Mercedes-Benz Maker May Have Cheated on Diesel Emissions Tests

Paul Ausick

Citing unnamed sources, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday that Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG may have developed software for its diesel-powered vehicle that was intended for the sole purpose of ensuring that the vehicles passed regulatory tests for emissions. The company’s shares lost more than 2% in Monday trading.

The software was reportedly discovered by U.S. investigators and company officials said that regulators have been investigating Daimler have known about the documents released by Bild am Sonntag for over two years and have not filed a complaint against the company.

The company also said it continues to cooperate with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board and has begun its own investigation at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice.

In 2015, German automaker Volkswagen AG was found by regulators to have installed software on its diesel-powered vehicles that could distinguish between normal operations and testing and was used deliberately to provide a lower emissions reading when a vehicle was being tested.

The cheating scandal has cost Volkswagen some $30 billion so far and if Daimler is found to have done the same thing, the company could be subject to similarly severe repair and penalty charges.