Class action filed against Mercedes

A CLASS action has been filed in the Victorian Supreme Court against Mercedes-Benz for diesel-engined vehicles made by the company for the model years 2009 to 2018.

Australian compensation law firm Gerard Malouf and Partners (GMP Law) said that the action relates the emission levels of certain Mercedes diesel models.A summary statement was lodged with the Supreme Court of Victoria as ‘The Mercedes-Benz Emissions Group Proceeding’ (Paul Wawryk and Craig Stubbings v Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd and Mercedes-Benz Group AG).

Messrs Wawryk and Stubbings are the lead plaintiffs and purchased Mercedes-Benz vehicles in 2016 and 2013 respectively.

The summary said: “The Mercedes-Benz Emissions Group Proceeding claims damages and other remedies against Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd and Mercedes-Benz Group AG arising out of the use of alleged ‘defeat devices’ (or defeat device-equivalents) in obtaining the certification of various Mercedes-Benz diesel engine models as meeting regulatory standards for emissions.”

“The lead plaintiffs allege that the engines did not, in fact, meet the requirements that Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd and Mercedes-Benz Group AG said they did.”

The statement said that group members of the claim “are any persons (including companies) who between January 1 2009 and November 22, 2022 purchased or leased in Australia a diesel vehicle which meets the specifications (of a table).”

The table lists Mercedes-Benz vehicles fitted with engine models OM 607 (2009-2016, 1.5-litre A-Class, B-Class and Citan van); OM 622 (2009-2016, 1.6-litre C-Class); OM 626 (2009-2016, same as 622); OM 640 (2009-2016, 2.0-litre, A-Class); OM 642 (2009-2016, 3-litre V6, various Mercedes, Jeep and Chryslers); and OM 651 (2009-2016 and including Sprinter van model years 2009-2018, 1.8 and 2.1-litre for models including A, B, C, E, GLA, CLA and Vito).

The statement to the court said “costs that the lead plaintiffs and the defendants are likely to incur in the course of the Mercedes-Benz Emissions Group Proceeding are likely to be substantial if the action is defended.”

GMP Law said in its statement that past or present owners of affected Mercedes diesel vehicles, either new or second-hand, manufactured on or after January 1, 2008 until December 31, 2018 “may be eligible class members and entitled to significant damages per vehicle which could include a portion of the purchase price.”

It said it has “entered an information sharing arrangement with leading US class action law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP (HB) in relation to this Class Action against  Mercedes. HB had conducted a similar Class Action against Mercedes for Diesel Emissions in the U.S., which settled in September 2020 in the amount of around $1.3 billion.”

GMP Law chairman Gerard Malouf said the information sharing arrangement between HB and GMP Law “is a great step forward towards achieving just compensation for those consumers in Australia …”

He said that the class action “will seek damages for compensation for the loss of value of affected vehicles and punitive damages.”

“GMP Law has recently filed a similar Class Action against Hino Motor Sales Australia and Hino Motors Limited.”

GoAutoNews Premium contacted Mercedes-Benz Australia which said in a statement: “Whilst we have seen certain media reports regarding a potential class action, we have not yet received any court documents in relation to this matter. 

“Based on information observed in media reports, we believe the claims are without merit and we would strongly defend any such legal proceedings.”

By Neil Dowling

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