Auto giant Daimler under German gov’t probe in alleged emissions scandal

July 14, 2017 1:00 PM

BERLIN, July 14 (Xinhua) — German Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt has ordered an investigation into diesel vehicles of the carmaker Daimler to find whether it cheated on emissions with software, German media reported Friday.
The Stuttgart-based multinational automotive firm, which is famous for luxury cars such as Mercedes, is another German carmaker targeted by the authorities for allegedly diesel vehicles emission cheating, following its rival Volkswagen.

The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) will seek to determine whether Daimler’s diesel vehicles were programmed with illegal software in order to falsify emissions data. Passenger vehicles, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and vans with the motor-types “OM642” and “OM651” are affected.

A Daimler representative told Xinhua that the company cooperated “fully with the authorities” and would not “comment on speculations.”
According to German media reports, the illegal software could be installed in more than one million of Daimler’s motors. The emissions levels officially measured for the affected vehicles were manipulated with the use of a hidden mechanism which made cars operate more efficiently in test settings than they do in actual street conditions.
The Ministry of Transport confirmed that its diesel investigative commission had invited Daimler representatives to its offices on Thursday afternoon to discuss the allegations.
A search warrant by the Stuttgart district court, seen by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, WDR and NDR accuses Daimler of having sold vehicles which exceeded legal emissions thresholds in Europe and the United States for nearly ten years between 2008 and 2016.
The warrant cited led to police raids on the corporate offices of Daimler, as well as those of other unnamed firms.

Daimler had previously promised Dobrindt to upgrade 247,000 Mercedes vehicles, following emissions measurements by the Federal Motor Transport Authority.
Aside from pursuing charges of “emissions cheating” with illegal software, the German state attorneys also believe that Daimler misled customers with false and hence unlawful advertising regarding their pollution levels.
Two individuals are under official investigation, although authorities expect that the number of Daimler employees involved in alleged wrongdoing was higher.
The search warrant considered the conditions for a Europe-wide revocation of registrations as given, potentially leading to further damage suffered by owners of Daimler cars as a result of the scandal.

Daimler and other carmakers have repeatedly rejected claims that they used illicit means to manipulate emissions tests. EU law allows for emissions control mechanisms to be partially de-activated in street conditions if it protects motor function.

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