Judge allows emissions claims against Daimler proceed

A federal judge allowed majority of claims against Daimler AG to move forward in a 2016 lawsuit by vehicle owners that claims the automaker’s Mercedes diesel vehicles utilized illegal software to emit excess emissions.

In a ruling late on Friday, Judge Jose Linares of U.S. District Court in New Jersey also stated that claims against auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH can move forward, declining a bid by the German firms to throw out the lawsuits.

There has been increasing scrutiny of diesel vehicles in the United States since Volkswagen confessed in September 2015 to setting up secret software on 580,000 U.S. vehicles that permitted them to emit excess emissions.

Steve Berman, among the lawyers representing Mercedes U.S. diesel owners, stated “like Volkswagen, Mercedes tried to scam consumers by green-washing its line of diesel cars. With the help of some crafty marketing, and Bosch’s defeat device, the duo set out to rake in profits from unknowing buyers.”

Daimler spokeswoman Andrea Berg stated Monday, “These claims are without merit, and we are pleased that the court acknowledged the deficiencies in some of plaintiffs’ claims. We intend to continue vigorously defending against the rest of the claims.”

Bosch, that makes software for Daimler, Volkswagen and other automakers’ diesel emissions systems, refusing to discuss Monday.

The Justice Department, Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board and German prosecutors in Stuttgart are probing Daimler for alleged excess emissions in Mercedes-Benz diesel automobiles.

Daimler has acknowledged it deals with investigations in Germany and the United States. In October, Daimler stated operating profit would decrease by over 10 percent, blaming “government proceedings and measures in various regions” associated with diesel emissions issues.

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