Mercedes-Benz Owner Daimler AG May Have Rigged Emissions Tests

Ivan Schwartz
February 21, 2018

Daimler and its Mercedes-Benz brand weren't as lucky, so US investigators are still digging to find whether the diesel-powered cars sold in the country had special software installed that would limit the vehicle's emissions during lab testing.

On Sunday, Bild am Sonntag reported how documents it had been passed showed how Mercedes employees doubted the legality of software functions that can help a tank of AdBlue last for the entire period between a diesel car's scheduled services. The documents that were made available to Bild were obviously selected and then released as a means of harming the image of Daimler and its more than 290,000 employees.

"The authorities know the documents and no complaint has been filed", the spokesman said. Daimler shares were down 2.1 percent to 70.98 euros at 1045 GMT while Germany's blue-chip DAX was up 0.03 percent.

Daimler, which is facing continuing investigations by German and USA authorities into its excess diesel emissions, said that investigations might lead to a significant number of recalls and penalties. However, according to Reuters, Daimler's problems may not be as bad as Volkswagen's and Fiat Chrysler's.

"Unlike Fiat Chrysler, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not chosen to issue a notice of violation against the company", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note on Monday. Authorities discovered a software in the VW cars that were created to recognize when a vehicle was being tested for emissions and therefore lower emissions to the required levels.

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The Bild report cited emails from employees who flagged that a number of software functions potentially fall foul of U.S. emissions regulations.

In the wake of Volkswagen's crisis, which affects almost 600,000 USA cars from the 2009-16 model years, US regulators have scrutinized other automakers with diesel vehicles, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mercedes-Benz.

German prosecutors searched Daimler premises in May 2017 as part of an ongoing fraud probe related to false advertising and the possible manipulation of exhaust-gas after-treatment in diesel cars.

Now it seems Mercedes-Benz may get caught up in the turmoil for adding a "defeat device" in the engine management software of vehicles previously sold in the United States that alters the behavior of their emissions systems.

Other reports by GizPress

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