The German Transport Ministry has said premium carmaker Daimler will have to recall over 200,000 cars in Germany alone over the suspected use of defeat devices in diesels. The firm pledged "full cooperation."
Following a second meeting between Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer in Berlin on Monday, the government said it would issue an official order to make the carmaker withdraw a total of 238,000 cars in Germany alone.
The announcement came a day after Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported that the national road vehicle authority KBA had found five illegal switch-off devices in Daimler diesels.
The authority said it suspected the emissions control devices were being used in the bulk of Daimler's new Euro 6 diesel car fleet, insisting that the devices were in breach of current regulations.
The Transport Ministry said Monday that up to 774,000 Mercedes cars were affected by the switch-off technology in Europe, mentioning the already recalled Vito van as well as Daimler's GLC 220d and C 220d models.
Daimler, like other car manufacturers, uses urea nitrate liquids to naturalize nitrogen oxide emissions in exhaust fumes. However, the KBA had taken issue with the emissions control features amid suspicion they allowed vehicles to emit excess pollution without detection.
Since rival Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating US emissions tests, German automakers including Daimler and BMW have faced a backlash against diesel technology in which they have invested billions of euros.
hg/jd (Reuters, AFP, dpa)