Wednesday, 16 September 2020 16:37

U.S. Reaches $1.5B Settlement with Daimler AG Over Emissions Cheating in Mercedes-Benz Diesel Vehicles


EPA and CARB discovered the defeat devices through testing conducted in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal at EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Michigan and at CARB’s test laboratory in El Monte, CA.


The settlement requires Daimler to implement a recall and repair program to remove all defeat devices from the affected vehicles at no cost to consumers and bring the vehicles into compliance with applicable emissions standards under the Clean Air Act. The repair will consist of a software update and replacement of select hardware, which differs across models and model years. 


Daimler must repair at least 85% of the affected passenger cars within two years and at least 85% of the affected vans within three years. The company must also offer an extended warranty covering all updated software and hardware, and it must test repaired vehicles each year for the next five years to ensure the vehicles continue to meet emissions standards over time. 


Daimler will face stiff penalties if any category of updated vehicles fails to meet applicable emissions standards or if it fails to meet the 85% recall rate for passenger cars or vans. 
The settlement further requires Daimler to implement systemic corporate reforms to detect and try to eliminate violations in the future. This includes conducting significant testing on new diesel and gasoline motor vehicles using a portable emissions measurement system to assess compliance under real-world conditions, installing a robust whistleblower program, enhancing annual AECD and defeat device training for its employees and performing internal audits subject to review and critique by an external compliance consultant.


Daimler must also replace 15 old locomotive engines with new, less-polluting engines to offset excess NOx emitted from its vehicles. 


The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court review and approval. Copies of the consent decree lodged with the court are available here. Further information about the settlement is available on EPA’s website.


Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice

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