Daimler Ordered By Regulators To Recall 60,000 Vehicles Using Illegal Emissions Software

Daimler Recall
An employee of German car manufacturer Mercedes Benz prepares the company's logo prior to its installation (Photo: Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)

German automotive regulators ordered Daimler over the weekend to recall around 60,000 of its Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles. The order was given after regulators reportedly discovered illegal software being used on the diesel-powered vehicles. The software allegedly reduced the effectiveness and efficiency of the cars' emission control systems.

Following the recall order and the accusations, Daimler announced on Sunday that it would dedicate a substantial amount of the company's upcoming earnings to rectify the situation. The German automaker clarified that the government regulator's findings of there being illegal software on its diesel cars were completely untrue.

The company announced its plans of launching a formal complaint to object to the regulator's claims. The specific model that is part of the recall order is the company's diesel-powered GLK 220 CDI 4Matic compact luxury SUV.

The latest accusation is eerily similar to the previous accusations made by regulators against Volkswagen back in 2015. In Volkswagen's case, the US Environmental Protection Agency alleged that the company was using tampered software on its diesel-powered vehicles to cheat its way passed emission checks.

After years of legal proceedings and inquiries, Volkswagen ended up losing the battle and agreed to pay billions of dollars in regulatory fines both in the United States and in Europe.

Unlike Volkswagens case, which involved thousands of vehicles sold in various markets, Daimler is being accused of using alleged illegal software on the vehicles it is selling in Europe.

According to reports citing sources close to the matter, the problem that was discovered by regulators involved the coolant thermostats installed on Daimler's diesel-powered vehicles released between 2012 and 2015.

The specific type of thermostat was manufactured for vehicles with catalytic converters that don't have selective catalytic reduction. According to regulators, its use on vehicles with selective catalytic reduction, a technique that uses urea to reduce nitrogen oxides, apparently reduced the entire system effectiveness.

Daimler mentioned in a statement that it had actually notified the German government of its installed software to make the component compatible with its other models.

The recent recall order is the latest of its kind to be placed on a German automaker. Around the same time last year, Daimler was asked to conduct a recall for its diesel vehicles in Europe due to a completely different issue involving its emissions control systems.

Since the issue with Volkswagen was made public, the German government has been ramping up its investigations into the emission practices of major automotive manufacturers. Daimler, Volkswagen, and BMW are reportedly now under the investigation of the European Union Commission for allegedly illegal practices and conspiring to obstruct emissions control technologies. 

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