Daimler is a German multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Stuttgart. It is the 13th largest car manufacturer and the largest truck manufacturer in the world.
In a statement on 26 September 2015, just days after the VW ‘Dieselgate’ scandal had come to light, Daimler’s CEO, Dieter Zetsche stated publicly that a “function that limits emissions treatment performance was not used in Mercedes-Benz vehicles.” However, since May 2018, Germany’s road vehicle authority (“KBA”) has issued several recall orders after claiming to have discovered defeat devices in Daimler vehicles.
Daimler continues to deny that the identified software is a prohibited defeat device and has chosen to appeal the KBA decisions, but at the same time is complying with the recalls and is modifying the implicated software. Investigations are ongoing.
Daimler has also been subject to a fine of EUR 870 million by the the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office in September 2019 in relation to the certification of diesel vehicles that did not meet regulatory requirements in terms of NOx emissions output.
On 22 January 2020, Daimler issued its fourth profit warning in less than a year, stating that 2019 profits would be affected by up to EUR 1.5 billion in litigation costs and that earnings before tax would drop by 50% to EUR 5.6 billion.
At the same time, investigations are also currently ongoing in the US, where regulatory action triggered Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’ scandal in 2015, but no results have yet been published.
Deminor recommends that clients register their claims with the German model case proceeding in Stuttgart once the model plaintiff has been named, likely in the second half of 2020. This will have the effect of tolling the statute of limitations, while preserving the possibility to issue proceedings once further evidence against Daimler emerges, and some of the key outstanding questions are resolved. Clients are invited to register with Deminor by 31 July 2020.