Group action legal claim launched on behalf of Mercedes owners
A law firm is preparing a group legal claim on behalf of owners of some Mercedes vehicles, over claims customers were misled about the emissions their vehicles produced.
Law firm PGMBM filed papers at the Liverpool High Court earlier this month saying Mercedes-Benz allegedly misled customers about the levels of emissions produced by certain models of its cars and vans, sold between 2007 and 2018.
The firm says the alleged issue affected 500,000 diesel vehicles. As current and former owners of affected vehicles can join the group action, it says about one million UK consumers could be eligible to join its claim.
Two other law firms, Leigh Day and Slater and Gordon, are also investigating potential group claims against Mercedes-Benz over emissions. These claims would relate to BlueTec and AdBlue vehicles respectively.
Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has dismissed the claims and says it will "vigorously defend" any group actions in court.
Who can join?
PGMBM says if you have ever leased or owned a Mercedes diesel car or van that was first registered between 2007 and 2018, you may be eligible to join the action.
You can use PGMBM's chatbot to find out whether you may be able to be part of the claim.
PGMBM says claimants can join the action now, adding it will have more information about the expected timeline of the case later this summer.
PGMBM has a dedicated website about the group action where you can find full information about the case.
How much could I get?
Group actions such as this can take a long time to play out in court and, put bluntly, often aren't successful. So definitely don't assume that taking part means you're in line for a big payout – or indeed any payout at all.
PGMBM says it's optimistic that it will be able to recover £10,000 or more per vehicle if the action is successful.
But while there's no upfront fee to join the action, if it's successful PGMBM will take a cut of any compensation awarded to you, of up to 50% of the payout (including VAT).
What are the risks of taking part?
While you won't have to pay anything upfront to join the lawsuit, it's important to understand that taking part isn't risk-free.
PGMBM has told prospective clients they "won't pay a penny" if the case is unsuccessful, as long as they have stuck to the terms and conditions.
These include not entering a claim in bad faith – for example, exaggerating or inventing a claim. You could also be liable if you obstruct the case by failing to co-operate, for example by ignoring calls and emails about the case once you've signed up – though PGMBM says in practice you're unlikely to be asked to pay in this scenario.
With this kind of group legal action, potential claimants are often advised to check how any lawsuit they join is funded and insured. That's because if the case were to proceed and the court ruled against the claimants, they could technically be liable for the defendant's legal costs.
PGMBM says it is arranging insurance that will cover all costs if the case is lost. However, joining the case is not without some risk and you should carefully weigh up the potential pros and cons before signing up.
What does Mercedes say?
A Daimler AG spokesperson said: "We believe that the claims are without merit and will vigorously defend against any group action."