EPA request information from Mercedes over emission lawsuit
Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the car… The Emissions Scandal II: The Emissions Strike Back.
A spokesperson for Daimler said on Sunday the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had requested information from its luxury car brand Mercedes Benz to explain emissions levels in some of its cars. The request follows a lawsuit filed in the United States, claiming the carmakers knowingly lied about the emissions of their Clean Diesel vehicles.
The spokesman for Daimler claimed the company was fully cooperating with the EPA’s request for information, and that their Mercedes Benz vehicles conform to all the necessary rules and regulations. We have previously reported on this accusation that their ‘Clean’ vehicles were not so clean, after the lawsuit was filed alleging that some Mercedes models used a device that allowed the vehicles to deceive emissions standards tests when run at cooler temperatures, making them less environmentally friendly than advertised. ). In the complaint filed, the allegations being made against the carmakers claim that “Mercedes never disclosed to consumers that Mercedes diesels with BlueTEC engines may be ‘clean’ diesels when it is warm, but are ‘dirty’ diesels when it is not. Mercedes never disclosed that, when the temperature drops below 50 degrees, it prioritizes engine power and profits over people.”
Though the automobile company was quick to deny any wrongdoings in the matter, arguing that it is quite common for emissions from real life driving on the road are always higher than in test conditions, apparently the EPA are not so easily dissuaded. Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, is quoted by German newspaper Handelsblatt as saying: “We know about the lawsuit. We have contacted Mercedes and requested the test results for the U.S. diesel engines.”
Daimler have been steadfast in their stance since the first rumblings of the lawsuit, and remain so following this update. A spokesperson for the company publically acknowledged that there is a system in place that switches to engine power based on the temperature, but maintained that in doing so the system to treat exhaust fumes could operate at a level of reduced effectiveness to prevent condensation from building up in the exhaust system. The condensation could otherwise lead to corrosion, and harm the engine and exhaust system. A system that is not, in fact, illegal, claimed the spokesperson.
We’ll be sure to keep up-to-date with this story, but for the sake of the industry – and our own sake – we hope it is not going to be another emission scandal.