Daimler Accused of Tampering with Diesel Emissions
Mercedes-Benz Sales Germany building, Berlin. Photo: Daimler.
Munich-based newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on July 12 that Germany’s federal minister of transport Alexander Dobrindt is investigating whether the exhaust-gas treatment systems of certain diesel-powered cars and vans built by Daimler have been manipulated by illegal software that eliminates emission measurements taken during testing and on the road.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung characterized Daimler as facing “a serious, now known accusation” leveled by the Stuttgart prosecutor that the OEM programmed numerous diesel vehicles with inadmissible shutdown devices. This was evident in a search warrant issued by the District Court of Stuttgart for a police raid that took place a few weeks ago at Daimler and other compamies.
The affected vehicles are primarily passenger cars powered by the Mercedes-Benz OM 651 inline 4-cyl diesel but also indicted are vehicles, including the Sprinter full-size cargo van, powered by the OM 642 3.0L V6 diesel. The suspect vehicles were sold both in Europe and the United States.
A Sprinter cargo van in Europe. Photo: Daimler
Dobrindt has ordered representatives from Daimler to meet with his ministry to address the alleged tampering.
In the wake of the Volkswagen emission-tampering scandal that broke in 2015, an expert group was assembled by the German government to test almost all manufacturers to see if their diesel vehicles contain illegal software.
The newspaper also reported that Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has “repeatedly stated” on other occasions that there are have been no tampering violations at Daimler like those uncovered at VW.
VW and Daimler are not the only automakers to land in the headlines over suspected emissions foul play.
Back in January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler of failing to disclose engine-management software that increased air pollution in 104,000 diesel-powered Ram 1500 trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs of the 2014 to 2016 model years.
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