Daimler, the German parent company of Mercedes-Benz, among others, has been brought to court by the Diesel Emissions Justice (DEJF) foundation, along with several Dutch dealers. DEJF wants to hold the parties liable for damage resulting from the application of so-called cheating software to diesel engines.

According to DEJF, drivers run the risk of depreciation of their diesel car and higher maintenance costs. In addition, due to the higher than promised emissions, they are more likely to suffer from driving restrictions and the type approval of the vehicle may be endangered.

"Because of this diesel fraud, Daimler has caused major damage to consumers, the environment and public health. We believe that affected car owners are entitled to fair compensation for the damage they have done," said DEJF director Femke Hendriks.

Daimler, the Dutch importers and some Mercedes-Benz dealer companies have been summoned under the Collective Settlement of Mass Claims Act, which has been in force since 1 January. This enables a collective claim for damages. DEJF is authorized to negotiate and litigate by car owners. "We therefore have a strong mandate," says Hendriks.

'Powerful defense'

The DEJF move follows a similar procedure against Volkswagen in March 2020, the manufacturer that started the diesel scandal in 2015. The use of cheating software allows the car to recognize an emission test and adjust the emissions accordingly. As a result, the models from Volkswagen and later also other brands seemed cleaner than in reality.

Daimler was notified of the subpoena by letter last month by DEJF. "We will vigorously defend ourselves against any unfounded claims made against us," Daimler said in a response Tuesday.