Courts are being overrun with people suing Mercedes.
Just as we were hoping emissions scandals were starting to die down, the scope of the Mercedes diesel issues is starting to come to light. In May, the German Transport Ministry summoned Daimler's CEO, Dieter Zetsche, to try and find out exactly how many Mercedes-Benz vans and cars needed fixes to meet emission rules after they found 'software devices' used to cheat emissions tests. Daimler was then ordered to recall Vito vans with 1.6-liter diesel engines that had been found to breach emissions regulations.
Following that, Motoring.com is reporting that courts in Daimler's hometown of Stuttgart are now clogged over "either its allegedly illegal diesel exhaust technology or issues with Daimler's financial arm over credit issues."
The flood of cases is so heavy at the Stuttgart Regional Court that legal reinforcements have had to be called in to make sure that the Daimler diesel issues don't become a "burden for years to come". Over 1,100 lawsuits have been filed so far and, unfortunately for the court, all actions brought against the Daimler Group have to go through it before they go to the higher regional court.
Daimler claims it is taking the lawsuits from customers seriously but, as we would expect, is defending itself strongly against "unfounded" claims. Already, the Higher Regional Court has dismissed 167 lawsuits by owners against Daimler and the five decisions made so far have all gone in Daimler's favor.
However, most of the cases being brought to court are based on a case that went through Landshut Regional Court and resulted in the automaker being ordered to take back a diesel-powered car because, due to manipulation, it wasn't delivered as certified.
The reason most of the 1,100 plaintiffs are going to court is that they will face driving bans in some German cities driving illegally certified cars. We can only hope the extent of the alleged emissions cheating from Mercedes goes nowhere near as deep as the whole Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal. Currently, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag claims that regulators are investigating 40,000 Mercedes Vito vans and 80,000 C-Class models for possible unlawful software.