A class action lawsuit has been filed against Mercedes alleging that it knowingly programmed its BlueTEC Clean Diesel vehicles to emit nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels up to 65 times higher than those permitted by the EPA when operating in temperatures below 50° Fahrenheit.



Update: EPA Requests Diesel Emissions Data from Mercedes

March 1, 2016 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today it had not opened an official investigation into Mercedes-Benz’s line of BlueTEC diesels, but had requested information to explain emissions levels in the vehicles. According to Reuters, the request followed a class action lawsuit which accused Mercedes of deceiving consumers with false representations of its BlueTEC automobiles, which it marketed as “the world’s cleanest and most advanced diesel.”

Daimler AG, the company that owns Mercedes, said the vehicles conformed to all rules and regulations; however, under certain conditions, a system used to treat exhaust fumes could operate at a level of reduced effectiveness to prevent condensation from building up in the exhaust system.

What’s the Problem?

February 18, 2016 – The class action alleges that the Mercedes BlueTEC diesels in question turn off their pollution controls at ambient temperatures below 50° Fahrenheit, allowing the vehicles to put out far more than the legal limit of NOx and other pollutants, according to Bloomberg. The lawsuit comes 5 months after Volkswagen admitted it had installed defeat device software in its diesel vehicles to cheat emissions testing. The automaker continues to face backlash from both the public and government agencies, including federal lawsuits of close to $46 billion.

Which Models are Affected?

The following Mercedes BlueTEC diesel-fueled engines may contain emissions cheat software:

  • E Class
  • E320
  • GLK Class
  • GLE Class
  • GL Class
  • GL 320
  • ML Class
  • ML 320
  • ML 350
  • R Class
  • R320
  • S Class
  • S350
  • Sprinter

The class action accuses Mercedes of deceiving consumers with false representations of its BlueTEC automobiles, which it marketed as “the world’s cleanest and most advanced diesel” with “ultra-low emissions, high fuel economy and responsive performance” that emit “up to 30% lower greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline.”  

According to the lawsuit, on-road testing confirmed that Mercedes BlueTEC diesels produced average on-road NOx emissions that are 19x higher than the U.S. standard, with some instantaneous readings as high as 65x above the U.S. limit.

Consumers were misled into purchasing an environmentally friendly car that actually emits far more pollutants than advertised, according to the complaint. They now own vehicles that do not comply with U.S. emission standards and are decreasing in resale value because of it. Additionally, any fix that Mercedes may develop will likely adversely affect the vehicles’ performance, fuel economy and expected life. As a result of these problems, Mercedes owners now have the option of filing a class action lawsuit against the company for purposefully deceiving them into purchasing a BlueTEC diesel vehicle.

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