More emissions testing ahead for Daimler cars

The German automaker faces further tests on cars after a meeting with government officials

HAMBURG, GERMANY - JULY 14:  New Mercedes-Benz cars stand on the beds of a freight train at Hamburg Port on July 14, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. German media Sueddeutsche Zeitung, WDR and NDR are claiming to have found evidence that Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, possibly installed emissions cheating software into motors that were built into one million Mercedes vehicles between 2008 and 2016, including passenger cars and vans.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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The German government said it will test additional vehicles made by Daimler, a day after company executives were summoned to Berlin for an extraordinary meeting about the ongoing probe into the carmaker’s diesel emissions.

The Federal Motor Transport Authority, or KBA, which is also looking into potential emissions violations at other carmakers, will oversee the tests, transport ministry spokesman Ingo Strater told reporters in Berlin on Friday. On Thursday, details emerged that two engines used in Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz cars were being scrutinized by Stuttgart prosecutors as part of an investigation they opened in March.

“The KBA is testing vehicles from Daimler, just as it has done with other manufacturers in the past,” Mr Strater said.

Germany’s scrutiny of Daimler deepens concerns that defeat devices used to cheat on emissions tests were used more widely than initially thought. Volkswagen in September 2015 was the first manufacturer to be caught using the technology in 11 million cars. At Daimler, German prosecutors are focused on two diesel motors built between 2008 to 2016 that are used across Mercedes’s product lineup, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Officials from the transport ministry on Thursday met with Daimler representatives, including the head of technology development Ola Kaellenius, who reiterated that the company complied with existing rules, according to a ministry statement.

“For us, the discussion was a continuation of the constructive dialogue with the KBA,” Daimler said in an emailed statement, declining to say what was discussed. “Of course we will continue to work constructively with the authorities.”

As part of its efforts to clear up mounting questions about the reliability of emissions controls in diesel cars, the transport ministry is due to meet manufacturers on meet in August to discuss steps aimed at cleaning up older vehicles that use diesel technology, including software updates.

KBA has also looked into potential emissions violations at Volkswagen’s Audi, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and General Motors’ Opel.