Haven't we heard something like this before?
German automakers rigging diesel emissions software is in the news once again. This time, Reuters is reporting that Germany’s Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer is threatening Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, with a $4.4 billion fine over diesel emissions rigging. Scheuer apparently spoke privately with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche last week and asked him directly how many Mercedes-Benz vehicles need to be fixed after a regulator discovered illegal software in one model.
The news originated from German publication Der Spiegel, but no one else was able to corroborate Scheuer’s questioning. However, Scheuer is particularly concerned that up to 750,000 Mercedes vehicles could be affected by the illegal software. If so, that’ll be a fine of 5,000 euros per vehicle. Do the math and that’s 3.75 billion euros, about $4 billion USD. Daimler also experienced trouble last month when it was ordered by Germany’s motor vehicle authority KBA to recall 1.6 million Vito vans equipped with diesel engines for illegal emissions. In response, Daimler said it’ll appeal KBA’s order as well as its decision to classify its software as illegal.
The automaker is even willing to go to court, if necessary. Der Spiegel claims there’s mounting evidence that Mercedes C-Class cars fitted with diesel engines are also affected by this latest controversy. Furthermore, another 80,000 vehicles might need to be recalled as well. Both KBA and Daimler have declined to comment on any of this so far, but neither outright denied what’s rumored to be happening. More details will hopefully arrive soon, but one thing’s for certain: controversy surrounding German automakers and diesel engine technology isn’t likely to end anytime soon.