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Diesel scandal: first Volkswagen, now Daimler?

After Volkswagen, it is now Daimler that is facing investigations over cheating on diesel emissions. Germany’s Transport Ministry questioned Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche after the KBA motor vehicle authority found several Mercedes-Benz Vito vans fitted with software devices that helped manipulate the emissions system, and ordered their recall.

The Ministry asked the Daimler chief how many Mercedes-Benz vehicles needed fixing and gave the company a deadline of June 15 to find a solution to the problem. The regulator is said to be checking nearly 40,000 Mercedes-Benz Vito vans and 80,000 C-Class models for software devices that helped avoid emission detection. Daimler meanwhile said it would seek legal recourse against KBA’s findings and decisions on the software issue.

Car companies around the world are facing investigations on emission levels following the Volkswagen scandal three years ago. Authorities are looking at the differences in emission levels during testing and during the on-road performance. Daimler’s partner Renault and its supplier Robert Bosch are also facing emission-related investigations.

The penalty for tampering with emission systems is more substantial in the U.S. compared to Europe

The penalty for using software devices to tamper with emission systems is more substantial in the United States compared to Europe. European automakers are more prone to turning off filtering systems due to the laxity in the laws. Although in Europe, significant investments were made in diesel engines, currently Germany is looking to take old diesel vehicles off its roads to reduce pollution levels.

Companies like Toyota said they would phase out diesel vehicles in Europe during the course of this year due to significant demand for its hybrid vehicles. Electric cars are also seeing an increase in popularity which is slowly pushing diesel out of Europe. It simply does not make sense to hold on to diesel vehicles anymore.

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