A California owner of a Mercedes BlueTEC diesel automobile today filed a second class-action lawsuit against Mercedes stating the automaker knowingly programmed its Clean Diesel vehicles to emit illegal, dangerous levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) at levels up to 65 times higher than those permitted by the EPA when operating in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to consumer-rights law firmHagens Berman.
The suit, filed Feb. 19, 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accuses Mercedes of deceiving consumers with false representations of its BlueTEC vehicles, which it marketed as "the world's cleanest and most advanced diesel" with "ultra-low emissions, high fuel economy and responsive performance" that emits "up to 30% lower greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline." According to the complaint, on-road testing confirmed that Mercedes' so-called Clean Diesel cars produced average on-road NOx emissions that are 19 times higher than the U.S. standard, with some instantaneous readings as high as 65 times more than the U.S. limit.
"We believe consumers deserve payback from Mercedes for its fraudulent marketing and sales of these dirty diesels," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman.
The suit seeks relief for those who purchased the affected vehicles, including injunctive relief in the form of a recall or free replacement program and restitution including either recovery of the purchase price or overpayment or diminution in value due to Mercedes' misleading statements and omissions regarding the emission levels of its Clean Diesel BlueTEC vehicles.
The lawsuit alleges that the following Mercedes models powered by BlueTEC diesel-fueled engines are affected by the unlawful, unfair, deceptive and otherwise defective emission controls utilized by Mercedes. Contact Hagens Berman to find out your rights, if you purchased or leased one of the following affected BlueTEC vehicles:
The suit's named plaintiff, California resident Gwendolyn (Wendy) Andary, is a longtime supporter of green issues. She is also a longtime fan of Mercedes, particularly in what she thought were the brand's earth-friendly BlueTEC vehicles, having owned five different Mercedes models in recent history, two of them being BlueTEC models.
"From the moment I first heard about them, I believed these cars truly utilized some amazing and groundbreaking technology," Wendy said. "I thought these cars combined style and being good to the environment, and I was a proud owner, going well out of my way to find what I thought was the perfect car. I really felt this brand could do no wrong."
In 2011, Wendy sought to make an informed purchase and looked to Mercedes' newest line of touted eco-friendly vehicles BlueTEC.
"When I leased the 2011 E350 BlueTEC, I could not believe all the amazing things it would do, and the mileage and safety features of Mercedes just sealed the deal," she said. "I leased an E350 BlueTEC and own a GLK 250 BlueTEC specifically because they were eco-friendly. I was probably one of Mercedes' biggest cheerleaders when it came to these cars."
Due to the automaker's aggressive marketing, Mercedes' BlueTEC vehicles were incredibly popular with those seeking a greener option. Wendy remained a fan of what she thought was an eco-friendly option from Mercedes, and when her lease was up on her E350 BlueTEC, she purchased another BlueTEC model which she currently owns a GLK 250 BlueTEC.
"Devastated doesn't even begin to describe it," Wendy said. "Mercedes is an automaker that I trusted without a shadow of a doubt, so when they promised these cars performed this way, I believed them. It's inconceivable that a company would attempt to lie to consumers who are doing their best to make informed decisions and are looking for a safe vehicle that's also safe for the environment."
Wendy now faces the same reality as more than 100,000 U.S. Mercedes BlueTEC owners that Mercedes duped them into purchasing a vehicle that pollutes well above the EPA-regulated national limits and is contributing vastly to environmental degradation each time they start the engine, according to the complaint.
Find out more about the class-action lawsuit against Mercedes.
About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal's Plaintiffs' Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
Ashley Klann, 206-268-9363