DIESELGATE AT MERCEDES: Thanks to Renault, Germany threatens Daimler with billions in fines

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Shortly after the German Kraftfahrtbundesamt in Flensburg (KBA) federal transport authority accused Daimler of having used an illegal shut-off device in the emission control of the van model Vito, other Mercedes models with similar diesel engines provided by alliance partner Renault, such as the Mercedes C-Class, could also be affected and Daimler could pay billions of euros in penalties.

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer shows no mercy. The emissions scandal regarding a possible illegal exhaust aftertreatment in various Mercedes-diesel vehicles now threatens a record penalty for the group. After the meeting between Scheuer and Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche on Monday (28.5.2018) the CSU minister threatened the Stuttgart corporation with a fine of 3.75 billion euros.

The inadmissible exhaust-gas purification system is said to have been installed in around 750,000 vehicles and could impose a penalty of up to € 5,000 per vehicle. Also, the arranged investigations are at least in the Mercedes C-Class far advanced and the evidence is “crushing”. Before another meeting between Zetsche and Scheuer, Daimler representatives were summoned to Flensburg for a hearing.

Recall for the Mercedes Vito (OM 622)
At the meeting of 28.5, it was agreed that Daimler must submit within 14 days concrete technical solutions to the problems with the exhaust aftertreatment of the Mercedes Vito with the 1.6-liter diesel engine (OM 622). By 15 June 2018, this technical solution and its implementation must also be presented to the Federal Motor Transport Authority KBA.

Federal Transport Minister Scheuer (CSU) said after the first meeting: “We will now have an in-depth exchange on the highly complex technical issues with the aim of promptly identifying the exact number of models involved through our specific tests. At another meeting in 14 days, the concrete results will be on the table. In addition, for the affected model Mercedes Vito 1.6 l diesel Euro 6 is an administrative procedure for ordering subsequent ancillary provisions for EC type approval. In addition, the Federal Motor Transport Authority has ordered the company to submit a technical solution and implement it by 15 June. ”

Previously, the KBA had already asked for a recall of the Vito models (5,000 models worldwide are affected) with the 1.6-liter diesel with Euro 6 emissions standard from cooperation partner Renault / Nissan, as Daimler announced on Thursday (24.5.2018).

The basic engine is built by Mercedes in its own factory in Bremen with start-stop function and ancillary units. This includes a new dual-mass flywheel and a new engine control unit as well as the exhaust aftertreatment. According to the legal interpretation of the KBA, the specific programming of two functions in the engine control of the Mercedes Vito does not comply with the applicable regulations, according to Daimler and announced a contradiction. If necessary, this interpretation of the law would also be clarified in court. The functions are part of a complex emission control system, which should ensure a robust exhaust gas cleaning in different driving conditions and over the service life of a vehicle. Regardless of the legal clarification, Daimler will continue to cooperate with the authorities and change the programs in question as required with a software update. The customers will be informed as soon as the update is available. The measure is of course carried out free of charge.

Other diesel engines affected
In addition to the approximately 5,000 Vito models, around 40,000 models could be equipped with the OM622 diesel and around 80,000 additional diesel engines with the “OM626” identifier could also be affected, among others. The Mercedes C-Class (W205) is now the focus of the investigation. Both engines are from Renault / Nissan.

Other engines have now come after the announcement of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” in the focus of investigations: Among them, the OM 642, a three-liter V6 engine, avalaible in different forms since 2005 in the G-Class, the ML, the E-Class , R-Class, Sprinter, Viano, GLK as well as CLS, S-Class, X-Class, GL and GLC-Class. The OM 651, a four-cylinder with 1,796 cc or 2,143 cc displacement, built since 2008, will also be investigated. It was installed in the compact family of models (A-Class etc.) as well as in the C-Class, V-Class, Sprinter, E-Class. CLS, SLK and the S-Class.