losses.

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17 Comments on “Another Lawsuit Launched at Mercedes-Benz in Diesel Litigation Barrage...”


  • avatar

    Obama is a man of his word.

    Coal and oil will be put OUT OF BUSINESS.

    Dinoflagellates be damned.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    There is a big difference between alleged minor deviations from the requirement, and purposefully circumventing the requirement.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      That’s true, there’s a logical difference, but our legal system sometimes lets logic slip through the cracks. I’ve been on a couple juries, and I believe I know where at least one one weak spot lies: jurors who can’t grasp logic.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        There is both a logical difference and a practical difference. The Mercedes Benz could be made fully compliant with a strict interpretation of the rules with only a minor software change at the cost of moisture problems in cold climates. In contrast, a Jetta TDI without urea injection can’t be made compliant without adding hardware. Mercedes Benz never made real-world pollution worse in any practical way. No damages. Volkswagen Jetta TDI contributed to increased smog in the real world in normal operation with pollution compliance only occurring during the special conditions of emissions tests.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      The story I read is that the tests “suggest” there is a defeat device. I’m not sure you can be guilty because of a suggestion. I’m thinking that most cars diesel and gasoline, pollute more in real world conditions than any test would.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      The cold start emissions differences (and the computer going to them based on ambient temperature) are what they stopped sales on the 3.0L V6 turbodiesel from VWAG.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Sounds like legal opportunism to me. Unless they can prove something there is no case here. I guess they are hoping that the all the publicity around the VW case will cloud the minds of the jury.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Not even a jury. Just cloud the case enough so that a judge doesn’t dismiss the case, and the ambulance chaser can get a settlement.

      There also isn’t a vehicle on the planet that doesn’t emitake drastically higher emissions during a cold start.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Just for the record, here’s what the clean air trust.org says: “Ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is formed by the reaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of heat and sunlight.” So if there’s little heat, the NOx emitted on cold days should be less harmful than in hot weather, right? I wish I knew the magnitude of the difference. Diesel engines are currently operating over a 120-degree-plus temperature range, from the tropics to the arctic, but we’re trying to set a nationwide standard.

    Maybe it would make more sense to send all the diesels up to the northern tier of states, Canada and Alaska where they’re harmless, and they can continue to save CO2 for everybody’s benefit?

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Wheatridger, ground level ozone due to oxides of nitrogen is something that typically occurs during hot weather during the summer. The Mercedes Benz pollution control equipment operates normally both during the EPA test cycle and during normal operation when oxides of nitrogen would be an issue. Looks to me like Daimler is simply trying to protect the exhaust system from rusting out in cold climates.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I’m no emissions engineer but I operate around a fleet of Blutec Sprinters in the snowbelt. You just never smell diesel fumes around these van indoors or outdoors, hot or cold.

    I can’t speak for any particulates but MB’s done an awesome job compared to other diesels I’ve endured 30 years.

    Note: I’m going on about the newer Blutec with DEF not the older smokies.

    • 0 avatar
      Rudolph

      →Joss re older smokies
      I can still recall being immediately behind Greyhound buses in the 1950s with their 2-cycle 6-71 engines (what a “high”) ‼

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      NOx is not diesel smelling exhaust pollution. NOx emissions are also not “rolling coal” black exhaust.

      NOx emissions are colorless and mostly odorless.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Is the this a misprint? “laboratory emissions test results that show higher nitrogen oxide emissions than during real-world tests”

    Seems like the claim is that Mercedes pollutes LESS in the real world than what laboratory tests imply.

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