By on July 13, 2017

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK. Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz.

After a pair of Mercedes-Benz engines garnered increased scrutiny from regulatory agencies, the German government has summoned executives from Daimler to account for its activities as a new diesel emissions probe picks up steam.

The automaker has confirmed several of its representatives are attending a hearing on Thursday afternoon to speak with the German Transport Ministry — just one day after news broke that Stuttgart investigators believed some diesel-powered Mercedes vehicles may have been equipped with defeat devices between 2008 and 2016.

The investigation centers around the OM642 V6 and OM651 inline-four turbo-diesels, both of which are under suspicion of being equipped with illegal technology used to circumvent emissions testing. Interesting, Mercedes gave up on certifying diesel-driven vehicles in the United States this year after four models Benz had hoped to sell failed to obtain regulatory approval. 

Since Volkswagen’s confession of using defeat devices in 2015, investigators have been eyeballing every automaker that still uses diesel technology. Hundreds of police officers and prosecutors conducted searches at Daimler’s offices throughout Germany in May as part of a Stuttgart probe that began two months prior. The U.S. Department of Justice is also conducting its own investigation with the help of lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, hired by Daimler in a manner similar to how Volkswagen used Jones Day.

According to Suddeutsche Zeitung, roughly one million Mercedes-Benz vehicles may have been sold in Europe and the United States with unacceptable levels of tailpipe emissions — assuming the allegations turn out to be correct. The official documents don’t specify the number of vehicles involved but they do identify two technicians who are suspected of mishandling the software affected engines use.

Jan Holzner, a spokesman at the Stuttgart prosecutors office, has declined to elaborate on the individuals or if the investigation into Daimler would be ramped up. However, this could be because prosecutors haven’t been able to review the majority of seized documents after Daimler filed several suits against the searches. As a result, most of the documents pertaining to the case are legally required to remain sealed.

[Image: Mercedes-Benz]

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