Maybe they ought to call Volkswagen for legal advice?
First, it was the Volkswagen Group. Then Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. And now Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler is facing serious fines for diesel-related violations. According to the German-language magazine Der Spiegel, via Reuters, prosecutors in Stuttgart, Germany intend to fine Daimler around $1 billion for reported diesel cheating software found in the Mercedes C-Class and E-Class models. Turns out the Germany motor authority, KBA, made the discovery which led to a recall of 280,000 vehicles. The prosecutor's office intends to demand a fine of up to 5,000 euros per vehicle. The total amount Daimler would wind up paying is somewhere between 800 million euros and 1 billion euros.
The automaker declined to comment but the prosecutor's office stated the investigation is still ongoing and admitted won't be finished before the end of this year.
Germany is not the only country where Daimler is under investigation for dirty diesels and cheating software. In 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency requested for the automaker to explain emissions levels in some of its diesel models. Since then, Mercedes, like Volkswagen, has shifted away from diesel engine technologies to all-electric powertrains. But it still has to answer for its alleged past crimes. Still though, even if Daimler is forced to fork over $1 billion or so, it's relatively little compared to the billions VW had to pay for Dieselgate.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Mercedes announced last week it will offer owners of older diesel models a $3,350 subsidy to retrofit their vehicles so they meet compliance standards. The vehicle in question? The E-Class.
Although the Dieselgate scandal broke four years ago next month, VW and Daimler are still dealing with the repercussions, financially speaking. VW, for example, recently launched a campaign that aims to not only admit grave mistakes were made but, equally important, lessons were learned and it has set a new course for an all-electric future. For its part, Mercedes has launched an EV of its own, the EQC, and is set to reveal even more beginning next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.