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Mercedes BlueTEC Diesel Class Actions Prompt EPA Inquiry

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March 2, 2016 — After several class action lawsuits accused Mercedes-Benz of using software to shut off emission-controls in cold temperatures, the EPA has asked the auto-maker for an explanation.

Three class actions (PDF) were filed last month by lawyers in Seattle who say the “BlueTEC Clean Diesel” cars were marketed as environmentally-friendly, but actually spew up to 65-times the legal limit of nitrogen-oxide (NOx), according to the Chicago Tribune.

When the temperature drops below 50ºF, systems that capture soot and convert toxic gases into harmless emissions shut off. Mercedes insists the feature is not illegal, a spokesman told Reuters. It helps protect the engine and the exhaust system by preventing condensation from building up and causing corrosion.

Lawyers say consumers were never informed about the feature. Furthermore, they say fixing the problem could impact performance or resale value on the cars. According to the lawsuit:

“Mercedes never disclosed to consumers that Mercedes diesels with BlueTEC engines may be ‘clean’ diesels when it is warm, but are ‘dirty’ diesels when it is not.”

Class actions have been filed by people who own affected vehicles in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Lawyers are seeking compensation on behalf of everyone in the United States with an affected vehicle, such as:

  • ML 320
  • ML 350
  • GL 320
  • S 350
  • E 320
  • R 320
  • E Class
  • GL Class
  • ML Class
  • R Class
  • S Class
  • GLK Class
  • GLE Class
  • Sprinter

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