Yesterday, we learned that French authorities are planning to investigate allegations of emissions fraud involving diesels made by Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, Renault, and PSA Group. Now we've learned that Daimler diesels are also the subject of a probe--this one conducted by German officials.
That shouldn't be much of a surprise. Volkswagen's Dieselgate fiasco has resulted in heightened scrutiny from regulatory agencies around the world.
Not only that, but Daimler diesels have already been targeted by numerous investigations and lawsuits. Last year, U.S. owners of the company's Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC vehicles sued for damages, insisting that their cars were equipped with defeat devices like those found on 11 million Volkswagen diesels. The suits were later dismissed, but they helped fuel an internal investigation at Daimler.
Across the pond, Mercedes-Benz, along with Audi, Opel, Porsche, and Volkswagen, agreed to recall some 630,000 diesels in Europe last year due to emissions regularities. And of course, back in October, Daimler subsidiary Detroit Diesel shelled out $18.5 million in fines to the U.S. Justice Department to settle allegations that it had violated the Clean Air Act.
However, Daimler says that this new investigation in Stuttgart comes as a surprise. The investigation is currently focused on Daimler employees rather than on specific cars.
A spokesperson for the prosecutors says that the workers are being investigated in response to allegations of fraud and false advertising. Sources report that at least one worker has testified that Daimler might've have tweaked its diesel engines to ensure that they pass emissions tests.
Daimler hasn't responded to the investigation in detail yet, other than to say that a previous probe by German officials confirmed that the automaker's diesels comply with European regulations.