Germany orders Daimler to recall 238,000 diesel vehicles

Germany orders Daimler to recall 238,000 diesel vehicles

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MERCEDES-BENZ, Business

The German government has ordered carmaker Daimler to immediately recall 238,000 vehicles equipped with software that turns off emissions controls under certain conditions.

Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer made the announcement after a meeting with Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche on Monday.

Mr Scheuer said that Daimler was willing to work “with co-operative transparency” with the government and “at maximum speed”.

He added that the recall was ordered after “intensive and hours-long negotiations” with Daimler.

The affected vehicles include the Mercedes-Benz Vito delivery van and the Mercedes GLC 220d and C220d.

Europe-wide some 774,000 vehicles are affected, the ministry said.

The ministry statement did not say whether those cars outside of Germany would be recalled.

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

Subsequent investigations showed that other carmakers had exploited European regulatory loopholes that allowed emissions controls to be relaxed at certain temperatures to avoid engine damage.

Daimler said in a statement only that it “confirmed the recall” and added that “open legal questions will be clarified in appeal proceedings”.

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

Daimler has already announced a voluntary recall of three million diesels to install a software fix intended to reduce emissions.

Diesels are additionally under more pressure as German cities with excessive pollution levels contemplate limited diesel bans to come into compliance, under pressure from environmental groups.

The city of Hamburg introduced a ban on older diesels on two streets suffering from excessive pollution levels on May 31.

The Stuttgart-based carmaker has said the US Department of Justice has inquired about the company’s emission certification processes, and that German prosecutors in Stuttgart are investigating Daimler employees on suspicion of fraud and criminal advertising.

The company said it is co-operating with authorities.

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