Mercedes-Benz is one of the carmakers involved in the diesel emissions scandal that shocked the entire automobile industry. The German carmaker has been busy paying billions in fines, legal costs, and compensation payouts even though they continue to deny the emissions cheating allegations. The number of affected customers has been growing by the day.
Recently, a consumer protection law firm in the UK has been encouraging affected car owners to claim for diesel emissions after another German carmaker, Volkswagen, has settled with their UK customers. The out-of-court settlement was finalised last May and lawyers for some of the Mercedes drivers believe that it is the best time for drivers who have not yet done so to finally sign up for their claims.
The VW settlement with British drivers had the carmaker agree to a £193 million payout to over 90,000 affected car owners in England and Wales. By settling with their customers, Volkswagen just avoided going through a lengthy and expensive court trial.
After the settlement was finalised, Volkswagen apologised to their customers but also firmly stated that the resolution is not an admission of their liability or the allegations against them.
This UK settlement follows a 2020 agreement worth approximately £720.54 million for their involvement in the emissions scandal. The proposal was finalised between VW and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations.
In October 2021, law firms representing around 14,000 Mercedes car owners got together to bring an emissions claim against the carmaker. Affected drivers who have not done so are urged to register their claims.
Diesel emissions scandal
In 2015, the Dieselgate diesel emissions scandal was thrust into the spotlight. Volkswagen and Audi vehicles in the US were discovered to have defeat devices in them and this caught the attention of the California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. US authorities alleged that VW used the defeat devices to cheat emission tests.
While the vehicle is being tested, its emissions levels are temporarily capped by the defeat device so that the amount of toxic gases emitted remains within the regulated World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended limits. This made the vehicle appear fuel-efficient to the authorities. In reality, however, a vehicle with a defeat device is not compliant with emission laws.
When the vehicle is taken out of the lab and driven in real-world conditions, however, it switches to its default mode. This results in its emissions levels going back to their usual volume, the vehicle releasing massive amounts of nitrogen oxide or NOx into the air.
Nitrogen oxide is one of the deadliest gases emitted through road transport because it causes negative effects on a person’s health and the environment. As such, the goal of the world’s governments should be to reduce NOx emissions.
Volkswagen lied to their customers when they sold their diesel vehicles as top-of-the-line, environmentally friendly products. They deceived their clients into paying a premium price for something illegal.
VW has paid (and continues to pay) billions for settlement payouts, legal costs, and fines.
The Mercedes emissions scandal broke a few years after the VW case erupted. US authorities were once again the first ones to detect the defeat devices. A class-action lawsuit was started by owners of diesel Mercedes-Benzes in the United States.
In the UK, however, the first claims action against the carmaker was brought to court only in the latter part of 2020. However, legal representatives are expecting around one million car owners to make a claim. One legal firm has already gathered claims from about 600,000 affected Mercedes drivers.
The diesel emissions scandal has had adverse effects on the environment. It has increased pollution levels and vegetation is affected, particularly the health and growth of plants and crops. It is the NOx emissions from diesel engines, however, that have the most life-altering impacts on a person.
Exposure to NOx emissions opens up a person to different health issues. If the exposure is low-level, the most common impacts are asthma, fluid in the lungs, and breathing problems. Respiratory issues such as emphysema and bronchitis are also quite common.
For persons with high-level NOx emissions exposure, the impacts are often serious. Susceptibility to certain cancers is increased while vocal cords spasm is also a possibility. Other effects include asphyxiation, chronic lung function reduction, and premature death. The past few years have seen an increase in early deaths linked to air pollution, such as the one of Ella-Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, a young girl who resided in South London before she died of air pollution. Hers was the first case of its kind in the world.
VW, Mercedes, and the other carmakers involved in the Dieselgate scandal are responsible for the health impacts affected car owners have had to go through. They should be held accountable for their actions and making an emissions claim should be made a priority.
Your right to diesel claims
If you believe that your Mercedes-Benz (or any other vehicle) has a defeat device, you should start making a claim against your carmaker. Not everyone is eligible to make one, so you should first determine your eligibility to bring a diesel claim.
All that you need to do is visit ClaimExperts.co.uk to see if you are eligible. If you are, then you can start your claims process with their panel of solicitors.