Mercedes’ Emission ‘Cheat Devices’ Sparks Massive Aussie Class Action


An Australian law firm has today filed a class action lawsuit potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars against Mercedes-Benz, after the motoring giant was accused once again of installing “cheat devices” in its vehicles to fraudulently lower emissions readings.

It’s the third time in four years that Daimler, the parent company, has been accused of installing the devices, which aim to beat regulatory testing by manipulating data about the release of harmful gases, including Nitrogen Oxide (NOx).

Last year, Daimler were accused of installing cheat devices in the engines for E-class vehicles, which hid NOx levels 500% higher than legally permissible. In 2018, the company was accused of the same conduct. A similar class action launched in the US has already resulted in a $1.3 billion settlement from Daimler.

The Australian class action, filed by law firm Gerard Malouf and Partners (GMP Law) for past and present owners of certain diesel vehicles, estimates tens of thousands of Mercedes diesel vehicles sold in Australia from 2008 to 2018 will be affected.

GMP Law are looking specifically to assist past or present owners of affected Mercedes diesel vehicles, either new or second-hand, manufactured on or after 1 January 2008 until 31 December 2018. Owners may be entitled to significant damages per vehicle, which could include a portion of the purchase price.

A spokesperson for GMP law said the company has entered an information sharing arrangement with leading US class action law firm, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP (HB) , the firm behind the class action in the US.

(IMAGE: Inko 6/Flickr)

In a written statement, Chairman of GMP Law, Gerard Malouf said partnership between HB and GMP Law was a significant step forward for Australian consumers affected by Mercedes’ conduct.

“Based upon the findings from the numerous international court proceedings as well as government investigations, we strongly believe Mercedes has been a serious case to answer,” Mr Malouf said.

“We intend to stand up for the rights of all consumers to protect their health, financial interests and the environment.

“We will run this case at our own cost without any risk to class members and will seek a group cost order without a legal funder to ensure class members receive the absolute maximum in damages from any award or settlement.”

The Class Action will seek compensation for the loss of value of affected vehicles, in addition to punitive damages. Past and present diesel Mercedes vehicle owners can register their interest here.

GMP Law has recently filed a similar Class Action against Hino Motor Sales Australia and Hino Motors Limited.

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.