Rochdale residents band together to sue Mercedes over the Dieselgate scandal
Several residents have come together to sue Mercedes for their involvement in the so-called Dieselgate scandal.
Three residents of Rochdale, Greater Manchester are hoping to make a claim that can reach £ 10,000 after Mercedes was found by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority that it used defeat devices to avoid complying with the Diesel Vehicle Emissions Act.
The auto giant is appealing the authority’s decision.
Affected diesel Mercedes vehicles were manufactured between 2008 and 2018 and drivers can join the claim regardless of whether they bought their affected vehicle new or used.
Rochdalians Robert Campbell, Farah Hussain and Shiraz Siddique are working with national consumer law firm Slater and Gordon to bring the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is expected to become a class action, with tens of thousands of affected consumers working together to hold Mercedes accountable.
However, Mercedes-Benz replied: “We consider the claims made against our company to be unfounded and will defend ourselves with the necessary legal means.”
Robert Campbell said: “My family and I were shocked to learn about Mercedes’ use of defeat devices in their diesel cars and we are keen that all of us who have been let down by Mercedes receive the compensation they owe, especially after we already “paid a heavy price to drive their diesel cars.”
An estimated 600,000 diesel-powered Mercedes vehicles in the UK built between 2008 and 2018 may have defeat devices installed in their cars to pass emissions tests.
Slater and Gordon currently represent approximately 14,000 plaintiffs across the country and are also joint lead attorneys in the Volkswagen Dieselgate lawsuit.
The claim is fully funded by Asertis, an independent litigation financier that enables people to seek compensation from Mercedes without risking their own money.
Gareth Pope, Slater and Gordon attorney responsible for the lawsuit, said: “Our clients will allege that Mercedes knowingly installed unlawful defeat devices in hundreds of thousands of UK vehicles that have enabled them to conduct emissions tests to protect human health and the environment, while they are still very polluting on the road.
“As a result, our customers will claim they were deceived into buying these polluting vehicles for more than they were worth.
“As part of the deception, our customers will also claim that Mercedes participated in a cartel with other German manufacturers, including Volkswagen, to suppress the development and implementation of cleaner emissions technologies to maximize their profits.”
In June 2018, Mercedes was discovered by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) that it had installed fraudulent software in its diesel engines to circumvent regulatory requirements and had to recall 774,000 vehicles across Europe.
It is alleged that these “shutdown devices” limited emissions during testing as they reflect actual emissions on the road, causing Mercedes diesel engines to fail to comply with nitrogen oxide (NOx) regulations.
The KBA also ordered Mercedes to recall about 90,000 affected vehicles in England and Wales, as well as issuing voluntary recall notifications and installing a “fix” so that the vehicles comply with emissions regulations.
A spokesman for Mercedes-Benz said: “Mercedes-Benz is appealing against the decisions of the KBA.
“The courts will clarify the correct interpretation of relevant legal norms in this complex technical environment.
“The exhaust gas cleaning functionalities complained about in the official orders of the KBA are permissible from our point of view.
“Nevertheless, Mercedes-Benz implemented the recall measures ordered by the KBA and voluntary measures for other diesel vehicles in order to reduce the average NOx emissions in real driving.
“Our vehicles still have a valid registration with the responsible authorities. The vehicles are not subject to any impairment of usability or functionality. This also applies against the background of the recalls ordered by the KBA. “
The Mercedes parent company Daimler has settled a US $ 1.5 billion investigation and a US $ 700 million class action lawsuit against it.
The spokesman added: “Our track record in Germany demonstrates our strong legal position. We see essential points of our legal opinion confirmed by the numerous judgments of the German regional and higher regional courts.
“The decisions are almost unanimously in our favor (in approx. 95% of the cases). The German higher regional courts alone have passed more than 800 judgments in our favor and only two against the company.
“As is well known, Daimler cooperated extensively with the European Commission as a leniency applicant at an early stage and was therefore not fined.
“The European Commission has expressly found no evidence that there was an agreement on the use of prohibited defeat devices. The Commission has not made any determinations as to whether the diesel cars sold in the relevant period met the regulatory requirements.
“From our point of view, the investigations are not related to lawsuits from customers in Europe in connection with diesel.”
Residents can check here whether a vehicle they own or have owned in the past was affected by the scandal and whether they can join the lawsuit, here: https://bit.ly/3ErtmzD