Mercedes is threatened with shutting down thousands of diesel cars due to inadmissible defeat devices. The company now has almost a year to present a solution to the problem to the Federal Motor Transport Authority. The affected engines have been under observation for some time.
The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) is threatening Mercedes with the shutdown of thousands of diesel cars because of exhaust manipulation. A number of engines installed in vehicles with the Euro 6 emissions standard have “inadmissible shutdown devices,” according to a letter from the KBA to the Stuttgart group dated July 5th. German Environmental Aid published the letter on Friday; “Spiegel” and Bayerischer Rundfunk had previously reported on it.
The engines of the OM 642 series in question were already in the authorities’ sights and Mercedes had to make improvements. This was “reviewed” and “approved” by the KBA, the letter states. However, in further investigations, additional software strategies were assessed as “critical or impermissible shutdown devices”. The authority lists their function in detail in the further letter.
The KBA is calling on Mercedes to inform us by the end of July how the problems can be solved, otherwise there is a risk of an “operational ban” – the vehicles being decommissioned. According to “Spiegel”, the company requested an extension of the deadline and a meeting with KBA representatives is scheduled for the end of September. The manufacturer would then be able to suggest software updates for which the vehicles would have to be brought into the workshop.
Ten million illegal diesel cars in Germany
Since the diesel scandal became known, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has declared a number of engine functions to be inadmissible. With shutdown devices, the engine’s exhaust gas cleaning system is switched off. According to the ECJ, this is only permitted if it can be proven that the engine could otherwise be damaged.
The DUH, which sued against the use of defeat devices and was proven right by the European judiciary, criticizes the fact that almost ten million diesel cars with illegal software settings are still on the road in Germany. The KBA letter to Mercedes was leaked to the environmental organization by a “whistleblower”.
The activists accuse Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) and the KBA of “conspiratorial collaboration” with the car companies and, among other things, state that information relevant to consumers, such as the emissions manipulation mentioned in the letter to Mercedes, is being kept under wraps. In June, the European Court of Justice ruled in a landmark ruling that drivers of diesel vehicles with exhaust gas manipulation can be entitled to compensation.