Legal claims against Mercedes-Benz for emissions ‘cheating’ in England and Wales have been 'strengthened' following a £1.6 billion settlement in the USA.
London law firm Fox Williams is pursuing claims for Mercedes owners in England and Wales in collaboration with US law firm Hagens Berman, which achieved a payout of more than £560 million for US Mercedes owners.
Mercedes, however, claims the cars sold in America are different to those in the UK.
It is estimated by Fox Williams that up to 1.2 million potential claimants owning (or having owned) impacted vehicles in England and Wales are affected. This includes private owners and businesses, such as fleet operators and hire car companies.
According to Hagens Berman’s investigations, Mercedes used defeat device, similar to the one used by Volkswagen, on its BlueTEC diesel vehicles.
Affected models are alleged to include the A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, Citan, CLA, CLS, E-Class, GL-Class, GLA-Class, GLC-Class, GLE-Class, GLS, M-Class, S-Class, SLK, Sprinter, V-Class, and Vito, built between 2008 and 2018.
Andrew Hill, the Fox Williams partner who is leading the action, said: “Like many members of the general public, I have been shocked at the allegations of deception and fraud made against some of the world’s largest and most prestigious automotive manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz. We believe business and private owners in England and Wales will very likely have good claims for the damage caused to them from unwittingly owning or leasing dirty diesels.”
A spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Cars UK said: "With regard to the US settlement, the vehicles in question were produced exclusively for the North American market. The emissions control system of US vehicles differs in comparison to vehicles in Europe both with respect to hardware components and configuration of the control software. In addition the legal framework and the certification process in the US is different to that in Europe.
"We believe the claims brought forward by the UK law firms are without merit, and will vigorously defend against any group action."
Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, was fined more than £700m by German prosecutors in 2019 over the diesel emissions scandal.
It has filed objections against the German Federal Motor Transport Authority’s (KBA) recall orders regarding diesel exhaust emissions and these objection proceedings are ongoing.