Mercedes BlueTEC Diesel FAQ

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Complaint 04/07/16
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​​Complaint 02/18/16

Mercedes BlueTEC Emissions FAQ

Hagens Berman is here to provide you with information about the lawsuit, about Mercedes' emissions controls and about what you can expect. The answers below are questions we've received from Mercedes owners and have been answered by the Hagens Berman legal team.

Do you have a question you think other BlueTEC owners have too? Post it on Twitter with #AskBerman in the tweet. Using the hashtag will allow you to share your story and connect with other Mercedes owners. Hagens Berman's PR team will follow the hashtag, post answers from Steve Berman to your questions, and will add your question here on the Mercedes Owner Resource Hub.

NEW: UPDATED FAQs
What is the status of my case?
What are the next steps in the case?
What is your law firm asking for damages?
What is the estimated timeline for how my case proceeds? What is the estimated closure date?
When can I sell this car? Should I sell this car before the termination/settlement of the lawsuit?

MY SIGN UP INFORMATION:
Did you receive my information?

ABOUT THE CASE:
Which vehicles are affected? Is mine on the list?
I have an affected vehicle. What should I do?
What is the case about?
What is the intended outcome?
What types of damages are you seeking in the class action?
How long will it take to resolve this?
How much money can I expect?

FEE:
How much does it cost?

WHAT IF…
I leased my car. Can I be part of the lawsuit?
I sold my car? Can I be part of the lawsuit?
I live outside of the U.S. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
I am in the military working overseas and have my car with me. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
I have a residence in the states, but I work overseas. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
Can I be a part of the lawsuit if I don't live in the US?

ABOUT CLASS-ACTION LAWSUITS:
My local attorney recommended that I sue Mercedes on my own. What are the benefits of being part of a class-action lawsuit?
What is a class-action lawsuit and how does it work?
Why are class actions preferred?
I've already joined a class action. Is it OK to join more than one suit?

MY VEHICLE:
Should I continue making payments on my vehicle?
I fear a significant loss in resale value. What can I expect?
My car won’t pass inspection. What should I do?
I want to return my car. What do I do?

ABOUT HAGENS BERMAN:
Why should I sign up with Hagens Berman?
If I sign up with Hagens Berman what can I expect?

CONTACT:
How do I ask questions about the case?
What’s the quickest way to get a response from Hagens Berman’s legal team?

WHAT TO EXPECT:
What are the next steps?
What else can I do?



NEW: UPDATED FAQs

What is the status of my case?
​A consolidated amended complaint was filed on May 6, 2016. The court is allowing limited discovery to proceed at this time, and we have been working to get certain orders in place to protect confidential material that will be produced in discovery and to lay a foundation for the production of relevant information by all parties. The first seminal event in the litigation will be Mercedes filing a motion to dismiss, which is due next week. We will oppose and, hopefully, have an order from the court by the end of the summer or early fall to proceed.

What are the next steps in the case?
We will need to produce certain information to Mercedes by July 22, 2016, and we will be in contact soon with the named plaintiffs regarding this step in the litigation.

What is your law firm asking for damages?
Damages sought are loss of the benefit-of-the-bargain (as measured by the difference in value between what you were promised and what you received) and punitive damages. We are also requesting restitution, including recovery of the purchase price for the vehicle or the overpayment or dimunition in value. 

What is the estimated timeline for how my case proceeds? What is the estimated closure date?
It is hard to predict how long it will take a case to resolve. If this cases gets past the motion to dismiss stage, which we expect it will, litigation will probably take two years. We will ask the court to establish an aggressive schedule that gets us to trial much sooner than Mercedes would prefer.

When can I sell this car? Should I sell this car before the termination/settlement of the lawsuit?
The decision to sell your car is personal and should be based on your personal and financial circumstances rather than the possibility of recovery in this lawsuit. If you do decide to sell, make sure all documentation relating to the sale is maintained for your records. Regardless of what you do, we will fight hard to get the compensation that you and other class members are entitled to.​

MY SIGN UP INFORMATION:

Did you receive my information?

  • If you filled out the form to sign up for the case, we have received your information, and our legal team will respond as soon as possible. If you sent an email to our legal team, please be patient. Our attorneys are working as fast as they can to respond to you.
  • If you have left a voice mail for Steve Berman, Sean Matt or any other member of Hagens Berman's team, we are responding to these calls as quickly as we can.


ABOUT THE CASE:

Which vehicles are affected? Is mine on the list?
The lawsuit alleges that the following Mercedes models powered by BlueTEC diesel-fueled engines are affected by the defective emission controls utilized by Mercedes:

  • Mercedes ML 320
  • Mercedes ML 350
  • Mercedes GL 320
  • Mercedes E320
  • Mercedes S350
  • Mercedes R320
  • Mercedes E Class
  • Mercedes GL Class
  • Mercedes ML Class
  • Mercedes R Class
  • Mercedes S Class
  • Mercedes GLK Class
  • Mercedes GLE Class
  • Mercedes Sprinter

I have an affected vehicle. What should I do?
If you are the owner of a Mercedes affected vehicles powered by BlueTEC diesel-fueled engines diesel, you are encouraged to contact Hagens Berman to join the lawsuit against Mercedes.

What is the case about?
This case is brought on behalf of persons who purchased or leased a Mercedes diesel vehicle equipped with the TDI Clean Diesel BlueTEC engine system or its equivalent. The lawsuit states that Mercedes defrauded and deceived consumers by marketing and selling its BlueTEC vehicles as the most environmentally conscious diesel option in the world, while in reality the BlueTEC vehicles spread hazardous levels of emissions when operating at temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the intended outcome?
Hagens Berman will seek to hold Mercedes accountable for its fraud on consumers and the United States. We will fight tirelessly for recovery of the losses owners suffered and the harm Mercedes caused to the environment.

What types of damages are you seeking in the class action?
In our class actions, we seek for each class member the damages they incurred as a result of Mercedes’ deception and concealment of the amount of pollution produced in real-world tests by affected vehicles. Such damages may include:

  • the cost of unused extended warranties;
  • the cost of excess fuel associated with a decrease in efficiency;
  • the cost of future repairs;
  • the loss in value of affected vehicles; and
  • the cost to remediate harm to the environment caused by the excess levels of pollutants released by affected vehicles.


How long will it take to resolve this?
Cases of this nature usually take between one and four years to resolve, but each case is unique.

How much money can I expect?
At this early stage of the litigation, it is difficult to predict what compensation each class member will ultimately receive. If a settlement is reached that the court rules is fair, reasonable and adequate, then the money obtained from that settlement must be distributed to class members in a manner that the court determines to be fair and equitable. Strictly for purposes of example, in the Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration case, which Hagens Berman led, the case settled for $1.6 billion, and qualifying class members received a check between $125 and $6,000, depending upon the characteristics of the vehicle owned. This case could be larger or smaller than the Toyota case, but Hagens Berman will fight for the largest possible recovery for class members.


FEE:

How much does it cost?
There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining the lawsuit. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement or judgment that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the lawyers for class members. Any such fee may be paid separately from damages by Mercedes, or it may be deducted from the class-wide settlement before funds are distributed to individual class members. In no case, however, will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum to the class lawyers.


WHAT IF…

I leased my car. Can I be part of the lawsuit?
Yes.

I sold my car? Can I be part of the lawsuit?
If you sold it before news of the fraud was public, you are not part of the lawsuit.

I live outside of the U.S. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
Hagens Berman’s present lawsuits are on behalf of persons who purchased their cars in the United States. If you bought your car in the United States and still own it, it does not matter where you live, you can still be part of the lawsuits. However, if you did not purchase your car in the United States, you may not be a part of the lawsuits.

I am in the military working overseas and have my car with me. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
Yes, if you bought it in the United States.

I have a residence in the states, but I work overseas. Can I be a part of the lawsuit?
Yes, if you bought it in the United States.

Can I be a part of the lawsuit if I don't live in the U.S.?
At present, our lawsuits are only on behalf of owners in the United States, and only US residents and citizens can be a part of our proposed classes. However, the cases are still in the earliest stages, and they may expand through various other courts and mechanisms. If you send us your contact information, we will happily keep you up to date on all happenings and will reach out to you if the cases swell to include your country.


ABOUT CLASS-ACTION LAWSUITS:

My local attorney recommended that I sue Mercedes on my own. What are the benefits of being part of a class-action lawsuit?

There are many benefits to participating in a class action: 

  • you do not have to pay any advance or hourly fees to your attorneys, and your attorneys will be among the finest and most respected plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country;
  • your attorneys will pay all fees and costs associated with prosecuting the lawsuit and will not be paid at all if they do not obtain a settlement or judgment that the court determines is fair, reasonable and adequate;
  • you will not have to provide discovery, be deposed, appear in court or otherwise participate in the lawsuit unless you ask to be a class representative and are chosen for that role;
  • your attorneys will have the collective bargaining power of hundreds of thousands of class members;
  • depending upon where you live, you may not have the right to sue your local dealer or Mercedes because of an arbitration clause in your purchase or lease agreement;
  • If a settlement is obtained, you will have the right to review the proposed settlement and then decide whether or not to be included in it. If you decide not to participate, you will retain the right to sue (or continue to sue) on your own. For many claims, the statute of limitations will begin to run only after you exclude yourself from the settlement; the law in some states may differ.


What is a class-action lawsuit and how does it work?
A class-action lawsuit is a civil lawsuit brought on behalf of a group of people or business entities who have suffered common injuries as a result of the defendants’ conduct, with at least one individual or entity acting as a representative of that group. While the issues of a class action can vary, the issues in dispute are common to all class members.

Class actions can be brought in state or federal court. If the case involves federal laws, then federal court is the proper jurisdiction.

Why are class actions preferred?
Each litigant could bring their own action, so why join all the actions into one class-action lawsuit? The answer is that it is often more practicable for the plaintiff, the court and the defendants to join the individual actions into one lawsuit.

  • Class actions are practical for the plaintiffs. Class actions mean just one set of witnesses, one set of experts, one set of documents and one set of issues. This efficiency makes it less expensive and easier for one law firm to handle one case than having one or more law firms try multiple cases.
    • Many individual cases do not have enough damages to justify the time and expense to bring the cases separately. As an example, a bank might be charging illegal fees of $20 to $100 dollars to millions of customers. Because the damages are so small, it simply wouldn’t be worth the time and expense for a lawyer to bring a $100 lawsuit for each and every customer. One class-action case claiming several hundred million dollars on behalf of millions of clients is worth the time of the class members.
    • One recovery also means all the victims get a fair distribution of the damages. When there are multiple lawsuits, the first few plaintiffs to win may get all the insurance proceeds or all the assets of the defendant leaving little or no money for those who win their cases later.
  • Class actions are practical for the courts because one lawsuit is also cheaper for the courts than multiple lawsuits. One lawsuit means just one judge and one courtroom. One class-action lawsuit also means that multiple cases won't clog up the court schedules.

Another benefit of class actions for plaintiffs is that it levels the playing field. Defendant corporations are better situated to financially defend just one claim but when a law firm such as Hagens Berman brings a class action on behalf of many claimants, then the contest becomes a fair dispute. A defendant corporation that has to defend multiple claims is not only more likely to settle the class action but is more likely to really change its misconduct.


I've already joined a class action. Is it OK to join more than one suit?
“Joining” a class action is a bit of a misnomer.  In fact, everyone who owns an affected vehicle will automatically be a class member if any case, or a consolidated case, is certified as a class action by the judge, and that owner does not affirmatively “opt-out” of the class case.  Because a decision on whether to certify a class in this case will not occur for many months, as it stands, all owners of affected vehicles are potential class members.

The exception is if you have been named as a class representative plaintiff in a Mercedes lawsuit—that is, your name is on the lawsuit as a plaintiff—then you would not be able to be a named class representative in another lawsuit alleging the same bad acts by Mercedes.  If you are not the named class representative plaintiff in a lawsuit, you are not yet a part of that lawsuit, and your options are not at all limited.


MY VEHICLE:

Should I continue making payments on my vehicle?
Yes.  The fact of the filing of the lawsuits does not terminate your separate financing agreements with your bank or Mercedes’s affiliated credit provider.  If you stop making your payments you may suffer adverse credit consequences and may lose your car.

I fear a significant loss in resale value. What can I expect?
It is likely that the affected vehicles will suffer a significant loss in resale value.  If you choose to sell your car, please keep detailed records of the transaction as your loss in resale value may be recoverable in the class action.

My car won’t pass inspection. What should I do?
Talk to your dealer and/or Mercedes and keep us informed about what they say.  When we learn anything from Mercedes or regulators, we will provide that information to you through our email newsletters and on our website.

I want to return my car. What do I do?
There is no reason why you cannot talk to your dealer and Mercedes and try to obtain a return or buyback of your car.  If you do accept such an offer, please document carefully the transaction, including any discounts from your full purchase price.  Any losses may be recoverable through the lawsuits.


ABOUT HAGENS BERMAN: 

Why should I sign up with Hagens Berman?
Hagens Berman has deep experience and a very successful track record in the country bringing big settlements for consumers against major automakers. Hagens Berman secured the largest settlement ever against an automaker at that time – $1.6 billion for vehicle owners against Toyota. The firm has also been named to a leadership position in the VW emissions litigation and represents thousands of vehicles owners after being the first firm to file a lawsuit against Volkswagen on behalf of consumers. Additionally, we have achieved a $255 million settlement against Hyundai/Kia for overstated MPG in its vehicles. Currently we serve as co-lead counsel in litigation against GM for the ignition switch defect. This is our firm’s specialty, and we believe that we do it better than any other firm in the nation.

If I sign up with Hagens Berman what can I expect?
You can expect that our firm will fight vigorously for your rights as a consumer, and right the wrong that Mercedes was committed. Our firm has secured major victories for consumers in numerous cases and will work hard to hold Mercedes responsible for this loss to vehicle owners after years of Mercedes’ deception.


CONTACT:

How do I ask questions about the case?
Use the hashtag #askberman on Twitter, and please be patient. If you feel there is something very important, you may email our legal team directly using [email protected].

What’s the quickest way to get a response from Hagens Berman’s legal team?
You can use the hashtag #askberman on Twitter, and please be patient. If you feel there is something very important you may email our legal team directly using [email protected].


WHAT TO EXPECT:

What are next steps?
Additional complaints will likely be filed as more Mercedes owners sign up to join the lawsuit and new information unfolds. After this stage, there will likely be many lawsuits filed by multiple law firms across the country that will need to be consolidated in multi-district litigation.

What else can I do?
As long as you have provided us your information, we will let you know if anything else needs to be done. If you decide to service, recall, repair, sell or trade your car, please keep accurate records of any such transactions.