Germany orders recall of 774,000 Daimler cars in Europe over emissions

The Mercedes Benz logo is seen before the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart Germany

The Mercedes-Benz star is displayed on the front of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle at the annual news conference of German auto giant Daimler AG in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on February 1, 2018.

For their part, German firms have announced dozens of new electric and hybrid models for the coming years in a bid to bring down emissions of both greenhouse gas Carbon dioxide - the original reason they turned to diesel - and of harmful NOx.

German authorities say Mercedes-Benz software reduces AdBlue injections after a certain period of time driving.

The German transport Ministry, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), has ordered the carmaker to recall 238,000 vehicles to rectify unauthorised diesel emissions cheating software.

Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche was summoned to meet with German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer on Monday to discuss the KBA's findings.

The move mostly affects Vito vans and diesel-powered versions of GLC 4x4s and C-class sedans, Scheuer added.

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Daimler declined to comment on the 1 million vehicles figure, but said it is cooperating fully and transparently with the KBA and Germany's Transport Ministry.

The ordered recall follows Daimler's decision to voluntarily recall three million vehicles in the European Union previous year to perform software updates and improve emissions performance.

The KBA mentioned that it believed Daimler had equipped the device in the majority of its "Euro 6" classified diesel engines, meaning that at minimum, vehicles manufactured after September 2014 when the pollution standard became effective.

The Stuttgart-based carmaker has said the US Department of Justice has inquired about the company's emission certification processes, and that German prosecutors in Stuttgart are investigating Daimler employees on suspicion of fraud and criminal advertising. For Mercedes-Benz, that means its cars switched off the emissions controls below nine degrees and above 26 degrees to guarantee its systems would survive over the vehicle's lifespan. "Open legal questions will be clarified in the objection proceedings".

According to specialist Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with Evercore ISI in London, the recall will cost the automaker less than $120 million.

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