Germany orders Mercedes to recall 774,000 diesel models

Government authorities are requiring Daimler to fix emissions controls on its vehicles, but the automaker will avoid fines if it does so.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2 min read

The auto industry's diesel emissions scandal continues to spread its noxious tentacles. According to a new Bloomberg report, the latest company in the crosshairs is Daimler, makers of Mercedes-Benz. The automaker is being ordered by the Germany government to recall 774,000 diesel vehicles in Europe over concerns stemming from "prohibited shutoff devices."

Daimler is being rapped by German authorities after a series of meetings between the two parties failed to properly explain away the discovery of five purported "illegal switch-off devices" found in the Benz's diesel engines. The alleged emissions defeat devices were revealed by Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority. According to an earlier Reuters report, the KBA believes these emissions control devices are present in "the bulk of Daimler's new Euro 6 diesel car fleet," estimated at around 1 million vehicles. 

The recall will involve updating the engine control software in Mercedes-Benz C-Class models, as well as its GLC crossover SUV (seen here) and Vito van, a model not sold in North America. 

Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV.
Enlarge Image
Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class SUV.

Mercedes-Benz is recalling 774,000 diesel models in Europe, including examples of its GLC-Class SUV.


Thus far, Daimler continues to deny any legal wrongdoing when it comes to diesels and the automaker will avoid any fines stemming from this issue as long as it carries out the recall. The company has already voluntarily recalled around 3 million vehicles in the European Union in 2017 to update the performance of their emissions controls. 

By comparison, the Volkswagen Group, which kicked off the so-called "Dieselgate" scandal that has been an ongoing stain on the auto industry since 2015, has admitted intentional wrongdoing. So far, Dieselgate has resulted in over $30 billion in fines and related costs for the Wolfsburg automaker, as well as arrests, dozens of class-action lawsuits and heavy executive turnover.