U.S. judge throws out emissions fraud lawsuit against Mercedes

Tue Dec 6, 2016 6:02pm EST
 
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By Erica Teichert

(Reuters) - A U.S. judge in New Jersey on Tuesday threw out a proposed class action lawsuit alleging that automaker Mercedes (DAIGn.DE: Quote) misled consumers about emissions standards in "BlueTec Clean Diesel" vehicles.

U.S. District Judge Jose Linares said the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case.

Plaintiffs claimed Mercedes falsely advertised the BlueTec vehicles as having lower emissions. They said that they later found that the emissions were higher than U.S. standards permitted.

The judge said the plaintiffs failed to show they actually viewed any of Mercedes' advertisements touting the cleaner technology. He gave them leave to revise their complaint.

Diesel car makers in the U.S. have been under increased scrutiny since Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) admitted in September 2015 that it had rigged U.S. diesel emissions tests. Volkswagen ultimately agreed to pay $15.3 billion in settlements for owners as well as state and federal regulators.

In April, the U.S. Department of Justice asked Daimler to investigate the emissions certification process for its Mercedes vehicles. The automaker said it would cooperate with U.S. authorities, but has not admitted to any wrongdoing.

The BlueTec system uses urea to eliminate nitric oxide fumes from vehicle emissions. It is used mainly in heavier cars like sports utility vehicles or Daimler’s large limousines.

(Reporting by Erica Teichert; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Bernard Orr)

 
View of a Mercedes logo at the Mondial de l'Automobile, Paris auto show, during media day in Paris,  France, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen - RTSQ8J2