PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich today announced that his office has added multinational engineering company Bosch to its consumer fraud lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz USA and Daimler.
In January 2019, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) filed a consumer fraud lawsuit alleging Mercedes and its parent company Daimler AG deceived customers with false representations of their BlueTEC vehicles, which were marketed as the most environmentally conscious diesel option in the world. The AGO alleges Mercedes utilized a defeat device to make its vehicles appear to emit lower levels of pollution while under certain testing conditions but, in actual driving conditions, the vehicles emitted much higher levels. Accordingly, consumers who purchased or leased the affected diesel vehicles did not receive the product they were promised.
The State’s amended complaint alleges that Bosch developed, manufactured, marketed, tested and sold the electronic diesel control that allowed Mercedes to manipulate emissions controls. Further, the State alleges Bosch’s participation was not limited to engineering the defeat device but that it also marketed “clean diesel” and communicated directly or indirectly with the public and U.S. regulators about the benefits of “clean diesel,” a highly unusual activity for a supplier. This alleged promotional activity helped create the demand for diesel vehicles and the premium such vehicles commanded.
“Arizona consumers deserve transparency and accurate information when shopping for and choosing a vehicle,” said Attorney Mark General Brnovich. “Companies that conspire to deceive the public to line their own pockets with consumers’ hard-earned money will be held accountable.”
The AGO previously reached an independent settlement with Bosch as part of a multistate coalition to hold Fiat Chrysler and Bosch accountable for their alleged participation in a similar “clean” vehicle scheme. The settlement resolved claims for defeat devices in Fiat Chrysler vehicles marketed as "clean-burning” and required Bosch to pay Arizona nearly $2.5 million in restitution and civil penalties. Eligible Arizonans received $1,000 in compensation.
The State’s current lawsuit seeks restitution and damages for thousands of Arizona consumers who purchased or leased certain Mercedes diesel vehicles, as well as civil penalties. Arizona law allows for up to $10,000 in penalties per violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.
Senior Litigation Counsel Shane Foster and Unit Chief Matthew du Mee are handling the case. The AGO retained Hagens Berman LLP to assist in litigation.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352‑8431.
Copy of the First Amended Complaint.