Mercedes cars found to be fitted with defeat devices by authorities

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz

Daimler shares fell following a report that up to 1 million Daimler cars contain illegal defeat devices, as Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche prepared to meet the transport minister on Monday.

Daimler said last month it would appeal against an order by the KBA to recall the Mercedes van Vito 1.6l Diesel Euro 6 model, following a transport ministry investigation.

The Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt said 238,000 vehicles in the country have unauthorised software fitted and has demanded that they are fixed immediately by the auto maker.

Mercedes-Benz is disputing whether or not the devices are indeed illegal, but would not confirm how many vehicles they were installed in. A Daimler spokesperson told German language newspaper Bild am Sonntag, who first reported the story, that the automaker was "cooperating to a full extent and transparently with the KBA and the federal transport ministry". However, the KBA has taken issue with the emission control features amid suspicion they allow vehicles to emit excess pollution without detection.

In January 2017, US regulators ordered a stop-sale of several Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' diesel-powered models, including its Jeep Grand Cherokee, after regulators said it emitted more nitrogen oxide than allowed by law.

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV
Enlarge ImageMercedes-Benz is recalling 774,000 diesel models in Europe including examples of its GLC-Class SUV. Mercedes-Benz

Daimler, like other vehicle manufacturers, uses urea nitrate liquids to neutralize nitrogen oxide emissions in exhaust fumes.

Daimler hasn't denied the existence of the functions, but have refuted the suggestion that they are illegal.

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

Daimler has pledged to work on removing the software and to cooperate with authorities, the ministry said. "Those functions are part of a complex emission control system created to ensure robust emission control in different driving conditions and over the lifetime of a vehicle".

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

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