Mercedes-Benz Sued Over Diesel Emissions

By Paul Riegler on 19 February 2016
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Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec engine

Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec engine

A Mercedes-Benz owner has accused the German automaker of installing a piece of software in its diesel cars that allows them to pollute more in cold temperatures.

The suit, filed in Illinois, differs from the many filed against Volkswagen, which allege that the Wolfsburg-based automaker installed a so-called defeat device that allows its diesel-powered vehicles to pass emissions tests by producing lower emissions in the test cycle than on the road.

The plaintiff alleges that Mercedes turns off the system that reduces nitrogen oxide in its exhaust when ambient temperatures fall below 50° F (10° C).

“Mercedes never disclosed to consumers that Mercedes diesels with BlueTEC engines may be ‘clean’ diesels when it is warm, but are ‘dirty’ diesels when it is not,” the complaint reads. “Mercedes never disclosed that, when the temperature drops below 50 degrees, it prioritizes engine power and profits over people.”

Mercedes, which last year announced it was dropping the BlueTec nameplate for its diesels and reverting to a simple “d” as part of the model number, called the charges “baseless.”

The suit was filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, a law firm that represents numerous Volkswagen owners in their claims against that automaker.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)