Mercedes-Benz recalls 774,000 European vehicles for emissions defeat devices

The Mercedes Benz logo is seen before the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart Germany

The Mercedes Benz logo is seen before the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart Germany

German weekly Bild am Sonntag said up to 1 million cars contained software to cheat emissions tests on diesel vehicles.

However, an updated Reuters report is claiming that figure has ballooned to 1 million vehicles, the bulk of Daimler's new Euro 6 diesel fleet.

While the KBA can only request the recall of cars within German borders, the transport ministry said: "The government will order 238,000 Daimler vehicles to be immediately recalled Germany wide because of unauthorized defeat devices".

The affected vehicles include the Mercedes-Benz Vito delivery van and the Mercedes GLC 220d and C220d.

It's now unclear how many models in the United Kingdom are impacted.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment on specifics regarding the case, but said: "We are cooperating to a full extent and transparently with the KBA and the federal transport ministry".

German authorities have been cracking down on manufacturers since the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal first besmirched the reputation of its domestically produced vehicles.

Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said on Monday that the carmaker had found a technical solution for updating the software on its vehicles, and he therefore expected the company to avoid a fine.

In contrast to the Volkswagon emission scandal of 2015 - which led to VW admitting to intentionally designing engines to circumvent emissions testing - Daimler has not admitted to any wrongdoing.

It came on the back of a May missive from the KBA, which ordered Daimler to recall 4923 Vito vans that had been sold despite not meeting compliance regulations, while it "voluntarily" recalled three million cars under KBA pressure to improve emissions performance.

Daimler said in a statement only that it "confirmed the recall" and added that "open legal questions will be clarified in appeal proceedings".

Just two months ago in April, Zetsche said Mercedes-Benz customers are showing more confidence in diesel by continuing to buy them in significant numbers.

Evercore estimates the recall will cost Daimler less than €100 million ($155.33m), helped by the fact no fines are now being imposed.

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