Mercedes Parent Daimler to Spend $255 Million to Reduce Pollution from Diesel

By Christian Stampfer on 18 July 2017
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An early Mercedes-Benz in the automaker's museum

An early Mercedes-Benz in the automaker’s museum

MUNICH—Daimler announced Tuesday that its management board had given the green light to plans to reduce pollution from diesel-powered vehicles. The move includes authorizing an investment of €220 million ($255 million) to update the emissions systems in three million Mercedes-Benz diesels in Europe.

The announcement comes after Daimler, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, was accused of selling over a million cars with non-compliant emissions controls, according to a warrant issued last week by the Amtsgericht Stuttgart, the city’s municipal court. German lawmakers summoned company executives to meet with them about emissions.

“The company is investing about 220 million euros,” Daimler said in a statement, adding that the “service actions involve no costs for the customers.” The automaker also said that it plans to begin the update program this summer and added that it will make its newest diesel engine, a four-cylinder, code-named OM 654 that was introduced in the new E-Class in 2016, available across its entire range of models.

The complaint filed by the Amtsgericht Stuttgart appears to affect over one million cars that were sold both in Europe and in the United States in the period 2008 to 2016 and follows earlier allegations of false advertising and wrongful manipulation of pollution controls in diesel-powered vehicles. The Amtsgericht issued a search warrant that was carried out on May 23, 2017.

Cars and vans powered by Mercedes diesel engines with the codename OM642 and OM 651 may have contained so-called defeat devices that would manipulate emissions levels during tests to ensure the vehicles appeared to be compliant while the emissions controls were basically off when the vehicle was not in test mode.

Daimler is not the first automaker to be accused of using a defeat device for this purpose. In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted it had installed similar technology in its diesel cars sold in the United States.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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