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Mercedes-Benz and BMW facing potential class actions

Two separate class action claims are being investigated against Mercedes-Benz and BMW for the alleged installation of “cheat devices” on vehicles.

user iconLauren Croft 20 October 2022 Big Law
Mercedes-Benz and BMW facing potential class actions
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Compensation law firm Gerard Malouf and Partners (GMP Law) has begun registrations for the class actions, following regulatory investigations by authorities in Germany and Europe for the installation of “cheat devices” by the respective parent companies of Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific and BMW Australia.

The “cheat devices” allegedly manipulate diesel engine emission levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx), and other harmful gases, in order to pass regulatory testing. NOx is extremely toxic and is associated with accelerating climate change, acid rain, and respiratory conditions.


This news follows the launch of another class action from the same firm against Hino Motors, which accuses parent company Hino Motors Japan of falsifying emissions and fuel economy data. GMP Law claims that the misconduct in relation to emissions and fuel economy of Hino vehicles has caused not only financial loss to consumers of these vehicles but also environmental damage and damage to human health through excess emissions.

Similarly, a claim was filed by Maddens Lawyers against Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited on Tuesday (18 October), for alleged tampering with emissions control systems to improve the performance of diesel engines.

The class actions against Mercedes-Benz and BMW will seek damages for the loss of value of affected vehicles, excessive fuel commission and punitive damages for “harm done to the world environment, to deter other [multinational] corporations from repeating such outrageous conduct”, according to GMP Law.

The firm has estimated that each class action claim could seek hundreds of millions of dollars in damages — and Gerard Malouf, chairman of GMP Law, said that irreversible environmental damage is likely to have been caused by these “cheat devices”.

“It is reprehensible for car manufacturers to misrepresent critical aspects of the performance of vehicles sold into the worldwide market, causing financial loss to consumers, but more importantly enormous environmental damage through excessive emissions,” he said.

Past or present owners of affected Mercedes and BMW diesel vehicles, either new or second-hand, manufactured on or after 1 January 2008, could be eligible for the class action, with the damages per vehicle estimated to “be very significant and include a portion of the purchase price”.

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