By on September 24, 2019

2000 Mercedes-Benz C230 in Colorado wrecking yard, hood ornament - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

There’s a whiff of diesel in the air this morning, as all the news out of Europe seems to stem from compression-ignition trickery by German automakers. Hot on the heels of the indictment of Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess and his company’s chairman, Daimler finds itself on the hook for nearly $1 billion in fines in the same country.

The penalty comes by way of Germany prosecutors who claim some 684,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles came equipped with rigged exhaust gas after-treatment systems.

A two-year probe into Daimler’s diesel engines resulted in a 870 million euro ($960 million) fine for “negligent violation” of clean air standards. The engines found in certain C- and E- Class vehicles apparently emit illegal amounts of nitrogen oxide — the key ingredient in smog.

Last month, Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s transport authority, KBA, ordered Daimler to recall 280,000 vehicles, with the automaker potentially facing fines of 5,000 euros per offending  vehicle. Around the same time, strict emissions requirements in Europe forced Daimler to offer existing diesel owners a $3,350 subsidy to cover the cost of upgrading exhaust treatment systems in older models. Without it, many owners would find their personal vehicles banned from certain city centers.

“According to the public prosecutor’s findings, the negligent violation of supervisory duties caused at least in part that certain vehicles of Daimler AG had partly deviated from regulatory requirements since 2008,” Daimler said in a statement.

“After weighing all aspects, Daimler has refrained from taking a legal remedy in the public prosecutor’s administrative offense proceeding. It is in the Company’s best interest to end the administrative offense proceeding in a timely and comprehensive manner and thereby conclude this matter.”

[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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5 Comments on “Daimler Takes a Billion-dollar Hit for Diesel Violations...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    The article doesn’t say what the after-treatment systems are (urea injection?).
    And, the $3,350 subsidy – is this for cars that met the standard when they were built, but now are being regulated into nonconformity? The article is confusing.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Not only this but they couldn’t even make the podium in Singapore.

    Boy, talk about a rough week.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Was there a single Euro 5 passenger car diesel that wasn’t fraudulent? I have yet to be convinced one exists.

    • 0 avatar
      kurkosdr

      The Japanese and South Korean ones, and BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        This news has been on the radio for the entire day. There was actually no mention of defeat devices. Rather, the issue is that the vehicles were given a certification of passable emissions when in reality they emitted more NOx than was permissible according to EU limits. I believe the figure for Europe is 40 mg of NOx per cubic meter (USA is 100 mg of NOx per cubic meter).

        ‘Laut Begründung der Staatsanwaltschaft wurde in der Abteilung für Fahrzeugzertifizierung die Aufsichtspflicht “fahrlässig” verletzt. Autos hätten eine Genehmigung für den Straßenverkehr erhalten, obwohl sie mehr Stickoxid ausstießen als nach EU-Norm zulässig.’

        Daimler is paying the fine to keep the ‘social peace’.

        Source —> https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/daimler-dieselskandal-101.html


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