IMPACTED DIESEL MERCEDES VEHICLES

A Class (2009-2019), B Class (2009-2019), C Class (2009-2019), CLA (2009-2019), CITAN (2009-2019), CLS Class (2009-2019), E Class (2009-2019), G Class (2009-2019), GLA (2009-2019), GLC (2009-2019), GLE (2009-2019), GLK (2009-2019), GLS 350D (2009-2019), M Class (2009-2019), ML (2009-2019), S Class (2009-2019), SLK (2009-2019), SPRINTER (2009-2019), V Class (2009-2019), VITO (2009-2019)

This list may be updated as the investigations by the Foundation are still ongoing.

WHO CAN JOIN?

You can join the Claim if you are an individual owner, lessee, or fleet owner for most of the Mercedes diesel models that are either Euro 5 or Euro 6 approved and were manufactured between 1 January 2009 and the end of 2019.

In order to join, it is not necessary that you still own or lease your car.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO CLAIM?

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THE CASE AGAINST MERCEDES BENZ

The Procedure Against OPEL

Opel used to be the Netherlands’ best-selling car brand. Since 2017 Opel has been part of the former PSA Group, which became merged into Stellantis in 2021. Between 2009 and 2019 Opel sold approximately 110,000 diesel vehicles in the Netherlands alone. The number of vehicles sold on the European market is in the millions.

According to information from the Foundation, all these Opel diesel cars vehicles were provided with illegal defeat devices. These illegal defeat devices ensure that the vehicles concerned `comply` with the EU type-approval emission standards while being tested. The Euro 5 vehicles (that were sold from 2009 to 2014) contained, inter alia, a thermal window that ensures that the emission control systems shut down between temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. In addition, the Euro 6 vehicles (2015 to 2019) also included additional illegal defeat devices that ensure that the LNT or SCR catalysts only work properly during testing. When used on the road, the operation of the emission control system is drastically reduced. As a result, Opel’s Euro 6 vehicles do not even meet the Euro 3 standard in normal use. Consequently, Opel is one of the worst polluters in the car manufacturing industry, with emissions that can reach as much as 16 times the applicable emission norm. This diesel fraud has not come to an end yet. Even in January 2022, the German type approval authority, the KBA, has found illegal defeat devices in a large amount of Opel vehicles.

Opel’s Reaction

With its actions Opel has caused extensive damage. The market for diesel cars has plummeted and the value of diesel cars has been reduced considerably. Moreover, the environment and public health have suffered as a consequence of Opel’s behaviour.
The German authorities did initiate criminal proceedings against Opel, but this matter was settled quickly by Opel. In addition, a criminal investigation into the role of various Opel employees is still ongoing in Germany. However, Opel continues to present itself as a “green” company and acts like its unaware of any wrongdoing.

Our goals

Individual car owners don’t have the means to hold large international companies like Stellantis accountable. As a result, large companies tend to go free and leave its customers empty handed. The consequences are amongst others, a lower sales value of the diesel cars on the second-hand market and higher maintenance costs. However, relatively new legislation in the Netherlands, called the WAMCA, makes it possible for representatives like the Foundation to file a collective claim of behalf of all injured parties. In this way, the Foundation can recover compensation to which you may be entitled  on your behalf, without any risk to you. The Foundation has already initiated class actions against five large automotive concerns (of which two are against Stellantis). With this, the Foundation has acquired substantial experience with tracking down illegal defeat devices and identifying affected vehicles. The Foundation has close relations with a leading IT-expert that previously exposed the functioning of defeat devices in cars of different brands, namely Volkswagen, Fiat and Mercedes-Benz. The
Foundation is currently the only Dutch representative that has this type of (technical) expertise. This expertise can and will ensure that the Foundation can make the difference. This expertise is what makes the Foundation the most suitable party to pursue your interests.

CURRENT STATUS

On 17 March 2023 an oral hearing will take place at the District Court of Amsterdam regarding the following topics: jurisdiction, applicable law, admissibility of Emissions Justice, the exclusive representative and applicability of the WAMCA.

COURSE OF THE PROCEEDINGS

  • On 19 January 2022, Emissions Justice served a writ of summons on Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel, Vauxhall and General Motors and their parent company Stellantis N.V. Emissions Justice also summoned 126 Dutch car dealers who sold cars by these car manufactures. Previously, on 17 august 2021, Emissions Justice had requested the Amsterdam district court to extend the period in which Emissions Justice may also initiate a collective action against the same defendants. Emissions Justice had to do so because another foundation, Stichting Emission Claim, had already started a collective action some of the same defendants against. The Amsterdam district court granted Emissions Justice’s request and extended the time limit with three months. Stichting Car Claim, another foundation, also requested an extension and was also granted this.
  • On 16 February 2022, 4 May 2022, and 11 May 2022, the car manufacturers entered an appearance in the proceedings. However, the car dealers failed to enter an appearance and were declared to be at default by the court.
  • On 22 June 2022, the court made a proposal for the procedural order. The parties were given the opportunity to respond to the proposal. Emissions Justice did so on 6 July 2022. On 20 July 2022, the court adopted the procedural order. The procedural order can be found here. The first phase of the proceedings will deal with jurisdiction of the Amsterdam court, which collective action regime is applicable, admissibility of the Emissions Justice and the other foundations, applicable law and appointment of the exclusive representative.
  • On 17 August 2022, Emissions Justice submitted a brief on why it should be appointed as the exclusive representative in these proceedings.
  • On 5 October 2022, the car dealers entered an appearance in the proceedings.
  • On 9 November 2022, the defendants submitted a statement of defence regarding their views on jurisdiction, applicable law, admissibility of Emissions Justice, the exclusive representative and applicability of the WAMCA.
  • The hearing of parties for phase one is scheduled for 17 March 2023.

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