Daimler AG, owner of Mercedes-Benz, is suspected of installing “defeat devices” in their diesel vehicles, which is prohibited under EU legislation. The software engages emissions-reducing equipment once it detects that a vehicle is undergoing an emission test. The masking helps the software-installed car pass emissions testing. In real-world driving, these cars will emit NOx gases that are far above the limits that the EU regulatory body has set .

Mercedes-Benz uses the BlueTEC engine that delivers a significant decrease in pollutants. The company claiming that it is one of the world’s cleanest and most efficient power units drew the attention of ecologically aware customers. This didn’t go well as Daimler’s false declaration that their vehicles have low emission levels resulted to German prosecutors handing the automaker a £776 million fine for its part in the emissions scandal.

History repeats itself

What Daimler is going through is a repeat of something that first happened years ago, which is now known as the Dieselgate emission scandal.

In September 2015, German car group Volkswagen was involved in a controversy surrounding the use of the same scheme Daimler used. Around 90,000 motorists in England and Wales filed a class-action lawsuit against some car brands under the Volkswagen Group such as VW, Audi, Seat, and Skoda. This damaged Volkswagen and resulted in the imprisonment of their US senior executive. The global scandal cost VW tens of billions of pounds in penalties and compensation payments.

Porsche Cayenne in the US also had its share of the scandal in June 2017, followed by BMW in December of the same year.

Recalls and repairs

In the US, the recalls will be carried out in phases until January 2022, with owners receiving notices by mail when their vehicle is available for a repair. According to documents linked to the lawsuit, nearly every Mercedes-Benz car, van, or SUV with a BlueTEC diesel engine from 2010 to 2016 will receive a new copper catalyst, a new NOx sensor, and updated emission software. Around 85% of cars and SUVs must be repaired within two years, and 85% of vans within three years.

Why diesel engines need to be regulated

The gases emitted by diesel engines are called NOx, a combination of nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide. Both are harmful to the health and environment. NOx, which also damages the ozone layer, is 300 times more dangerous than CO2 and can cause breathing problems, headaches, and eye irritation. It is a nitrogen-based pollutant that produces acid rain.

Long-term pollution exposure shortens the human lifespan. According to London Councils, poor air quality is a leading cause of 9,400 premature deaths per year in London alone. This costs the health service between £1.4-£3.7 billion a year. The gases can irritate the airways and make breathing difficult. Additionally, NOx emissions can react with other chemicals, causing more significant respiratory issues and aggravating cardiac disorders.

Consumer rights

Owners or lessees of Mercedes-Benz diesel cars or vans registered between 2009 and 2018 may be eligible for reimbursement. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPUT) allows a claimant to collect up to 100% of the vehicle’s purchase price. They potentially qualify for anything between £23,775 and £96,220, depending on their vehicle type.

The claims are expected to be consolidated under a single group litigation order, which is a legal tool that permits thousands of comparable claims to be heard as a single case, akin to a class action in the United States. Although Daimler and Mercedes-Benz do not admit to the allegations saying that they “will vigorously defend against them or any group action”, the claimants believe the installation of the defeat device was intentional. A litigator from one of the law firms handling the case has said that it was a misrepresentation of what the vehicles were capable of.

How to claim for compensation

Taking legal action against Daimler can prevent other car manufacturers from making the same mistake, although there are about 11 other car brands that have resorted to using the defeat device scheme. Some of them potentially include Renault, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, and Citroën.

If you believe that your diesel vehicle is one of the affected units of the emissions scandal, you can make a claim to get compensated for damages that your supposedly low emission vehicle caused you. Whether you leased your car, sold it, or even if it is pre-owned, you can register if it falls within the year 2009 up to 2018.

Experts involved in this litigation will bring this to court on a “No Win-No Fee” basis. The diesel emission experts in emissions.co.uk can walk you through the whole process from registering your vehicle up until the court proceedings. Contact emissions.co.uk now for your emissions compensation claim.