Mercedes-Benz accused of emissions irregularities

  • Accusers say software allows 500% high NOx emissions...
  • Mercedes denies accusations
  • Already a UK lawsuit in the works

Mercedes-Benz accused of emissions cheating

Mercedes-Benz has yet again been accused of using special software that allows some of its cars to 'fake' nitrogen oxide emissions scores, to get past regulation tests.

It's the latest in a line of actions against the company. In 2018 the German road vehicle authority found parent company Daimler had been using prohibited defeat devices to modify the amount of emissions in certain circumstances.

And now Berlin-based Environmental Action Germany (DUH), a non-profit organisation, has accused Mercedes of using up to eight pieces of software or hardware on its Euro 6 compliant six-cylinder 3.0-litre BlueTec engines, as found in the E-Class.

What's been said?

Executive Director of the DUH, Jürgen Resch, said: 'These devices ensure that in almost all situations these cars aren't clean. They exceed NOx levels by 500% during normal driving. They flood cities with nitrogen oxide.

'The reason is about maximising profit at the expense of the environment and at the health of city dwellers.'

A spokesperson from Mercedes UK told Parkers: 'The outlined calibrations are known. In our view, these are not to be assessed as illegal defeat devices in the interaction and overall context of the highly complex emission control system

'The vast majority of rulings in German regional courts and higher regional courts continue to be in Daimler's favour: In approximately 95%of cases, the courts rule in favour of the company.

'At the regional court level, there are more than 15,500 decisions dismissing lawsuits in favour of the company; in only about 900 cases was the decision against the company.

'There are now around 900 decisions in our favour at the higher regional courts, and only three decisions against us.'

The German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) released a statement shortly after the allegations, saying: 'In the report, eight defeat devices of the relevant model with the OM 642 diesel engine are named. We are aware of these. They have already been checked and found to be not inadmissible.'

Mercedes E-Class estate

How is Mercedes accused of doing it?

The DUH tested a 2016 Mercedes E350 BlueTec 4MATIC and found a multitude of different strategies. They did this by measuring exhaust gas emissions and data from engine software.

The result? On the test station, the vehicles comply with the legal nitrogen oxide limits. With a similar driving profile on the road, however, nitrogen oxide emissions explode by up to 500%.

What this means for you

There are plans underway for lawsuits in the UK. US law firm Milberg Coleman Bryson is handling this.

Its Managing Director, Glenn Phillips,said: 'The class action lawsuit is already on the way in the UK.

'Daimler knew what they were doing. And they've hid it. We need to hold these manufacturers responsible.'

Before that, there is one piece of advice to take up immediately, according to Jürgen Resch. He said: 'We recommend that customers affected by this contact Mercedes and ask them to make the car work to the emissions regulations.'

If you're an owner and you're concerned it affects you, get in touch. We'll keep this story updated.

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Further reading

>> Everything about Mercedes

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