Approximately six years after the litigation process started, Canadian authorities and Mercedes-Benz have finally reached a settlement about a class-action lawsuit linked to diesel emissions.
The settlement, which covers over 80,000 Mercedes diesel vehicles leased or sold to Canadians, was first announced in December 2021. Approval of the agreement by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was expected earlier this year, in February. Specific models implicated in the lawsuit include Mercedes-Benz models from 2009 to 2016 and Mercedes-Benz Sprinters from the model years 2010 to 2016, specifically the ones using BlueTEC II emission control systems.
According to the settlement, current and former lessees and owners of affected Mercedes-Benzes stand to receive the following:
- Cash payments – for vehicles in need of emissions repair, the maximum amount of compensation is $2,925; for former lessees and owners, the maximum amount of compensation is $835
- Buyback option for certain cases
- In cases where there is a delay in the emissions repairs or if vehicle performance has been affected and other similar reasons, the affected car owner may receive additional compensation from anywhere between $330.20 and $660.40
Legal representatives of the car owners were quick to comment on the settlement, with most of them saying the agreement offers real compensation, which is exactly what their clients deserve. They are also hoping it would bring them a step closer to the end of the years-long diesel emissions scandal that has shaken the automotive industry to its core.
Some legal representatives are eagerly looking forward to more agreements being settled in the next months, particularly in England and Wales, where the number of Mercedes diesel claim cases is consistently increasing.
The estimated total payout for the class-action lawsuit settlement is $243 million.
Why are car owners suing Mercedes?
Mercedes-Benz is one of the carmakers that were found to have violated emissions regulations when they installed defeat devices in their diesel vehicles. The Dieselgate scandal initially involved only the Volkswagen Group but soon became an industry-wide scam that started in the US, spread to Europe and the UK, and different parts of the world.
It was in September 2015 when US authorities discovered defeat devices in the VW Group’s Audi and Volkswagen diesel vehicles that were marketed and sold to United States residents. The carmaker initially denied the allegations but soon announced that they did commit an illegal act by using the cheat devices. Not long after, US authorities also sent a notice to Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company.
Other car manufacturers soon saw themselves in the hot seat as, one by one, authorities found out how they deceived customers by using defeat devices to cheat emissions testing.
A defeat device uses technology that allows it to know when a vehicle is in testing. Once the test starts, the device artificially lowers emissions levels and keeps these within the regulated limits of the World Health Organization (WHO). Thus, the device hides the correct emissions levels so authorities would believe the vehicle is environmentally safe.
The real emission amounts are uncovered when the vehicle is driven in real road conditions. Once on the road, it switches back to its default settings and releases massive amounts of NOx or nitrogen oxide emissions. The emission amounts almost always exceed the safe and legal limits mandated by the WHO and EU.
Nitrogen oxide is a dangerous gas – a group of gases that includes nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO).
Aside from being a catalyst for heavy pollutants such as acid rain, smog, and ground-level ozone, NOx emissions also impact human health negatively. It triggers mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and can affect a person’s cognitive abilities. Some research and reports even indicate a link between exposure to NOx emissions and Alzheimer’s disease.
A person’s overall health is significantly affected regardless of their level of exposure. Low-level exposure to NOx emissions can lead to the following complications:
- Chronic headaches
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
- Emphysema, bronchitis, and other respiratory issues
Exposure to high levels of NOx emissions can have several serious health impacts:
- Chronic lung function reduction
- Laryngospasm or vocal cords spasm
- Cardiovascular ailments
- Early death
These health impacts, NOx emissions’ environmental effects, and the deceit and lies that carmakers told their customers are the reasons why car owners are bringing forward diesel emissions claims against Mercedes-Benz. The claim allows affected drivers to receive compensation for the environmental, health-related, and financial inconvenience that their manufacturer has caused them.
Bringing a diesel claim
Daimler and Mercedes-Benz continue to deny the allegations against them but this shouldn’t deter affected car owners from seeking legal action. The first step is to verify your eligibility to file a claim. To do this, get in touch with ClaimExperts.co.uk. Once you’ve verified your eligibility, you can proceed to the next step in the diesel claim process.