Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has been ordered to recall some 774,000 vehicles in Europe after German transportation officials allegedly found up to five illegal emissions control devices on a handful of cars.
According to Bloomberg, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday, that Daimler doesn't face any fines for the potential wrongdoing, but the automaker is considering an appeal to the ordered recall. A statement posted to Twitter confirmed that Daimler will go ahead with the ordered action. The affected car models are only sold in Europe and include the Mercedes-Benz Vito commercial van, C220d sedan, and GLC220d crossover SUV.
Our statement from today’s meeting between #Daimler and the Federal Ministry of Transport: Daimler confirms the recall. Open legal questions will be clarified in the objection proceedings. #Diesel pic.twitter.com/e3JJa1fkcD— Daimler AG (@Daimler) June 11, 2018
The major difference from the Daimler diesel software and Volkswagen's disastrous diesel scandal is intent. Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with Evercore ISI in London, told Bloomberg that there's no evidence that Daimler was actively designing the software to cheat regulations and emission rules in the European Union. Without intent, fines are off the table. Still, the software fix will reportedly cost the German automaker $118 million.
The ordered recall follows Daimler's decision to voluntarily recall three million vehicles in the EU last year to perform software updates and improve emissions performance. The updates were meant to bring older cars into compliance with Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission regulations.
VW's scandal has since kicked off a downward spiral of consumers' confidence in automakers and diesel-burning engines. Audi, BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, and others have all been subject to increased scrutiny in recent years. Not only have various European countries also aimed to ban the sale of new vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines entirely in the decades to come, but the German city of Hamburg also imposed its first diesel ban on May 31.