Mercedes-Benz is in the news again but this time, it’s something a little positive and promising. Earlier this year, the German carmaker announced they would reduce CO2 emissions for every passenger vehicle by at least 50% by the decade’s end. This came around a year after Mercedes revealed they have committed to spend around $47 billion (£41.41 billion) between the years 2022 and 2030 for their switch to producing BEVs (battery-electric vehicles).
The carmaker’s goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2039. This would be good support for their 2025 pledge of producing only EVs from thereon in.
For their plan to halve emissions, Mercedes has come up with a roadmap that would allow them to achieve their goals efficiently. This includes:
- Transforming their vehicle fleet to a battery-powered one
- Using green energy to charge electric vehicles
- Battery technology improvement (this will help bring down carbon footprint)
- Using renewable energy and recycled materials for production needs (Mercedes is planning to start operating their recycling plant by 2023)
Additionally, the carmaker plans to use wind and solar power across all of its sites. All these will only be possible, though, if it works with other companies. Collaborating with society and governments is also essential if they are to achieve their goal of improving air quality and reducing air pollution.
Mercedes is also involved in other environmentally-focused endeavours, including utilising green steel in some of their production models by 2025. The carmaker has a stake in (H2GS) H2 Green Steel, a Swedish start-up company.
Additionally, Mercedes uses ASI or Aluminium Stewardship Initiative-certified primary aluminium for their European foundries and stamping plants.
Emissions contribute significantly to air pollution, most especially the ones that come from diesel vehicles.
For years, diesel was the more environmentally safe alternative for manufacturers and car owners. This changed in 2015 when the Dieselgate scandal happened. In September of that year, US authorities sent the Volkswagen Group a note indicating that they found defeat devices in Audi and VW diesel vehicles sold in the American automotive market. The devices are used to artificially lower emissions levels while a vehicle is in testing.
While authorities are misled by the device into believing the vehicle is environmentally safe, the truth is quite different. The vehicle releases massive volumes of nitrogen oxide once it is driven on real roads. As such, Volkswagen lied to customers and misled them into believing they were investing in vehicles that were clean and safe. In reality, they were driving around the city or town in highly polluting cars and vans.
The VW Group has spent billions in legal fees and fines. Many of the affected vehicles have also been recalled for engine correction – so they would be emissions-compliant. Thousands of affected car owners have also joined together to file a class-action lawsuit or bring a claim against Volkswagen.
Several years later, US authorities focused their attention on Mercedes-Benz, another German carmaker accused of installing defeat devices in their diesel vehicles. The company has firmly denied the allegations time and again even though they’ve been paying fines and fees and recalling affected vehicles (like VW).
In Germany, prosecutors raided around eleven of the offices of Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company. This was intended to help authorities gather evidence linked to the diesel emissions scandal. After the raid, over 700,000 Mercedes vehicles were recalled.
The Dieselgate scandal eventually spread throughout Europe, including the UK. In 2020, the first claims case against Mercedes-Benz was brought to court in the United Kingdom. More affected car owners are expected to join group litigation cases that will allow them to get compensated.
Mercedes has agreed to several settlements that will have them spending billions. They have also been busy recalling vehicles and changing highly polluting engines with cleaner ones that follow emissions standards. All these actions are in addition to their shift to EVs and halving emissions by the end of the decade.
The carmaker owes their customers compensation for all the inconvenience they have had to experience, especially for those who have been exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions.
What are NOx emissions?
One reason why Mercedes is stepping up its environmental game is nitrogen oxide, which has adverse impacts on health and the environment. It is a catalyst for pollutants, particularly smog, acid rain, and ground-level ozone, which significantly affects vegetation.
Some people who are exposed to NOx emissions may also suffer cognitive function impairment, which means they can be at risk for dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease. For others, NOx may trigger symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related issues.
Exposure to NOx emissions has also been proven to impact a person’s health. Asthma, breathing problems, fluid in the lungs, bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory issues are the common effects of low-level exposure to nitrogen oxide.
For high-level exposures, the effects can be serious and most often life-threatening: chronic reduction of lung function, increased risk to certain cancers, laryngospasm (vocal cord spasm), asphyxia, cardiovascular illnesses, and premature death.
These impacts are the reasons why affected car owners should bring a claim against their carmakers.
Filing a Mercedes diesel claim
If you have a Mercedes and believe that your vehicle has a defeat device, you should first verify your eligibility to make a Mercedes diesel claim. There are several requirements but the panel of emissions experts at ClaimExperts.co.uk know how to help you.