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Mercedes Clears The Air

A federal recently threw out a potential class action suit which alleged that Mercedes-Benz misled consumers about emissions from its “BlueTec Clean Diesel” models.

The decision was not based on whether or not the diesel engines lived up to the advertising claims but rather on whether or not the plaintiffs had legal standing to bring the case forward. New Jersey U.S. District Judge, Jose Linares, stated that the plaintiffs had no standing because they failed to show that they had actually seen any of the ads that misled them.

The judge, however, left the door open for the plaintiffs to amend their filing and attorney Steve Berman said he would do just that.

“We will amend to satisfy the court’s direction and are confident we can do so. Make no mistake, there has to be a legal remedy for the tens of thousands of Mercedes diesel owners who are unwittingly driving cars that exceed any promise of ‘Clean Diesel’ that Mercedes made, and which are exceeding U.S. emission standards,” said Berman.

The suit was filed in February by owners of BlueTec models, spanning 13 states. The case alleged that the company was using a “defeat device” to cheat emissions testing, though the company denied these claims from the start.

“We consider this class action lawsuit to be unfounded. Our position remains unchanged: A component that inadmissibly reduces emissions is not used in Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” Mercedes-Benz declared in a statement.

In April, the U.S. Justice asked Mercedes to examine its emission certification process and the automaker said it would be cooperative while continuing to deny any wrongdoing.

To note, Diesel engines have been a hot topic since Volkswagen admitted to rigging its diesel cars to pass emissions tests while polluting at levels far above legal standards the rest of the time. VW has agreed to pay $15 billion in settlements and still faces potential criminal prosecution in the U.S., as well as numerous lawsuits in other countries.

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