German luxury car company Mercedes-Benz will be the subject of a class action lawsuit in Australia, over an alleged failure to accurately report the emissions output of diesel vehicles for over a decade.
Court proceedings were lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court this week, and comes after a similar lawsuit yielded a billion-dollar payout overseas.
Here’s what you need to know.
The law firm coordinating the class action, Gerard Malouf & Partners (GMP), filed proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court this week, claiming hundreds of millions in damages and compensation against the company.
A class action is a lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of people. This lawsuit is open to anyone who bought or leased a Mercedes diesel vehicle made between 2008 and 2018.
What is the claim?
It’s been alleged Mercedes used special devices to manipulate the true amount of harmful gases produced by their vehicles.
This was done to pass engine testing, which allegedly misled regulators and customers about the emissions output of the vehicles.
Gases such as nitrous oxide, which contributes to climate change and respiratory conditions, are said to have been manipulated to make the vehicle seem more eco-friendly than it was.
The plaintiff’s case
GMP believes the alleged manipulation could cover tens of thousands of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
They’re seeking compensation for the loss in value of the diesel vehicles, and further damages to punish the manufacturer for their actions.
GMP claims that damages could total hundreds of millions of dollars.