Dieter Zetsche: Daimler-chef needs to audition again at the Federal Ministry of Commerce

At the end of May, federal Minister of public Affairs Andreas Scheuer had a 14-day deadline to inform the Daimler boss about the allegations of fraud. Now Dieter Zetsche has to submit.

Dieter Zetsche: Daimler-chef needs to audition again at the Federal Ministry of Commerce

At a second meeting with Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU), Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche is to present concrete data on latest fraud accusation on this Monday. After first meeting at end of May, Zetsche had set a period of 14 days to clear allegations – or to confirm m. "We are now going to make an in-depth exchange on highly complex technical issues with aim of immediately identifying exact number of affected models on basis of our concrete tests", Scheuer said at time.

Daimler threatens to pay billions of dollars in order

The Federal Motor Transport Agency (KBA) accuses Daimler of having manipulated diesel exhaust gas purification at van Mercedes-Benz Vito. For this purpose, car manufacturer must have installed an illegal shutdown device in model in question, which reduces cleaning of flue gas during normal operation. This means that car would be technically capable of producing less exhaust fumes, and that it would produce appropriate emission tests – but in normal operation it still produces high exhaust gas values.

It is unclear wher and how many more models are affected. According to research of time, both Vito and C-class in road transport only insufficient urea solution injected into exhaust gas purification, so-called AdBlue. In catalyst, agent filters out harmful nitrogen oxides from exhaust gases. A total of up to 900,000 vehicles could be affected. Daimler did not want to comment on number and referred to ongoing discussions with competent authorities.

As Mirror reports without information from sources, Ministry of Transport passes from 750,000 affected vehicles. Accordingly, group is threatened with a monetary order of up to 3.75 billion euros.

Delays in installing software updates

Daimler does not deny existence of switch-off device, but considers it legal. A communication states that device is "part of a complex exhaust gas purification system that is designed to ensure a robust exhaust gas purification with different driving conditions and useful life of a vehicle". At end of May, group had to recall KBA 5,000 models. The company announced its opposition. If necessary, question of wher switch-off device is permissible or not will be clarified in court, it was said.

Following diesel summit last year, Daimler announced software updates for about three million diesel vehicles whose emission values are to be improved. Besides Vito, this includes various or diesel models. Actually, updates should be completed by end of 2018. According to information of time, Daimler is in default. Accordingly, group will need up to 2020 to update software fleet-wide.

Pressure from industry

The pressure to investigate accusation of fraud also comes from industry. Dieter Kempf, president of Federal Association of German Industry (BDI), criticizes handling of car managers with exhaust gas scandal. "Whoever made mistakes should call m, apologize and put m off, so take responsibility to finally regain confidence," said Kempf. An enormous image and trust damage was created for economy. Dealing with mistakes has made many in politics and also many consumers quite annoying, "incidentally also many in company," said Kempf.

Similarly, Bernhard Matte expressed himself. The head of Autolobbying association Vda told Süddeutsche Zeitung that industry had to "rework mistakes of past". He understands that Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs wants clarity. "That's also our interest," Matt said.

Date Of Update: 11 June 2018, 12:02

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