Derbyshire driver to sue Mercedes over alleged role in ‘dieselgate’ scandal

A Derbyshire man has joined a group of people who plan to sue Mercedes over the company’s alleged role in the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 12:36 pm

In June 2018, the German Federal Motor Transport Authority accused Mercedes of fitting ‘cheating software’ into their diesel engines, which limited emissions during testing.

It is alleged this underrepresented the true emissions released on the road, resulting in Mercedes diesel engines not complying with regulations on nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

Mercedes disputes the claims.

The firm was forced to recall 774,000 vehicles across Europe and owners now face potentially having to pay for their vehicles to be fixed so that they comply with emissions.

Mercedes said it ‘considers the claims made against our company to be unfounded’.

Ripley man Richard Spencer-Skeen is working with national consumer rights law firm Slater and Gordon to bring a claim against Mercedes.

The claim is expected to become a group action litigation, with tens of thousands of consumers working together to ‘hold Mercedes to account’, as they put it.

Mr Spencer-Skeen said: “I was shocked to learn of Mercedes’ use of defeat devices in their diesel cars and am keen that all of us who have been let down by Mercedes should receive the compensation we are due.

“It was especially disappointing to see that Mercedes colluded with other car manufacturers to suppress technology that could have reduced the vehicles’ emissions and protected the environment.”

Gareth Pope, the lawyer in charge of the claim at Slater and Gordon, added: “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.”

A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said: "We consider the claims made against our company to be unfounded and will defend ourselves with the necessary legal means.

“Mercedes-Benz is appealing against the administrative orders of the German Federal Motor Transport Authority. The courts will clarify the correct interpretation of relevant legal standards in this complex technical environment.

“In our view, the emission control functionalities objected to in the administrative orders by KBA are permissible.”

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