It’s been almost a decade since Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal broke, and we’re still seeing the repercussions of that to this day. For example, Mercedes-Benz is about to go to trial in a class-action lawsuit brought by Germany’s largest consumer protection and advocacy group, Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (VZBV for short).
The lawsuit, according to a report published on Tuesday by Reuters, alleges that Mercedes knowingly installed defeat devices that allowed vehicles to pass emissions tests while reverting to a different profile that offered more power but which produced significantly higher emissions on the road – aka the same allegation that basically every other German automaker who produced diesel passenger vehicles got hit with as part of Dieselgate.
This lawsuit is being brought under a law passed in 2018 that allows consumer advocacy groups to launch class-action lawsuits on behalf of owners of affected products, thus shouldering the considerable legal costs and making it easier for consumers to hold companies to account.
This lawsuit specifically references GLK and GLC models and could affect as many as 50,000 vehicles, though Mercedes says it’s closer to 2,800. For its part, Mercedes claims that the suit is unfounded and that German courts have tossed out 95% of similar claims filed against it previously.
Updated July 12, 2022 at 12:58 p.m. PT: Mercedes responded with a comment.
“We consider the claims asserted against our company as part of diesel customer lawsuits to be unfounded. This also applies to this model declaratory action.”