Thousands of Mercedes cars in the UK to have emissions fix
A major ‘recall’ of a reported three million
Mercedes-Benz cars, including every vehicle sold in the UK in the past six
years, has been announced so engines can be adjusted to reduce the amount of
pollutants they emit.
The board of management of parent company Daimler has
approved what it called the “comprehensive plan for diesel engines”, which has
echoes of the long-running emissions ‘cheating’ scandal involving the
The move follows the launch of an investigation by the
German authorities in May into allegations of fraud and criminal advertising by
employees of the vehicle manufacturer relating to the possible manipulation of
exhaust controls in diesel cars.
In a statement, Daimler said: “The public debate about
diesel engines is creating uncertainty - especially for our customers. We have
therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and
to strengthen confidence in diesel technology,”
Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of
Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars went on to say in the statement: “We
are convinced that diesel engines will continue to be a fixed element of the
drive-system mix, not least due to their low CO2 emissions.”
The “comprehensive plan”, said the statement, comprised a
substantial expansion of the current service action for vehicles sold to
customers as well as a rapid market launch of a completely new diesel engine
spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz in the UK told MotorTrader.com that the action was not a ‘recall’ as had been
widely reported in the media comparing it to “continuing software updates”
needed for laptops and other devices.
spokesperson also confirmed the exact number of affected cars was presently
unknown as the carmaker was analysing VIN numbers ahead of notifying customers.
Once notified customers will be invited to take their cars for the software
update which was expected to take an hour to complete.
Since March, Mercedes-Benz has offered its customers of
compact-class cars an improvement in NOx emissions for one engine version.
Approximately 45% of those cars have subsequently been updated. A voluntary
service action is also being carried out for V-Class customers - so far with
approximately 75% of the vehicles in Germany.
The statement continued: “In order to effectively improve
the emissions of additional model series, Daimler has now decided to extend the
service action to include over three million Mercedes-Benz vehicles. For this
purpose, the company’s engineers are making use of latest knowledge gained
during the development of the new family of diesel engines.”
The latest move, at a cost of about €220 million, applied
to nearly all Euro5 and Euro6 vehicles sold in Europe and was being carried out
in close cooperation with the German regulatory authorities, said the
The service actions involves no costs for the customers
and the statement ended: “The implementation of the measures will be starting
in the next weeks. Due to the large number of vehicles this will continue over a
longer period of time.”