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Daimler to Recall 774,000 Vehicles Over Alleged Emissions Cheating

The Drive logoThe Drive 6/13/2018 Rob Stumpf
© Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Earlier this week, German auto conglomerate Daimler was met with accusations of having an emissions defeat device installed in its line of diesel vehicles across Europe. Now, after a mandatory recall of 238,000 vehicles in Germany alone, the automaker has decided to be proactive and issue a recall for the 774,000 potentially affected automobiles.

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"Daimler will recall a total of approximately 774,000 vehicles in Europe (about 238,000 of which are in Germany), and will improve their emissions by means of software updates," a Daimler spokesperson told The Drive.

The affected models, which include the Mercedes Benz C-class sedans, GLC-line of SUVs, and its Vito commercial vans, are not sold in the United States, nor are any vehicles equipped with the so-called "prohibited shutoff devices."

Even though it didn't claim wrongdoing, Daimler worked rapidly with German officials to issue the mandatory recall. The country's Federal Transport Authority (known as the KBA) found as many as five unapproved software functions embedded in the cars' programming, reports Bloomberg.

A Daimler spokesperson also told The Drive that its emissions software contains functions that "cannot be considered independently from each other," meaning that the automaker would need to rework a vital portion of the vehicle's software in order to disable the emissions cheating.

At this time, no fines have been imposed on the automaker. German news source Der Spiegel, the same outlet that reported that several German automakers were part of an investigation which alleged cartel-style collusion to fix diesel emissions system design, claimed that the KBA threatened Daimler with a 3.8 billion euro ($4.5 billion) fine, though Daimler declined to comment on the issue outside of their earlier statements.

The defeat device achieves a similar overall result to the software found in Volkswagen diesel vehicles during its 2015 scandal coined Dieselgate. Though the underlying code may be different, the goal to sell diesel vehicles that expel higher-than-allowable pollutants on the road appears to be common. Daimler plans to dispute the German regulator's accusation in court with an appeal if necessary.

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