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Daimler ordered to recall almost 774,000 diesels in Europe for emissions software

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Mercedes diesel car

German weekly Bild am Sonntag said up to 1 million cars contained software to cheat emissions tests on diesel vehicles.

Well, as it turns out, the German Transport Ministry has ordered the tristar company to recall up to 774,000 cars across Europe after tests found that they each ran an unauthorised software that could be used to manipulate diesel exhaust emissions.

Daimler declined to comment on the 1 million vehicles figure, but said it is cooperating fully and transparently with the KBA and Germany's Transport Ministry. According to an official statement by the ministry, selected Vito, C-Class and GLC models in Germany are involved in this recall.

In January 2017, US regulators ordered a stop-sale of several Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' diesel-powered models, including its Jeep Grand Cherokee, after regulators said it emitted more nitrogen oxide than allowed by law.

German authorities have been cracking down on manufacturers since the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal first besmirched the reputation of its domestically produced vehicles.

Daimler (DAIGn.DE) shares fell following a report that up to a million Daimler cars contained illegal defeat devices as Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche prepared to meet the transport minister on Monday.

Mercedes GLC
MERCEDESMercedes GLC C Class and Vito cars found to be with emissions defeat devices

That said, it has pledged to remove the software and to cooperate with authorities, the ministry said.

Daimler said in a statement only that it "confirmed the recall" and added that "open legal questions will be clarified in appeal proceedings".

For their part, German firms have announced dozens of new electric and hybrid models for the coming years in a bid to bring down emissions of both greenhouse gas Carbon dioxide - the original reason they turned to diesel - and of harmful NOx.

This is specifically linked to two functions of the engine control in Mercedes-Benz Vito vans.

"We don't see any evidence that Daimler was designing software to deliberately cheat on emission testing", he said.

Evercore estimates the recall will cost Daimler less than €100 million ($155.33m), helped by the fact no fines are now being imposed.

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