Daimler Diesel Vehicle Violation
The California Air Resources Board and the California Attorney General announced a settlement with Daimler, AG and Mercedes-Benz USA, for the use of illegal defeat devices in model year 2009-2016 diesel passenger cars and Sprinter delivery vans.
Between 2009 and 2016, Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC (collectively, DMB) sold approximately 250,000 diesel passenger cars and Sprinter delivery vans nationally that were equipped with defeat devices designed to control emissions during certification and to illegally turn off emissions controls during on-road driving. All emit excess oxides of nitrogen (NOX), with some models emitting several times more than U.S. EPA and California-compliant levels, depending on the model.
The devices affected vehicle operations in a way that allowed a vehicle to pass certification testing, but then shut down vehicle emissions control equipment during actual on-road driving. As a result, the vehicles emitted several times the legal emissions of NOx. The amount of excess emissions depended on the vehicle model. NOx is an air pollutant that contributes to the formation of ozone and particulate matter. It can greatly aggravate health problems such as asthma and cardio-pulmonary disease, and is a particularly serious and expensive problem in California.
Defeat devices are illegal auxiliary emissions control devices, or AECD’s. Under certain, specific conditions AECDs are allowed, but they must be disclosed to regulators. Daimler did not disclose the existence of the AECDs in this case. The basis of the case is that failure, and the excess emissions.
Daimler is paying California $285.6 million dollars in penalties, violations and mitigation.
The company will repair the vehicles at no cost to owners.
What models are affected?
Model Year 2009
Model Year 2010
Model Year 2011
GL 350 4-Matic
ML 350 4-Matic
Model Year 2012
GL350 BLUETEC 4MATIC
Model Year 2013
E350, GL350 BLUETEC 4MATIC
ML350 BLUETEC 4MATIC
Model Year 2014
Model Year 2015
GL350 BLUETEC 4MATIC
GLE300 d 4MATIC
What should I do if I own one of these cars?
Daimler will contact you by letter regarding when and where you can get the repair, assuming the Court approves the settlement.
Is there a repair for this problem?
Yes. The company has already developed a fix for this issue for some of the affected vehicles and CARB and U.S. EPA have approved it. The company is still developing a fix for the remaining vehicles covered by the settlement. CARB and U.S. EPA must approve any new repair before it can be applied to the affected vehicles. Daimler will be making information available about which fixes have been approved for which vehicles on its website after the Court approves the settlement.
Do I have to get the repair to pass a smog check?
Will the repair affect my warranty?
Anyone who gets the repair, which is optional, will get an extended warranty that covers labor and parts on parts impacted by the repair. Existing warranties remain in effect.
Who will pay for the repair?
There will be no charge to vehicle owners for the repairs approved by CARB and U.S. EPA.
Is this the same kind of device found in the VW and Fiat-Chrysler cases?
The specific technologies are different, but the devices have the same result: to control emissions on the test cycles and then turn off controls and emit more pollutants than is allowed when the vehicles operate on-road.
What will Daimler pay to California, and how will the money be used?
Daimler will pay CARB approximately $285.6 million, and will pay the California Attorney General $17.5 million.
What kind of mitigation will be required?
Daimler will pay CARB $110 million to mitigate the excess emissions.
What role did California play in detecting these defeat devices?
CARB performed special testing to uncover these defeat devices. CARB then worked with U.S. EPA to conduct a thorough investigation, during which the agencies uncovered more devices.