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UPDATEDaimler has announced a voluntary recall of more than 3 million Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Europe amid mounting questions over its diesel engines.
The automaker said Tuesday that it was offering European owners a service upgrade that would improve diesel emissions. It will cost the company around 220 million euros ($255 million).
"The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty," CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. "We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology."
Customers will not be charged for the upgrade.
Daimler also announced that it had created a new line of diesel engines "whose exemplary emissions have been confirmed by measurements carried out by independent institutes." The new diesel engine would be introduced rapidly across the company's entire model portfolio, it added.
Daimler was summoned by the German government last week to appear before a commission after local media reported that prosecutors were investigating possible cheating on emissions tests.
German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that prosecutors were investigating two engines used in over 1 million cars sold in the U.S. and Europe.
|Mercedes is the latest company accused of cheating to make their diesel cars 'clean.' This is what happens when you sell vehicles that burn filthy dirty diesel fuel.|
07/12/17 Daimler AG has been accused of selling over a million cars with excessive emissions in Europe and the U.S., Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said on Wednesday, citing a search warrant issued by a Stuttgart court.
Two months ago Stuttgart prosecutors searched Daimler sites in Germany following allegations of false advertising and the possible wrongful manipulation of exhaust gas treatment systems in diesel cars.
The Stuttgart local court's search warrant triggered the searches on May 23, Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.
According to that document, more than 1 million cars with excessive emissions, including various luxury Mercedes-Benz models, were sold in Europe and the U.S. between 2008 and 2016, said Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which researched the matter with regional broadcasters WDR and NDR.
A Daimler spokesman declined to comment on the continuing investigation by local prosecutors, adding the carmaker was fully cooperating with the authorities.
The cars in question are powered by engines codenamed OM 642 and OM 651, with prosecutors examining the possible use of defeat devices to manipulate emission levels during tests, the newspaper said.
There is a risk that the vehicles affected in Europe could be banned in the region, the newspaper said, again citing the search warrant.