Vehicle manufacturing giant Daimler â€“ which is behind the Mercedes Benz car brand â€“ is to modify over 3 million of its diesel cars sold in Europe, in a move the company has claimed will â€˜strengthen confidence in diesel technologyâ€™.
The move, announced yesterday, involves an investment of around â‚¬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: â€œSince 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 â€“ so far with approximately 75% of the vehicles in Germany.
â€œIn 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 companyâ€™s engineers are making use of latest knowledge gained during the development of the new family of diesel engines.â€
The plan comprises a â€œsubstantial expansion of the current service action for vehicles in customersâ€™ handsâ€ as well as a â€œrapid market launch of a completely new Diesel engine familyâ€, the company said.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, added: â€œThe public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty â€“ especially for our customers. We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology.
â€œWe 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.â€