The German government summoned Daimler executives to Berlin to explain the carmaker’s role in possible diesel-emissions cheating. Two engines in Mercedes-Benz vehicles have drawn increased scrutiny from prosecutors.
The warrant, authorising searches at Daimler sites in May, focused on two diesel engines allegedly equipped with so-called defeat devices that would reduce emissions controls. The Mercedes GLK 250 and GL 350 sport-utility vehicles are among models at the carmaker that use the engines. The probe is looking into sales from 2008 to 2016, said the source.
The Stuttgart-based maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars is one of a number of auto manufacturers targeted in a technology scandal that’s enveloped the industry, since Volkswagen revealed in September, 2015, that it installed software to bypass pollution rules. Hundreds of police officers and prosecutors participated in the searches at Daimler sites throughout Germany as part of a probe opened two months earlier.
“Daimler appears to have taken their interpretation of what’s technically allowed on emissions treatment too far,” said Juergen Pieper, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler, in Frankfurt.
“The question now is if they’ve broken the rules on purpose or have been bending them too far.” He estimated that any upgrade required for the cars would cost about €500m.
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