The Mercedes-Benz-diesel emissions scandal
Not only Volkswagen c.s. equipped its diesel cars with cheating software. In recent years, it has become apparent that also Mercedes-Benz is involved in Dieselgate. Mercedes-Benz already recalled many of its diesel models in connection with the emissions control system. The German Type Approval Authority (KBA) has repeatedly instructed Mercedes-Benz to recall its diesel cars and take measures to remedy the defects related to the emission control systems.
"Clearly, there is an industry-wide problem. It takes a broad approach to reach an appropriate solution. Of course, we prefer to reach such a solution without having to go to court. But if necessary, we will ask the Dutch court to give motorist the right to return the affected diesels to their respective dealers - because not good means money back - and to recover the damages suffered from the car manufacturers."
- Guido van Woerkom
The use of cheating sotware is prohibited
The use of cheating software for the purpose of circumventing the rules, is prohibited. In December 2020, the European Court of Justice made it clear that the excuse of car manufacturers who say that the cheating software is necessary to protect the engine, is not valid. Car manufacturers who install cheating software into their cars for such reason, are breaking European laws.
“The judgment of the Court of Justice is an important milestone. Volkswagen has always emphasized that the cheating software it uses is not prohibited because the software would be necessary to protect the engine for example against wear and tear. The Court of Justice now has ruled that this argument is invalid. Car manufacturers who install cheating software in cars for such reasons are violating European laws.”
- Guido van Woerkom
Together we are strong!
The power of the collective: that is what we're going for. By uniting the voice of European consumers, the chance of receiving adequate compensation increases. Our ultimate goal: to ensure that the negative consequences of Dieselgate are not at your expense and risk.
How does the foundation help me?
In December 2020, we started legal proceedings against Mercedes-Benz (and others) in the Netherlands on behalf of the injured Dutch car owners. Possibly, also non-Dutch car owners will be able to join these proceedings against Mercedes-Benz. The court has yet to make a decision on this point. Regardless, the foundation also endeavours to protect your interests as a non-Dutch car owner outside the courtroom. For example, we regularly contribute to conferences (such as in the European Parliament). We also draw personal experiences from affected diesel car drivers, which we then introduce into our discussions with the various interest groups involved. We want to show that the emissions scandal has a huge impact on European car owners. We also want to come to a solution that tackles the issues that millions of car owners are facing every day because of the use of cheating software.
For non-Dutch car owners who individually want to take legal action against Mercedes-Benz, we work together with various partners in Europe, including a partner in Germany. Don't live in the Netherlands? Want to learn more about your options? Send us an e-mail. We would be happy to put you in touch with one of our partners in your own country.
Frequently Asked Question - Mercedes-Benz
The Car Claim foundation has been investigating Mercedes-Benzconduct for some time. In the years following the outbreak of the emissions scandal in September 2015, various authorities of European Union member states, environmental organisations, court-appointed experts, consumer organisations and other independent non-profit organisations carried out investigations and tests on diesel vehicles of different brands placed on the European market.
The results of these ongoing investigations and tests are shocking. They show that the Volkswagen EA189 diesel engine scandal was just the tip of an iceberg. In reality, several car manufacturers selling cars on the European market are systematically manipulating the emission control systems in their cars. In so doing, they use various illegal manipulation tools to gain an advantage. This is often to the detriment of motorists. The above-mentioned investigations and tests show that Mercedes-Benz uses various types of sham software to reduce the effectiveness of emission control systems under normal operating conditions.
The investigations and tests have also shown that many Mercedes-Benz diesel cars do not comply with European emission limits under normal conditions of use. Under the Euro 5 limits, diesel cars must not emit more than 180 mg of nitrogen oxide (NOx) per kilometer. Under the Euro 6 limits, diesel cars must not emit more than 80 mg of NOx per kilometer. The Mercedes-Benz vehicles in question emit considerably more NOx than is permitted under these European emission regulations.
The Court of Justice has made it clear that the use of manipulation devices that reduce the effectiveness of the emission control system in cars is prohibited in almost all cases. In addition, when used in practice, vehicles must comply with the statutory emission limits.
The diesel models from Mercedes-Benz in question do not meet these requirements and are therefore in breach of the law. The Car Claim foundation wrote to Mercedes-Benz in the summer of 2020 to draw its attention to its responsibility. We also asked Mercedes-Benz to consult with us about a solution for the aggrieved motorists. Mercedes-Benz did not respond to this invitation for consultation. On 30 December 2020 foundation Car Claim therefore issued a writ of summons in the ongoing collective action procedure against Mercedes-Benz.
Our foundation wants Mercedes-Benz to recall the diesel vehicles concerned (purchased or leased by European motorists). We also want Mercedes-Benz to ensure that these vehicles, under normal conditions of use, fully comply with the emission regulations of the European Union and the respective member states. In addition, we want Mercedes-Benz to ensure and warrant that the measures taken to ensure that the diesel vehicles concerned comply with the law will not have any negative impact on the vehicles or on the way in which they can be used.
Is it not possible to repair the diesel vehicles concerned properly and completely and to ensure that the measures do not have an adverse effect? Then the foundation wants European motorists to have the option of returning their affected diesel vehicle to Mercedes-Benz or to a Mercedes-Benz dealer for a (full) refund of the purchase price. Are motorists unable or unwilling, for whatever reason, to return the relevant diesel vehicle to Mercedes-Benz. Then the Foundation wants these motorists to make good their losses.
You are eligible to participate if:
- you are a (former) owner, lease holder or fleet operator of one of the affected diesel models below;
- your diesel vehicle has a EURO 5 or EURO 6 type approval; and
- your diesel vehicle was manufactured in the period between 1 January 2009 and the end of 2019.
Would you like to join the class action against Mercedes-Benz? Please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Vehicle model
- Year built
- VIN and/or registration number (found on your registration certificate)
- Email address
- Telephone number
You will then receive a message as soon as possible about your application and whether you qualify for a possible reimbursement and fully reimbursed.
Based on the investigation conducted by the foundation, at least the following Mercedes-Benz diesel models are currently involved in the diesel emissions scandal:
A Class (2009-2019), B Class (2009-2019), C Class (2009-2019), CLA (2009-2019), CITAN (2009-2019), GLA (2009-2019), CLS Class (2009-2019), E Class (2009-2019), G Class (2009-2019), GLC (2009-2019), GLE (2009-2019), GLK (2009-2019), GLS 350D (2009-2019), M Class (2009-2019), ML (2009-2019), S Class (2009-2019), SLK (2009-2019), SPRINTER (2009-2019), V Class (2009-2019), VITO (2009-2019).
You can find more information here.