German ministry says 774000 Mercedes cars contain unauthorized software

Mercedes To Recall 774К Diesels In Europe Over Emissions Issues

Similar to Volkswagen's dieselgate scandal, it means these cars produce increased emission of harmful nitrogen oxides in the hands of customers compared to when they're tested for type approval by regulators. The Mercedes-Benz Vito commercial van, C220d sedan, and GLC220d vehicles sold in Europe are affected by the recall.

Five models in total are reported to be affected, including the volume-selling Mercedes C-Class - the UK's ninth most popular auto a year ago - and GLC SUV variants.

The Stuttgart-based carmaker has said the US Department of Justice has inquired about the company's emission certification processes, and that German prosecutors in Stuttgart are investigating Daimler employees on suspicion of fraud and criminal advertising. In a report uncovered by Reuters, a local news source found that the country's Federal Motor Transport Authority (known as the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, or KBA) discovered five "illegal switch-off devices" on Daimler vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz is recalling hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles across Europe after they were found to be fitted with illegal software.

Following a second meeting between Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer in Berlin on Monday, the government said it would issue an official order to make the carmaker withdraw a total of 238,000 cars in Germany alone.

2019 Mercedes C Class wagon facelift

Daimler hasn't denied the existence of the functions, but have refuted the suggestion that they are illegal. Last year, Mercedes-Benz retrofitted roughly 3 million cars with modified emissions controls to bring those cars into compliance with Euro 5 and Euro 6 regulations.

It's now unclear how many models in the United Kingdom are impacted.

That said, it has pledged to remove the software and to cooperate with authorities, the ministry said.

In a separate statement, Daimler confirmed the recall and said the question over the legality of the software would still need to be clarified.

Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst predicted the costs for the required software update for Daimler would be less than 100 million euros.

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