Due to the so-called thermal window in many Mercedes diesels, car owners who complain are not yet entitled to compensation from Daimler. Even if it is an inadmissible defeat device, the pure use of technology is not immoral, the Federal Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday. Because unlike Volkswagen’s scandalous EA189 engine, the software doesn’t differentiate whether the car is on the test bench.
The “thermal window” is part of engine control and reduces exhaust gas cleaning when outside temperatures are cooler. The plaintiff saw it as an impermissible defeat device – as at VW. He wanted Daimler to take the car back and reimburse him for the purchase price minus the number of kilometers driven. He bought his new Class C in 2012 for around 35,000 euros. The Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court) in Koblenz recently rejected his complaint.
The case is not yet closed with this judgment, however, as the plaintiff has also accused Daimler of using a number of other impermissible devices to manipulate the exhaust gases, including through the cooling system. The Higher Regional Court in Koblenz has not investigated this specific allegation. This must now be caught up.