Daimler manipulated emissions in one million cars: report

Investigators suspect that Daimler—the world's largest luxury carmaker—used a similar so-called "defeat device" to riv
Investigators suspect that Daimler—the world's largest luxury carmaker—used a similar so-called "defeat device" to rival Volkswagen

German luxury automaker Daimler manipulated the engines of around one million diesel vehicles to make them appear less polluting, local media reported Thursday, raising echoes of competitor Volkswagen's 'dieselgate' scandal.

"The Stuttgart-based firm sold vehicles with higher levels of damaging emissions than allowed for almost a whole decade between 2008 and 2016," daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.

Along with regional broadcasters NDR and WDR, the newspaper had access to a from a Stuttgart court allowing prosecutors to raid 11 sites belonging to the Mercedes-Benz and Smart maker in late May.

Investigators suspect that the world's largest luxury carmaker used a similar so-called "defeat device" to Volkswagen, which in 2015 admitted to manipulating emissions readings on some 11 million worldwide.

Software in the motor runs the emissions treatment system at a higher setting when it detects the is undergoing regulatory testing.

Investigators believe cars fitted with the OM 642 and OM 651 motors filter out 95-99 percent of harmful nitrogen oxides under test conditions but only between 35-85 percent in real on-road driving.

The motors were built into more than one million cars and vans by Daimler, including C, E and R class Mercedes.

According to the warrant, prosecutors sought to recover emails between 99 Daimler employees, one of them a member of the group's executive board.

Two Daimler employees from the team that created the software are under formal investigation on suspicion of fraud and false advertising.

But officials believe more people were involved and expect suspects will be added to the probe.

Daimler also faces an investigation by the United States Department of Justice, as well as a number of class-action lawsuits accusing it of false advertising.


Explore further

Germany finds emission-cheating gear on 24,000 Audis in Europe (Update)

© 2017 AFP

Citation: Daimler manipulated emissions in one million cars: report (2017, July 13) retrieved 22 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-07-daimler-emissions-million-cars.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
8 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jul 13, 2017
Make them recall these vehicles and refund the money. Then sue the managers that ordered these devices into oblivion.
Nothing short of serious financial harm and some draconian examples will make this kind of behavior stop.

Jul 13, 2017
When automakers announced some years ago they could make "cleaner" diesel engines I was naturally sceptical and for good reason. It's akin to saying you can make vomit smell better. It's BS plain and simple. The best option is for the buying public to simply stop bying these pollution monsters. However, I fear far too many humans are too stupid to do what is right or good. We really are just silly knuckle dragging animals with clothes.

Jul 13, 2017
The power of the wallet is the only thing that will kill diesel engines.

Jul 13, 2017
they could make "cleaner" diesel engines I was naturally sceptical and for good reason

They probably could if they wanted to - but the motors and exhaust treatment systems would be so expensive and complicated (read: needing frequent maintenance) that it would be nowhere near economical.

The power of the wallet is the only thing that will kill diesel engines.

In this case it can also be the power of law. The NOx levels in some cities are already above the allowed levels. One solution that is being discussed is to simply ban diesel cars from entering cities. That will kill their sales in short order.

Jul 13, 2017
The power of the wallet is the only thing that will kill diesel engines.


The reason people bought diesels is the higher fuel economy, which is also mandated by law and subject to penalties if you don't meet the regulations. If the manufacturers can't meet the fantastical targets and levels, you get to pay extra to own a car.

The fuel economy demands (CO2/km) are so strict that gasoline cars are in troubles meeting them, while the diesels can, with fewer compromizes in size and performance.

Nothing short of serious financial harm and some draconian examples will make this kind of behavior stop.


You're barking up the wrong tree. Making impossible demands of the auto industry is what caused this issue in the first place - it was a trade between fuel economy and NOx emissions. When absolutely everyone is cheating your rules just to be able to sell cars at affordable prices, maybe the problem is in the rules instead.


Jul 13, 2017
Between the mileage gap and the emissions cheats, if all auto-makers became honest today and admitted exactly what their cars consume and emit, they would all fail the regulations and be forced to pay the penalties, which is to say you would pay the penalties as you buy their cars.

The stupidity of the situation is that when everyone is punished for failing to do the impossible, all the punishment does is harm. Only the cheaters can win that game, so cheat they do.

There's just this persistent dogma/myth that the automakers are deliberately dragging their feet to hide the magical "100 MPG carburettor" etc. big oil conspiracy theory, which then makes people think they can force the industry to make better cars by law. Reality is, the industry is doing the best they can, selling the kind of cars the people want to buy, and that is always a compromise. If you over-emphasize things like fuel economy, then you force smaller cars, expensive cars, or cars that pollute more.


Jul 13, 2017
One solution that is being discussed is to simply ban diesel cars from entering cities. That will kill their sales in short order.


It will also kill most delivery/distribution, destroy millions of jobs, cause the cost of transportation to skyrocket and turn into a political suicide for anyone attempting to pull it off.


Jul 13, 2017
So VW and Mercedes cheated on stupid onerous regulations, we are still breathing aren't we. This could have gone on for the next 20 years and it would not have made on iota of difference in the worlds quality of life. In fact, enforcing these regulations will most likely decrease the average quality of life.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more