Daimler Group, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz has today announced that it will voluntarily recall more than 3 million Mercedes-Benz diesel cars in Europe.
The recall aims to reduce NOx emissions of these vehicles and a potentially massive financial penalty. Mercedes-Benz had already been working on an upgrade program for 250,000 compact cars and vans. The latest announcement sees the program extended to nearly every modern EU5 and EU6 Mercedes-Benz diesel on the road.
Affected models will receive a software patch which will be installed free of charge. The patch avoids complex component fixes but will likely cost Daimler around 220 million euros ($255 million). The patches will be available in the coming weeks and are said to have been approved with close cooperation from the German regulatory authorities.
The move comes after months of close scrutiny from German authorities. Daimler executives have appeared before the German government in past weeks and in May, 23 prosecutors and 230 staff search Daimler sites for evidence. Daimler remains under investigation in the U.S. in a similar case to the explosive Volkswagen emissions scandal of the past few years.
Daimler is adamant that it adhered to regulations that allow vehicles to reduce emissions controls to protect a car’s engine. Notwithstanding its official position, it warned investors in its quarterly report that the U.S. investigation could lead to significant penalties and vehicle recalls.