Tuesday 11 August 2020

Dutch class action group takes fire at Mercedes for emissions fraud

Traffic is a major source of inner city pollution. Photo: Depositphotos.com

A Dutch mass claim foundation which is suing Volkswagen for manipulating emissions tests is now turning its attention to Daimler.

The foundation has filed papers with the Amsterdam court claiming that the newest Mercedes diesel cars contain software to hide the true extent of their emissions, which are so high as to break EU rules.

Two Dutch car import companies and 21 dealerships are also included in the summons. The Netherlands introduced new legislation making mass claims of this sort possible in March 2020.

The foundation claims Daimler is using illegal instruments to manipulate the results of 12, but possibly up to 17, different types of diesel car and van.

‘Apart from affecting your wallet, this may have had a negative impact on your health and the environment,’ the foundation said. ‘With its unethical conduct, Mercedes has engaged in consumer fraud and therefore must be held accountable.

Now Daimler has refused to reach a ‘joint settlement’ with car owners, there is little option but to go to court, the foundation says. ‘Consumers who bought these cars have simply been conned by the maker,’ foundation director Femke Hendriks told the Financieele Dagblad.

Daimler denies any wrong-doing and says it will defend itself against all such unfounded claims, the FD said.

Last year the company was fined €870m by the German authorities after government inspectors identified the instruments in a long list of vehicles. The Dutch foundation has commissioned its own research into the software.

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