German government gets tough with Daimler and VW over emissions
The German government has ordered car maker Daimler to recall 238,000 vehicles in Germany after they were found to be fitted with illegal software that masks diesel emissions.
Across Europe a total of 774,000 diesel vehicles contain “defeat devices” and Daimler said it would recall them all. The diesel versions of the Mercedes C-Class, Vito and GLC models are the main ones affected, the ministry said.
Daimler said it would refit the software but denied any wrongdoing.
German transport minister Andreas Scheuer said the ministry and Daimler had “negotiated intensively for many hours” on Monday.
Afterwards he said the ministry had ordered the ‘immediate’ recall of Daimler models in Germany because they contained ‘illegal shutdown devices’.
“Daimler states that it will, at maximum speed and with co-operative transparency with the authorities, remove the applications in the engine control system which the government objects to,” he said.
The Transport Ministry only has authority to force the recall of vehicles within Germany.
Daimler refused to elaborate on where the other vehicles would be recalled. It also said the legality of the software would still need to be clarified.
Earlier Daimler chairman, Dieter Zetsche, had said a technical solution had been found to the software problems and that he did not expect the company to be fined.
VW fined 1 billion euros
In a separate matter, the Volkswagen Group has been fined £880 million (1 billion Euros) by German prosecutors over its diesel emissions scandal.
The public prosecutor found Volkswagen had sold more than 10 million cars between mid-2007 and 2015 that had emissions-test cheating software installed.
Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess said the company was not planning to appeal against the fine and that by accepting the fine, “Volkswagen takes responsibility for the diesel crisis.”