| 4:53 PM EST

Daimler Ordered to Recall 774,000 Diesels in Europe


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Daimler AG has been directed by Germany’s transport minister to replace illegal emission control software in 774,000 of its diesel-powered cars, vans and SUVs in Europe.

The recall order, which was announced by Andrea Scheuer, was prompted by Daimler’s use of “prohibited shutoff devices,” Bloomberg News reports. On Sunday Bild reported that Germany’s KBA motor authority found five such devices in use in Daimler’s Euro 6-spec diesels.

The new campaign will involve diesel-powered C-Class sedans, GLC crossover vehicles and Vito vans.

The transport ministry’s directive follows two meetings in two weeks between Scheuer and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. Daimler will update the emission control software. But the company won’t be fined, and it won’t be required to make far costlier hardware modifications.

One analyst estimates the repairs will cost less than €100 million. Last year Daimler agreed to a similar program to update emission software in 3 million of its diesel-powered vehicles in Europe. BMW and Volkswagen joined in that effort, which the companies said would lower real-world emission of nitrogen oxides by as much as 25% in 5.3 million vehicles.

Unlike VW, Daimler has adamantly denied any cheating. The company insists it has conformed to the EU’s loosely defined regulations, which allow diesel emission shutoff devices when necessary to protect engines under certain operating conditions.

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