Seeks Compensation for Arizonans Over Alleged "Clean Diesel" Vehicle Claims
PHOENIX – Fresh off a $40 million consumer recovery case against Volkswagen, Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a Consumer Fraud Lawsuit against Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and its parent Daimler AG on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding Arizonans through the sales of certain “clean diesel” cars.
The State alleges Mercedes-Benz deceived customers with false representations of its BlueTEC vehicles, which it marketed as the most environmentally conscious diesel option in the world. Attorney General Brnovich alleges Mercedes-Benz employed a defeat device to make its vehicles appear to emit lower levels of pollution when under certain testing conditions but, in actual driving conditions, the vehicles emitted much higher levels.
Arizona consumers were allegedly subjected to misleading advertisements about the affected diesel vehicles. The lawsuit alleges Mercedes-Benz aggressively and consistently marketed BlueTEC as “the world’s cleanest and most advanced diesel” with “ultra-low emissions, high fuel economy and responsive performance” that emits “up to 30% lower greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline.” The State alleges these marketing claims, among others, constitute false and deceptive acts and practices.
The complaint alleges that consumers who purchased or leased the affected diesel vehicles did not receive the product they were promised. Instead of getting a clean fuel-efficient car, the lawsuit alleges that customers received a vehicle that emitted vastly more nitrogen oxide pollutants into the air. As a result, the State alleges these customers suffered losses in money and or property. Had Arizona consumers known of the higher emissions at the time they purchased or leased their affected Mercedes-Benz vehicles, or had they known of the effects on fuel economy if the emissions were not manipulated, they either would not have purchased or leased those vehicles, or would have paid substantially less for the vehicles than they did.
The lawsuit seeks restitution and damages for thousands of Arizona consumers who purchased or leased certain affected diesel vehicles between 2007 and 2016, as well as civil penalties against Mercedes-Benz. Arizona law allows for up to $10,000 in penalties per violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.
Below is a list of the affected diesel-powered vehicles:
- ML 320
- ML 350
- GL 320
- E Class
- GL Class
- ML Class
- R Class
- S Class
- GLK Class
- GLE Class
Acting Civil Litigation Division Chief Beau Roysden is handling the case. The Attorney General’s Office also retained Rob Carey of Hagens Berman LLP to assist in litigation.
The Attorney General’s Office successfully sued Volkswagen over its so-called clean diesel cars in 2016. A $40 million settlement was reached earlier this year and eligible Arizona consumers are each receiving $1,000 in restitution.
Full copy of the filed complaint.