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What is the claim about?

Leigh Day are investigating a potential group claim against Mercedes-Benz over an alleged ‘cheat device’ fitted on some of their cars in order to artificially reduce emissions to pass EU Emissions tests. We believe that this software is unlawful under UK law and we are planning on bringing legal claims for compensation on behalf of consumers who purchased those vehicles that were affected.

What did Mercedes do?

We are fighting for compensation on behalf of owners of Mercedes BlueTEC vehicles who we believe were deliberately misled over the environmental performance of their vehicles.

Mercedes advertised BlueTEC vehicles, using AdBlue technology, as a way of reducing emissions, promising their ‘cleanest diesel cars ever’.

However, the KBA (the German road vehicle authority) found that Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes, had used a software to alter diesel emissions. It ordered Mercedes to recall those vehicles that were affected. The German Courts also concluded that Daimler have also been using a prohibited defeat device.

The purpose of Ad Blue, or Diesel exhaust fluid, in the BlueTEC vehicles is to reduce the amount of air pollution created by a diesel engine. Specifically, it is used in selective catalytic reduction that lowers NOx concentration in the diesel exhaust emissions.

In Mercedes vehicles the control of nitrogen oxide emissions is carried out via exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). During EGR, part of the exhaust gas is fed back into the intake system of the engine and takes part in the combustion again reducing the level of NOx in the emissions. The EGR is reduced at cooler outside temperatures (the so-called ‘thermal window’).

We believe that owners of the affected vehicles should be compensated because they were mis-sold these vehicles, which were advertised as being more environmentally friendly with lower NOx emissions.

Increased levels of nitrogen dioxide emissions are harmful to the environment and to the health of children and adults.

What is the current position?

We are currently gathering enquiries and asking vehicle owners to register an interest with us by completing a simple online form and we will keep them updated on the potential group legal claim.

Can all Mercedes owners bring a claim?

Only people who bought or leased an affected vehicle are able to bring to a claim. Not every Mercedes vehicle is affected. If you think your vehicle is affected, or if you think you may be but are not sure, please complete our online form and a member of our team will contact you.

Which models are affected?

The following Mercedes-Benz models are affected:
  • Citan
  • CLS
  • E-Class
  • GLC
  • GLE
  • GLK
  • GLS
  • Vito
  • V-Class

Does this apply to petrol or diesel vehicles?

This claim only relates to diesel vehicles.

How can I check if my vehicle is affected?

You may have already received a recall letter confirming that your vehicle is affected. We can also check if your vehicle is affected if you complete our form and provide us with your VIN.

What do I need to do?

Complete our form as fully as possible. We will need you to provide us with your vehicle identification number (VIN) so that we confirm if your vehicle is affected.

What is a VIN?

The VIN is a 17-digit number starting with a 3-letter code.  For example, for Mercedes-Benz cars, these letters could be WDB or WDC, or WDB or WDF for Mercedes-Benz Vans. You should be able to find the VIN at various locations on your car. Frequently you can find your VIN number in one of the following locations: on the driver's side door jam (sometimes on the passenger's side), under the windshield on the driver's side, near the firewall of the vehicle or on the steering column.

What will it cost me?

By completing the form you are simply registering an interest to join the group claim, and no obligation to pay a fee. We will be bringing these claims on a 'No Win-No Fee' basis. This means that we’ll deduct up to 30% of your damages if the claim is successful, but if the claim is lost you will not have to pay anything.

Once you have completed a form and we have checked that you are eligible to bring a claim, we will send you a copy of our funding agreement for you to review.

Can I bring a claim if I bought my vehicle on finance?

Yes, provided you bought an affected vehicle, you are able to bring a claim.

Can I bring a claim if I have a company car?

Yes, if the contract is in your name and the vehicle is affected, you are able to bring a claim.

Can I bring a claim if my vehicle is leased?

Yes, if the contract is in your name and the vehicle is affected, you are able to bring a claim.

I have sold my vehicle, can I claim?

Provided you are able to confirm that your vehicle is affected, yes. You will need to check your VIN and we will ask you to provide us with your vehicle purchase documents.

Can I claim for more than one vehicle?

Provided all the vehicles you want to claim for are affected, yes. We need you to complete a separate questionnaire for each of your vehicles.

Does it matter where I bought my vehicle?

No, it does not matter where you bought your Mercedes-Benz vehicle. You are eligible to claim whether you bought your vehicle from a Mercedes-Benz showroom, or from a third party dealer.

Am I able to claim is my vehicle is second hand?

Yes, you will still be able to claim whether your vehicle was bought new or second hand.

Why should I instruct Leigh Day?

Leigh Day is one of the country's leading law firms, we are not a claims management company. Bringing group actions on behalf of consumers is one of Leigh Day's key areas of specialty and we have been involved in some of the largest group actions ever taken in the UK.
We are joint-lead lawyers in the emissions litigation on behalf of UK Volkswagen owners, and recently won the first round of the case against Volkswagen in the UK High Court.

In that case we argued that Volkswagen had deceived car owners as to the compliance of vehicles with EU Emissions Regulations. Lawyers for the UK drivers argued that Volkswagen engines contained defeat device software which sensed when the vehicle was being tested and so artificially reduced emissions in order to pass that test.

Volkswagen have always argued that the software did not meet the legal definition of a defeat device and so was not illegal. However, in April 2020 the High Court in London found that the decision by the KBA, the German road vehicle authority, that the software was a ‘defeat device’ was binding in the English High Court.

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