The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is suing Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and its parent Daimler for allegedly defrauding Arizonans through the sales of certain “clean diesel” cars.
The State is accusing Mercedes-Benz of deceiving customers with false representations of its BlueTEC vehicles, which it marketed as the most environmentally conscious diesel option in the world.
The Attorney General’s Office alleges Mercedes-Benz employed a defeat device to make its vehicles appear to emit lower levels of pollution when under certain testing conditions but, in actual driving conditions, the vehicles emitted much higher levels.
Arizona consumers were allegedly subjected to misleading advertisements about the affected diesel vehicles. The lawsuit alleges Mercedes-Benz aggressively and consistently marketed BlueTEC as “the world’s cleanest and most advanced diesel” with “ultra-low emissions, high fuel economy and responsive performance” that emits “up to 30% lower greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline.” The State alleges these marketing claims, among others, constitute false and deceptive acts and practices.
The complaint alleges that consumers who purchased or leased the affected diesel vehicles did not receive the product they were promised. Instead of getting a clean fuel-efficient car, the lawsuit alleges that customers received a vehicle that emitted vastly more nitrogen oxide pollutants into the air. As a result, the State alleges these customers suffered losses in money and or property. Had Arizona consumers known of the higher emissions at the time they purchased or leased their affected Mercedes-Benz vehicles, or had they known of the effects on fuel economy if the emissions were not manipulated, they either would not have purchased or leased those vehicles, or would have paid substantially less for the vehicles than they did.
The lawsuit seeks restitution and damages for thousands of Arizona consumers who purchased or leased certain affected diesel vehicles between 2007 and 2016, as well as civil penalties against Mercedes-Benz. Arizona law allows for up to $10,000 in penalties per violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.
Below is a list of the affected diesel-powered vehicles: