Car maker Daimler has been ordered to recall almost quarter of a million Mercedes cars in Germany after they were found to be fitted with software designed to fool emissions tests.
The German Transport Ministry has made the order for 238,000 cars to be recalled â€œimmediatelyâ€ but only has the authority to force the recall in Germany. It estimates that around 744,000 Daimler vehicles across Europe could be fitted with the â€œdefeat deviceâ€ software.
According to the BBC, Dailmer – Mercedesâ€™ parent company – has said it will recall all the cars across Europe, including models in the UK.
The main models affected are the Mercedes C-Class, GLC and Vito van. They are fitted with engines designed to meet Euro 6 emissions standards but the German authorities say â€œillegal shutdown devicesâ€ are present which mask the vehicleâ€™s real-world emissions.
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In a statement, the German Transport Ministry said: â€œThe government will order 238,000 Daimler vehicles to be immediately recalled Germany-wide because of unauthorised defeat devices.â€
Daimlerâ€™s chairman Dieter Zetsche insisted that there was no evidence the company had deliberately tried to cheat emissions tests but said that it had a found a technical solution to update the software.
The Mercedes recall comes three years after the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal, which saw the VW group recall millions of vehicles worldwide after they were revealed to have been fitted with defeat devices that lowered emissions under testing conditions.
That scandal has been blamed for the growing tide of anti-diesel sentiment and for a massive drop in the number of diesel cars being sold.