Daimler to ‘clarify cheating software’ on Renault diesel engines
German government has asked Daimler on Monday to clarify the suspicion of the Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, KBA) that emissions-cheating software has been used to mask the real NOx emission of its Mercedes Vito, equipped with… a Renault diesel engine. Daimler denies most emphatically and is willing to go to court to prove it.
Recall of 5.000 Mercedes Vito
The KBA ordered last week the recall of 5.000 Mercedes Vito vans on suspicion of secret emissions-cheating software being used. “We’re going to launch a thorough investigation in these technical complex matters to identify the number of cars implicated”, the Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer declared after meeting with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. Results should be presented in two weeks.
If the KBA diagnosis proves to be right, Daimler would be involved directly in the dieselgate scandal that broke in 2015 and in which Volkswagen already admitted to have used emissions-cheating software to mask the real emissions of NO2, of which we know they cause respiratory and hart diseases.
Daimler is contesting the findings of the KBA and says in a press release it is cooperating with the authorities to provide an update for the software concerned.
German media point out that Daimler risks more than a recall of its Vito, as the diesel engine concerned is a 1.6 litre, four-cylinder Renault engine, adapted by Mercedes that is also used in its Class C. In this case a recall could concern over 600.000 vehicles.
Renault washes its hands of this affair
Asked by French news agency AFP, Renault washes its hands of this affair and says “not to give any comment as this is a matter that only concerns Daimler”.
Interviewed by the Süddeutsche Zeitung in March, Renault’s vice-precident Thierry Bolloré declined all responsibility saying that the tuning of the engine is always done by the car manufacturer building it in. “I’m responsible for Renault and at Renault there is no cheating. Period!”