Vehicle manufacturing giant Daimler – which is behind the Mercedes Benz car brand – is to modify over 3 million of its diesel cars sold in Europe, in a move the company has claimed will ‘strengthen confidence in diesel technology’.
The move, announced yesterday, involves an investment of around €220 million for measures to improve emissions for nearly all of the Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel vehicles sold by the company across the continent.
A spokesperson for the company said that it is not yet known the number of UK cars likely to be affected by the action, although of the 3 million mentioned, 1 million are expected to be in Germany, and the other 2 million throughout the rest of Europe.
In a statement, the company said: “Since March, Mercedes-Benz has offered its customers of compact-class cars an improvement in NOx emissions for one engine version. Approximately 45% of those cars have meanwhile been updated. A voluntary service action is also being carried out for V-Class customers – so far with approximately 75% of the vehicles in Germany.
“In order to effectively improve the emissions of additional model series, Daimler has now decided to extend the service action to include over three million Mercedes-Benz vehicles. For this purpose, the company’s engineers are making use of latest knowledge gained during the development of the new family of diesel engines.”
The plan comprises a “substantial expansion of the current service action for vehicles in customers’ hands” as well as a “rapid market launch of a completely new Diesel engine family”, the company said.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, added: “The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty – especially for our customers. We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology.
“We are convinced that diesel engines will continue to be a fixed element of the drive-system mix, not least due to their low CO2 emissions.”