Mercedes sued by owners who say air conditioning systems emit mold and mildew odors.

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Mercedes sued by owners who say air conditioning systems emit mold and mildew odors.

— A Mercedes-Benz air conditioning odor lawsuit alleges numerous models emit mold and mildew odors that make it unbearable to be in the vehicles.

Named in the air conditioning smell lawsuit are the following vehicles:

  • 2004-2012 Mercedes A-Class
  • 2001-2017 Mercedes C-Class
  • 2000-2014 Mercedes CL-Class
  • 2013-2017 Mercedes CLA-Class
  • 2003-2009 Mercedes CLK-Class
  • 2004-2017 Mercedes CLS-Class
  • 2003-2016 Mercedes E-Class
  • 2007-2017 Mercedes GL-Class
  • 2010-2016 Mercedes GLK-Class
  • 2006-2016 Mercedes M-Class
  • 2017 Mercedes GLE-Class
  • 2006-2015 Mercedes R-Class
  • 1999-2017 Mercedes S-Class
  • 2003-2012 Mercedes SL-Class
  • 2004-2016 Mercedes SLK-Class
  • 2002-2013 Maybach 57 and 62

Plaintiff Sunil Amin says his 2013 Mercedes-Benz C250 started emitting noxious odors shortly after he bought the vehicle, and Trushar Patel says the same thing about his 2014 Mercedes E350. Both plaintiffs claim the problem persists to this day.

The lawsuit says the Mercedes-Benz vehicles have heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with serious design defects that cause the HVAC systems to accumulate mold and mildew residue and odors that invade the cabins. The lawsuit alleges this makes the cabins unbearable and unusable and causes physical and medical harm to occupants.

The plaintiffs say every named vehicle has essentially the same HVAC system made up of evaporator, evaporator housing, ducting, fan, filter, drain lines, etc. In addition, each system employs the same general mechanism to deliver ventilation, heating and cooling to the cabins.

Court documents say that because of the faulty design, the HVAC system fails to properly evaporate or drain the condensation that accumulates, creating a moist environment for the growth of bacteria, fungus, mold and spores. Those things are then blown into the passenger cabin, causing a mold and mildew smell that can lead to respiratory problems and aggravate allergies.

The plaintiffs say the mold odors occur every time the HVAC system is turned on and even more so in humid weather and after it has rained.

Mercedes typically responds to complaints by replacing the cabin air filters, flushing the systems or using cleaners, but none of the remedies have allegedly worked. The lawsuit also says the automaker often makes owners pay for repairs even when the vehicles should be fixed under the warranties.

According to the lawsuit, Mercedes-Benz knew about the mold odor problems since before it sold the vehicles. In addition, Mercedes must have known about the air conditioning odors because it sent technical service bulletins to dealers concerning the mold and mildew problems.

The plaintiffs reference bulletins sent to dealers in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2016, with all the bulletins describing moldy smells in numerous models.

Mercedes has allegedly failed to provide a permanent in-warranty fix for the moldy smells and failed to reimburse owners for the costs of "inadequate and temporary solutions.” Due to the HVAC problems, owners have incurred and will continue to incur out-of-pocket expenses in an effort to fix the odor problems.

The proposed class-action lawsuit includes all consumers who purchased or leased in Georgia the vehicles listed above.

The Mercedes-Benz air conditioning odor lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division - Sunil Amin and Trushar Patel, et al., v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Daimler AG.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and Corpus Law Patel, LLC.

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