Mercedes Diesel Own­ers File New Law­suit in US

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

Own­ers of Mercedes diesel cars filed a new class-ac­tion law­suit in the United States say­ing the ve­hi­cles likely con­tained a “de­feat de­vice” used to cheat emis­sions test­ing, an ac­cu­sa­tion that Daim­ler, which owns the car­maker, de­nied. US law firm Ha­gens Berman, which had al­ready filed a com­plaint in Fe­bru­ary, said new tests had shown that Mercedes BlueTEC cars pro­duced ni­tro­gen ox­ide emis­sions in vir­tu­ally all road tests that were far higher than in con­trolled lab tests.

“The fact that Mercedes passed the dy­namome­ter test in all tests, but failed the real world test, is sug­ges­tive that like VW, Mercedes is im­ple­ment­ing a ‘de­feat de­vice’,” it said in its com­plaint filed in the Dis­trict Court of New Jersey.

Daim­ler said in a state­ment on Fri­day: “We con­sider this class-ac­tion law­suit to be un­founded. Our po­si­tion re­mains un­changed: A com­po­nent that in­ad­mis­si­bly re­duces emis­sions is not used in Mercedes-Benz ve­hi­cles.”

BlueTEC is a fil­ter sys­tem which uses urea to help rid ex­haust fumes of health threat­en­ing ni­tric ox­ides. It is fairly costly and used mainly in heav­ier cars like Di­amler’s large lim­ou­sines or sports util­ity ve­hi­cles, which are equipped with pow­er­ful diesel en­gines.

The com­plaint pre­vi­ously filed by Ha­gens Berman was more lim­ited, al­leg­ing that Daim­ler know­ingly pro­grammed its so-called clean diesel ve­hi­cles to emit il­le­gal lev­els of ni­tro­gen ox­ide in low tem­per­a­tures.

The US En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency said at the time it had re­quested in­for­ma­tion from Daim­ler in light of the law­suit but had not opened an of­fi­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

VW, Europe’s big­gest car­maker, is fac­ing its big­gest crisis in re­cent mem­ory af­ter it ac­knowl­edged last Septem­ber that it had rigged ex­haust emis­sion tests for up to 11 mil­lion ve­hi­cles world­wide.

The new tar­get

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