Mercedes-Benz would have lied about emissions for years

DAI) and its US subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA agreed on Monday to settle allegations that they violated US and California emissions rules in a settlement that exceeds US $ 1.5 billion in fines and other costs. “data-reactid =” 32 ” > (Bloomberg) – German automaker Daimler (DAI) and its US subsidiary Mercedes-Benz USA agreed on Monday to settle allegations that it violated US and California emissions rules in a settlement that exceeds $ 1.5 billion in fines and other costs.

Separately, Daimler said Monday it agreed to pay $ 700 million to settle a class action lawsuit in the United States, bringing the total related to the alleged violations to $ 2.2 billion.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Justice filed the proposed federal settlement in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, in the latest case in which US regulators They attack the alleged deception of emissions in the automotive industry.

“When something ends up costing a manufacturer $ 1.5 billion, we anticipate that will have a chilling effect on other automakers as well,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen during a virtual press conference Monday afternoon with the administrator. from the EPA, Andrew Wheeler.

The settlement includes a civil penalty of $ 875 million, $ 436 million to pay for recalls and a federal environmental mitigation program, $ 110 million for mitigation efforts in California and more than $ 70 million in other penalties, the EPA said in a statement.

It all started with Volkswagen

VOW) admitted in 2015 to handling up to 11 million diesel engines worldwide, including approximately 600,000 in the US “data-reactid =” 38 “> Daimler’s settlement with the US government covers civil and related to the emission control systems of approximately 250,000 cars and vans. Volkswagen (VOW) admitted in 2015 to handling up to 11 million diesel engines worldwide, including approximately 600,000 in the US.

The US government complaint alleges that Daimler failed to disclose the emissions devices to US regulators on its Mercedes Sprinter trucks and various passenger vehicles from 2009 to 2016. The devices made the control systems of Vehicle emissions worked one way during testing and another when consumers were behind the wheel.

Daimler denied the allegations in the complaint and does not admit any responsibility, according to the consent decree published Monday. The automaker revealed provisions for the deals last month.

“The defendants knew or should have known that one or more” undisclosed “devices would have the primary effect of bypassing, bypassing, eliminating or rendering inoperative” the emission control systems in the vehicles, the government said in the complaint.

Presentation of the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class (Photo: Silas Stein / picture alliance via Getty Images)

Additional costs

Daimler said last month that it expects to incur hundreds of millions of euros in additional expenses related to meeting the requirements of its agreements and that the costs will affect its business for the next three years.

“With the settlements, we take another important step toward resolving various diesel proceedings,” the automaker said in an email. The agreements allow Daimler to avoid “lengthy legal actions, with respective legal and financial risks.”

Although the costs add to Daimler’s financial headwinds triggered by the covid-19 pandemic, the amounts are relatively small compared to larger-scale emissions violations that have cost VW more than € 30 billion ( US $ 36,000 million).

The pact announced by the EPA today solves problems that arose when US regulators stepped up their examination of diesel emissions after the 2015 VW cheating scandal came to light. The Justice Department asked Daimler to investigate your vehicle certification process the following year.

Depending on the model, the diesel vehicles in question emitted smog-forming pollution at several times the legal limit, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) said in a statement. The state’s clean air regulator investigated Mercedes-Benz vehicles in conjunction with the EPA.

‘Detect traps’

“Californians live with one of the worst airs in the country, air that has an adverse impact on public health, causing or contributing to asthma, respiratory disease and premature death,” CARB President Mary Nichols said in a statement. . “Automakers must learn that in this state, CARB will continue to use the latest and most sophisticated science and technology to detect traps and violations that affect our air and health.”

California’s share of the federal consent decree and a second California-specific settlement total $ 285.6 million, according to CARB.

Under the class action settlement, vehicle owners will be eligible for free emissions system modifications and extended warranties. In addition, they can receive up to $ 3,290, a figure that would be reduced if the former owners showed up to claim a share.

“We see this as a huge victory for consumers, the environment and class action law,” said Steve Berman, managing partner at Hagens Berman, who was involved in the litigation.

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