Germany recalls of 774,000 Daimler cars in Europe over high harmful emissions

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Germany ordered Monday the recall of some 774,000 vehicles from Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler across Europe, citing illegal "defeat devices" created to hide high levels of harmful emissions from regulators´ tests.

German authorities have been cracking down on manufacturers since the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal first besmirched the reputation of its domestically produced vehicles.

When asked if the defeat devices were potentially installed in 220d-badged versions of the cars sold here, Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman David McCarthy said: "We do not now know".

The diesel versions of the Mercedes C-Class, Vito and GLC models are the main ones affected, the ministry said.

Stop us if you've heard this before: A major automaker will recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles for software that turns off emissions controls under certain circumstances.

After meeting Daimler's CEO, Dieter Zetsche, Germany's Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has ordered the automaker to recall 774,000 diesel vehicles in Europe.

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Daimler officials say they will recall all of the affected vehicles in Europe. All three models are sold in New Zealand, although NZ-new diesel cars are only required to meet Euro 5.

Dieter Zetsche, CEO of German auto maker Daimler arrives for a meeting at Germany's Traffic and Infrastructure Ministry in Berlin on Monday, June 11, 2018.

The age of the cars involved in the exercise is not clear, but there are suggestions that latest-generation models with EU6 emission certification are included. The company had earlier said that it contested the legal basis for the finding that the Vito's engine controls were disallowed. The company has already voluntarily recalled around 3 million vehicles in the European Union in 2017 to update the performance of their emissions controls. The company says it is cooperating with authorities.

"We don't see any evidence that Daimler was designing software to deliberately cheat on emission testing", he said.

Evercore estimates the recall will cost Daimler less than €100 million ($155.33m), helped by the fact no fines are now being imposed.

'Overall, this outcome should de-risk the stock'.

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