You would think that after Volkswagen’s implosion over diesel emissions, plus stories that have affected FCA and GM, among other companies, that the likes of Daimler would quickly make sure that they were walking a tight rope, dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” to the letter of the law, especially in Germany, where “Dieselgate” has really kicked the automotive manufacturers in the shorts the hardest. Nope. Apparently Germany’s authority for road vehicles, the KBA (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt) has found up to five different “illegal switch-off devices”, according to an article in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.
The KBA believes that the devices were installed into the majority of the diesel fleet to comply with Euro 6 vehicle emissions standards, which were enacted for 2014. Daimler’s vehicles use urea to clean up the exhaust fumes, something that the KBA isn’t completely sold on (they suspect that it’s a method of bypassing detection.) The discovery got Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche an immediate summoning to the office of the Transport Minister. Daimler’s official stance is that they dispute that the software pieces were illegal, will not comment on the number of vehicles affected, and is fully and transparently cooperating with both the KBA and the Transport Ministry.
All we can say at this point is, “who is next”?