Mercedes in Hot Water over Diesel Emission Cheat Device Claims
Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, has been accused of fitting their vehicles with defeat devices that allow them to cheat on emissions testing. This development, however, is nothing new for the company as the Mercedes Benz emissions scandal has been going on for years. It started months after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered in 2015 that Volkswagen allegedly fitted defeat devices inside cars they sold to American car owners. This incident became known as the Dieselgate scandal.
Since the emissions scandal broke, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and other manufacturers also implicated in the scam have been paying fines, settling compensation claims, and recalling vehicles so they can upgrade them with newer and safer systems.
In 2018, Daimler recalled over 700,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Germany in relation to defeat devices allegations. The manufacturer also paid fines that totalled to £776 million. Earlier this year, the KBA or German Federal Motor Transport Authority added 113,000 vehicles to the list of Mercedes-Benz vehicles to be recalled.
At present, reports suggest that there are approximately 500,000 vehicles fitted with defeat devices in the UK.
What are defeat devices?
Defeat devices are software installed inside vehicles that automatically suppress nitrogen oxide emissions whenever the car they’re installed in is being tested. The suppressed fumes are of a level that follows EU and World Health Organization regulations.
However, when the cars are driven in real-world conditions, the defeat device reverts to its usual setting and the car emits a volume of pollutants that’s above the legal limits. Under EU law, these devices are illegal.
Why are defeat devices pollutants dangerous?
The pollutants that vehicles emit are nitrogen oxides (or NOx), which contains a combination of nitric acid (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). While nitric acid is not as harmful as nitrogen dioxide, the latter is known to have adverse effects on the environment and human health.
NOx produces acid rain, smog, and ground-level ozone. All three are harmful to the environment, which means they also affect human health. In addition, nitrogen oxides are also responsible for forming particulate matter, specifically PM2.5 or fine particulate matter.
Fine particulate matter can easily reach deep into the lungs. This can lead to short-term health issues such as shortness of breath, sneezing, coughing, and lung, throat, and lung irritation. Exposure to PM2.5 can also aggravate existing health issues such as heart disease and asthma, and may have adverse effects on lung function. Fine particulate matter may also lead to increased hospital admissions caused by cardiovascular and respiratory-related issues.
Exposure to NO2 (or NOx) over long periods can cause severe health effects such as increased risks to respiratory infections, breathing problems, and lung damage. In severe cases, it can even lead to premature death.
According to some studies, NOx emissions can also trigger mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety.
Aside from health effects, NOx can harm the environment as well. For example, acid rain is dangerous for the ecosystems – ponds, forests, and lakes. Acid rain is precipitation that comes with nitric or sulphuric acid. Some examples of weather patterns that harbour NOx include snow, hail, fog, and rain.
Mercedes diesel emissions claims
The Mercedes diesel scandal initially focused on models that were manufactured between the years 2012 and 2018, but as mentioned earlier, additional vehicles have been added to the list. At present, the list includes the German manufacturer’s Euro 5 diesel engines and the A, B, C, E, and S-Class cars that were created between the years 2008 and 2011.
Other Mercedes-Benz models implicated in the scandal include the GLC, CLS, GLK, GLE, SLC, SLK, M-Class, Vito, and Sprinter vehicles.
All affected car owners are liable to get emission compensation for the financial inconvenience and health risks the defeat devices have given them. In the UK, lawyers have already talked to and gathered thousands of claimants for the emissions payouts. Each car owner can get approximately £5,000 if the class-action is a success.
How to file your diesel emission claim
If you think you are affected by the Dieselgate Mercedes emissions claims, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with Mercedes-Benz or any of their representatives. If your vehicle has been identified as affected, they will send you a notice of recall. This will allow you to turn over your vehicle to them so they can upgrade it to legal and safer software/engines.
Claimants are potentially able to receive as much as 100% of their vehicle’s purchase price once it is proven that it is fitted with a defeat device.
The compensation claims process can be challenging and tedious, but Mercedes-Benz and all the manufacturers who caused environmental and human damage by installing defeat devices must be held accountable for their illegal actions.
Working with an experienced team of emissions experts will help you go through the claims process. Most of them offer a no-win, no-fee package, so you won’t have to spend or pay for anything if you don’t win the case. Find a Mercedes emissions claim team that’s ready to guide you every step of the way, like the ones at Emissions.co.uk.