Collective actions

Mercedes lose trust following the emissions scandal

Our clients disclose their experience and how they’ve been affected by the Mercedes emission scandal.

29 November 2021

Man sitting in Mercedes

The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) found that Mercedes installed a cheating software in some of their diesel engines that limited emissions readings during vehicle emissions testing and therefore misrepresented the actual emissions during real-world driving. As a result, the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions of the engines didn’t comply with EU regulatory requirements. Mercedes, however, still deny any wrongdoing and have indicated their intention to appeal the KBA’s decision.

Despite Mercedes’ attempts to resolve the situation across a number of years, many Mercedes customers have lost trust in the brand and approached our Mercedes claims lawyers, working in the collective actions team here at Slater and Gordon, to bring a Mercedes Benz emissions claim.

In a recent client survey of those bringing claims against Mercedes, we found that a staggering 81% of those that had gone on to have the fix felt that Mercedes weren’t transparent about the potential issues that may arise.

How have customers been affected by the Mercedes diesel claim?

Mercedes markets its vehicles as premium quality, claiming that those models featuring its AdBlue technology were their ‘cleanest cars ever’. However following the recall of thousands of vehicles in order to carry out a software update (also known as the ‘fix’), many of our clients feel that their vehicles have depreciated faster than would normally be expected having experienced issues such as sudden loss of power, reduction in fuel efficiency and the engine management light turning on, of which they attribute to the stigma attached to owning a vehicle affected by the emissions scandal.

Our clients also claim that they wouldn’t have purchased the vehicle in the first place if they’d have known that they’d be required to be recalled and fixed, and feel misled.

Some clients have also reported that their vehicles now have lower MPG following the fix, as well as requiring more frequent maintenance with 25% of those surveyed claiming they’ve experienced reliability issues following the application of the fix.

Mr Murphy, one of a number of North East clients bringing a Mercedes emissions claim, said: “After my vehicle received the 'fix' from Mercedes, I experienced regular breakdowns until I had the Nitrous Oxide sensors replaced."

Our client, Graham Butler, also experienced reliability issues. Mr Butler said: "My son was driving my car to Slovakia with his wife and three young children when the problems started.

“Part-way through Germany, the AdBlue indicator came on and said they had only 1,000 miles left on the clock. On the journey back, he reached Folkestone and the car refused to start. He had to be towed.

“The driver told him he was the fifth diesel Mercedes to be towed that morning, all with the same problem.”

Gareth Pope, head of collective actions at Slater and Gordon, said: “Our clients will allege that Mercedes knowingly installed unlawful defeat devices in hundreds of thousands of UK vehicles that allowed them to pass emissions tests designed to protect human health and the environment while still being highly polluting on the road.

As a result, our clients will allege that they have been deceived into purchasing these polluting vehicles for more than they were worth.

Mercedes have indicated that they’ll oppose any claims our clients intend to bring.

How can Slater and Gordon help with your Mercedes claim?

It’s estimated that 600,000 vehicles could be affected in England, Wales and Scotland alone.

We have significant experience in a variety of collective actions claims. As the joint lead lawyers in the Volkswagen Emissions Collective Action, thought to be the largest collective action in British legal history, we’ve acted for around 70,000 of the 90,000 claimants. We achieved a major victory for our clients by proving that VW fitted 1.2 million vehicles with defeat devices. You can read more about this here.

You may be eligible to make a Mercedes Benz claim if your vehicle is manufactured by Mercedes and:

  • has a diesel engine
  • was made between 2008 and 2018
  • was acquired by way of lease or outright purchase, either new or second hand

To find out if you could be eligible for compensation in the Mercedes emissions claim, check your eligibility in seconds with our online checker where your results will be generated instantly.

Check your eligibility

If you’d like to learn more about the claim, find the answer to a number of questions from our experts over on our Mercedes claims FAQ page.

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