Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler is facing a fine of up to one billion euros for diesel emission-related violations according to German magazine Der Spiegel.
The German motor vehicle authority (KBA) had discovered software deemed to be illegal under existing European Union law fitted to Mercedes-Benz C-class and E-class vehicles and ordered the car company to recall 280,000 vehicles, according to the Der Spiegel article.
The software is claimed to allow diesel-powered C- and E-class models to achieve lower NOx and CO2 emissions in controlled climatic conditions at pre-set speeds on a rolling road during testing than in practice on public roads.
A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said the investigation was ongoing and would not be concluded before year-end. Der Spiegel says a fine of up to 5000 Euros per vehicle is being considered by the Stuttgart public prosecutor.
German sports car manufacturer and Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche will pay a €535 million fine over diesel vehicles that emitted more harmful pollutants than allowed, according to Stuttgart prosecutors.
“The fine against Porsche AG was levied for negligence in quality control,” the investigators said. Porsche “abstained from a legal challenge” against the decision, the prosecutor’s office added.
The new penalty against Porsche is the latest in a string of fines against the Volkswagen group over its years-long “dieselgate” scandal. The company admitted in 2015 to manipulating 11 million vehicles worldwide to appear less polluting in laboratory tests than they were in real driving conditions.
Following fines against the Volkswagen brand, high-end subsidiary Audi and now Porsche, no further investigations over “administrative offences” remain open against the group, according to a spokesman. But legal proceedings against individuals, including former chief executive Martin Winterkorn, remain open.
Meanwhile, thousands of investors are suing the company for the losses they suffered on its shares when news of the scandal broke, while hundreds of thousands of drivers are also demanding compensation.
So far, the total costs of “dieselgate” for the Wolfsburg-based car giant have risen to €30 billion.
The Braunschweig public prosecutor in Germany has issued a fine of €1 billion ($1.55) in total against Volkswagen AG – consisting of the maximum penalty as legally provided for of €5 million and the “disgorgement of economic benefits” in the amount of €995 million.
According to the findings of the investigation carried out by the Braunschweig public prosecutor, there were 10.7 million vehicles in total with the diesel engines of the types EA 288, in the United States and Canada, and EA 189, world-wide, being advertised, sold to customers, and placed on the market with an impermissible software function in the period from mid-2007 until 2015.
Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it.
Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome.
As a result of the administrative order imposing the fine, the active regulatory offence proceedings conducted against Volkswagen will be finally terminated.
Volkswagen assumes that such termination of the proceedings will also have significant positive effects on further active administrative proceedings in Europe against the Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries.
The German government has ordered car manufacturer Daimler to recall 238,000 vehicles in Germany after they were found to be fitted with illegal software that masks diesel emissions.
Across Europe a total of 774,000 diesel vehicles could contain ‘defeat devices’ and Daimler said it would recall them all.
In an official statement, the Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt–(KBA) said it had ordered Mercedes to immediately recall selected Vito, C-Class and GLC models in Germany:
Among the models said to be affected are the Vito 119 CDI, C220d and GLC 220d.
The KBA has not indicated the age of the cars involved, although officials suggest they include latest-generation models with Euro 6 emissions certification.