Mercedes-Benz to recall diesel cars for emissions update

Mercedes-Benz to recall diesel cars for emissions update
Hundreds of thousands of Mercedes-Benz owners in the UK have been offered a free emissions performance upgrade via a voluntary recall scheme.

Thought to apply to nearly every new diesel car bought in the last six years, the recall option has been announced by the German carmaker Daimler in a bid to reduce the output of nitrogen oxide (NOx).

Around 170,000 new Mercedes-Benz cars were UK-registered in 2016. While the firm has not confirmed how many domestic vehicles the voluntary recall involves, it says one million in Germany, and two million in the rest of Europe are subject to the measure.

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The action being taken in relation to nearly all cars with diesel engines meeting the Euro 5 standard – implemented in 2011 – and the existing Euro 6 rules.

Daimler AG says the recall will come at a cost of around £195 million (220 million euros).

Chairman of its board of management and head of Mercedes-Benz cars, Dr Dieter Zetsche said the public debate around diesel engines is creating customer uncertainty.

“We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology,” he said. “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.”

Back in May the government unveiled its plans to tackle air pollution in relation to existing standards, which were met with a mixed reaction across the motoring industry.

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In September 2015 Volkswagen Group admitted that almost half a million of its US vehicles had been fitted with so-called defeat software, which enables engines to switch to a cleaner mode when undergoing environmental tests.

The infamous scandal is thought to have ultimately involved 11 million vehicles worldwide, with up to 1.2 million in the UK.

A Government report published in April 2016 showed diesel cars being sold in the UK emit an average of six times more NOx in real-world driving than the legal limit used in official tests.

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