According to the news report by Reuters, the KBA, Germany’s road vehicle regulator, found 5 defeat devices in Daimler car engines. These devices are illegal “switch-off devices”, which the authorities suspect are being used to control emissions during testing and are being used in the majority of the brand’s new Euro 6 diesel cars, which total to more than 1 million vehicles.
When contacted for more information, the Daimler spokesperson stated that he would not give any comment about this report, only to add that the company was cooperating fully and transparently with the KBA as well as Germany’s federal transport ministry. He also re-iterated the company’s objections to switch-off devices being in breach of regulations.
Daimler had already announced in May that is was going to appeal the order released by the KBA to recall its Mercedes van Vito 1.6 liter Diesel Euro 6 model, after an investigation by the German transport ministry.
Like many other car manufacturers, Daimler uses urea nitrate liquids in its car engines to naturalize emissions like nitrogen oxide that are expelled as exhaust fumes. The objection that the KBA has to these methods is that emission control devices actually allow vehicles to give out emissions that are actually above the allowable pollution levels without detection.
Unfortunately, the entire German car industry is facing a lot of pressure with regard to the use of diesel engine technology in their vehicles after Volkswagen admitted to having cheated in US emissions tests in 2015. Post this admission, other German car makers such as BMW and Daimler have also been put under the scanner for emissions checks.
Daimler’s Chairman and Head of Mercedes-Benz, Dieter Zetche, is scheduled to meet with Germany’s Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer on Monday, where they will discuss the issue of diesel emissions.
According to the online magazine Popular Mechanics, a new emissions study that is based on the current fuel emissions testing methods states that even the latest models of diesel cars in Europe are polluters. This has been the first analysis of its type since the VW emissions scandal in 2015.
This study used a new rating standard called TRUE (The Real Urban Emissions initiative) and used a data set of more than 375,000 cars from across the European Union.
Cars in Europe are segregated into numbered groups based on their emission standards. So, vehicles are classified under Euro 3, 4 or 5 levels. Vehicles from all standards were tested, including the latest Euro 6 level. All vehicles under the older levels (this includes four-wheelers as well as two wheelers such as motorcycles) failed the test with “poor” rankings.
What was surprising was that most of the level 6 cars also failed the test. Even those that passed the test (which was a small minority), were given only a “moderate ranking”. Not one single diesel car that was tested was given a “good” ranking by the TRUE test.
The first set of results published by this study show that more than 4,000 vehicle models in Europe are emitting nitrogen oxide (NOx) at levels much higher than the standards set by the European Union as acceptable.
According to the International Council of clean Transportation, these new results are simply a confirmation about their worst fears with regard to diesel cars.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has challenged these results, calling them misleading. The secretary general of the Association, Erik Jonnaer said that all the cars that were tested were pre-Euro 6d cars, which would obviously not meet the latest TRUE requirements because they hit the roads well before the new emissions standards were put in place.