Mercedes recalls hundreds of thousands of diesel cars over emissions "defeat devices"

Galtero Lara
Junio 13, 2018

Diesels have been under heavy scrutiny since U.S. authorities caught Volkswagen using illegal engine control software that turned off diesel emission controls in everyday driving.

Mercedes-Benz is disputing whether or not the devices are indeed illegal, but would not confirm how many vehicles they were installed in.

"The Government will order 238,000 Daimler vehicles to be immediately recalled Germany-wide because of unauthorised shutoff devices", the KBA said in a statement.

The authority said it suspected the emissions-control devices were being used in the bulk of Daimler's new diesel auto fleet that was built to comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, encompassing some 1 million vehicles, according to the report.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Vito models with diesel engines and a sports utility variant of the sedan, known as the GLC, were the main cars found to be at fault, the ministry said.

The company is reportedly confident it can bring the vehicles back into compliance via software update.

Daimler CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche was ordered to appear in front of the KBA late last week and insisted the meetings were "constructive".

Models affected include the Mercedes Benz C-Class- the UK's ninth best-selling model last year
Models affected include the Mercedes Benz C-Class- the UK's ninth best-selling model last year

Zetsche or Daimler didn't say anything about what the company's software may be created to do, but it's the second large fix for the automaker in as many years. All three models are sold in New Zealand, although NZ-new diesel cars are only required to meet Euro 5.

Since then, Daimler has pledged to remove the illegal software and co-operate with authorities.

The software cheat in question is the much-reported "Thermal Switches" which Daimler, Opel, PSA and others have used as a loophole to pass NOx emission requirements at laboratory temperatures.

The company had earlier said that it contested the legal basis for the finding that the Vito's engine controls were disallowed.

According to specialist Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with Evercore ISI in London, the recall will cost the automaker less than $120 million.

"We don't see any evidence that Daimler was designing software to deliberately cheat on emission testing".

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